Monday, January 19, 2009

Looking Back,...

Part of my personal "Adirondack View" is looking back at my family's past. The summer of 1924 my mother had just graduated from high school. She had chosen nursing as her career. She also had decided to not stay close to home, but to travel to Amsterdam City Hospital near Schenectady, NY to complete her nurses training. This is a newsprint photo of the hospital at that time. I believe the hospital is now called Amsterdam Memorial Hospital and is in a totally new building and locaton.

Nursing students stayed at the house next door to the hospital. Can you see the nurses sitting on the porch?
My mother's class called themslves "The Baseball Nine"... Mom is on the far left.
This photo, Mom again on the left, shows the uniforms of the day.

What do you think about this operating room?

As I remember Mom told me this was the sterilizer. This is one of her friends posing for the picture.
Mom in her "scrubs"...

After she graduated she went on to New York City to do post graduate study at Manhatten Eye and Ear (as it was called then). She lived in NYC for several years sharing an apartment with some of her nursing classmates.

As much as my mother loved nursing, she loved my father more. So after their marriage they settled in a more rural area where my father worked for the local power company. (another story for another day...) There was no large hospital locally so she spent several years doing private duty in her home town. She went on and worked many years as a bookkeeper, assistant librarian in the town library and also as a teacher aide in the school. She was a bright and capable woman. She set a wonderful example for me to follow.


10 comments:

City Mouse said...

Wow - you have some amazing photographs. And a terrific knowledge of what exactly is in them. Do you know what you Mom's address was in New York City, or the name of the building, if she was in a young women's hotel? Happy to go take a picture of it for you.

corin said...

love the nursing uniforms...even though she went on to do other things, I bet you could never take the "nurse" out of her.

Shellmo said...

I loved looking at these photos "back in the day"! How great that you have this piece of history - and your mom sounds like she was ahead of her time w/ all her talents!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

How wonderful Cedar to have all of these pictures of your Mom, her schooling, etc. I have some old pictures of my mother--but many of them weren't labeled--so I don't know who is with her or what they were doing. Like I said before, ask your Mom and Dad EVERYTHING you can (get it written down for the generations to come) NOW while you still have them.
Hugs,
Betsy

Cedar ... said...

Thank you all for your nice comments about this post remembering my mother.

CM, I've just checked her trunk that is in my basement, and the shipping label is so faded I can no longer make out the NYC address. If I find the address in other papers I'll let you know.

Betsy, sorry to say that they have both passed on many years ago. But we did have many conversations about past times. I will share more in the future.

NCmountainwoman said...

I loved this post! I am so taken with old pictures, and since I am a nurse these were particularly interesting. Great pieces of history.

If the nursing school still exists, I'll bet they would be interested in having copies of some of those great photographs.

montucky said...

How lucky you are to have those wonderful photographs! They're priceless!

troutbirder said...

There is nothing as interesting as history. Especially family history. I wish I had more family album pictures like yours.

diana said...

Lovely story Cedar. Great old photos too. My auntie went to nursing school at St Josephs in SF just a few years later. Nurses have always been my heros.

Aleta said...

What great photos! And a great story! What a change in our operating rooms today versus back then, huh?
I've been to Amsterdam, NY. My brother-in-law lives in Schenectady. I think we stayed at a Best Western in Amsterdam one of the first times we went up to visit him and he didn't have room at his house for us to stay.