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Country Doctor Museum receives midwifery set, historical photo
(Aug. 6, 2010)
The Country Doctor Museum has received a patient care set that belonged to a midwife who practiced in Sweden in the late 19th century.
Emma Sandberg Vico trained at the time when Sweden had an extensive state-sponsored system of midwives that resulted in much lower maternal mortality rates than the United States. Vico moved to the United States in 1901 and worked as a midwife in Illinois.
The gift comes from Providence Archives in Seattle through the efforts of Melissa Nasea, historian librarian at East Carolina University’s Laupus Library.
“Our collection lacked any midwifery objects, so we felt fortunate to be able to add this set to the museum,” said Anne Anderson, curator. The set will be lent to Laupus Library this fall for exhibit.
Another new item on display is a photograph of Cornelius Henry Brantley in medical school in the late 1880s.
One of the buildings on the museum grounds is the two-room doctor’s office of Dr. Brantley, originally located in Stanhope in Nash County. Descendants Alan and Betsy Brantley of Boone donated the photograph which shows Brantley and fellow medical students with a dissected cadaver. They also donated Brantley’s 1887 medical school diploma from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Baltimore. The diploma is on display next to the photograph.
Finally, the medicinal herb garden is in full bloom with more than 30 varieties of plants and herbs with traditional medicinal values. Old and new favorites include foxglove used to treat heart conditions, lemon verbena to reduce a fever, and sweet flag to temper a baby’s colic.
Master Gardener Louise Rogers of Louisburg helped plant and donated several new varieties to the garden. The garden is part of the guided museum tour or guests can visit the garden on their own during museum hours 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, visit www.countrydoctormuseum.org or call 252-235-4165.