History Of Medicine In New Jersey Lecture Series Continues

PISCATAWAY – On Wednesday, Nov. 17, Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission and the Cornelius Low House/Middlesex County Museum will present, “Deadly Epidemic Strikes New Jersey! The History Behind the Headlines,” with historian and guest curator Karen Reeds.

This lecture is the second in a four-part series based on the exhibit, “Call the Doctor! Call the Nurse! History of Medicine in New Jersey, 1775 – 1975,” currently on display at the Cornelius Low House Museum. Beginning at 7 p.m., this lecture will take place in the Indian Queen Tavern at East Jersey Olde Towne Village, 1050 River Road, Piscataway. The lecture series is free and open to the public.


Today’s New Jersey residents have faced swine flu, West Nile, Lyme disease, anthrax, and AIDS. In past centuries, it was outbreaks of cholera, smallpox, polio, diphtheria, malaria, and Spanish flu that struck fear in New Jersey communities. How did families cope? What can we learn from their experience? How have New Jersey doctors, nurses, and scientists fought these terrifying diseases? Take a look behind the headlines into the past, present, and future of epidemics.

Karen Reeds, PhD, is the author of “A State of Health: New Jersey’s Medical Heritage, Botany in Medieval and Renaissance Universities,” co-author of “Today’s Medicine, Tomorrow’s Science” and many articles and book reviews. She contributed entries on medicine and public health to the Encyclopedia of New Jersey and Mapping New Jersey. She has served as curator for exhibitions at the New Jersey Veterans’ Museum, Rutgers University, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey State Museum, and American Swedish Historical Museum of Philadelphia. Her research interests range from medieval herbals to the modern biomedical sciences.

The exhibition, “Call the Doctor! Call the Nurse! History of Medicine in New Jersey, 1775 – 1975,” is on display through June 26, 2011 at the Cornelius Low House Museum, 1225 River Road, Piscataway. It is open to the public Tuesday through Friday and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. School and group tours are welcome. Call 1-732-745-4177 for more information.

Future lectures include:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 7 p.m. – “Archaeo-Forensics,” presented by Anna N. Dhody, Curator, Mütter Museum, at East Jersey Olde Towne Village

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 6 p.m. – “A Yardful of Remedies! A Walking Tour of Medicinal Plants,” presented by Karen Reeds, Guest Curator, on the grounds of the Cornelius Low House/Middlesex County Museum

To register for the lectures, call 1-732-745-4489. Persons with hearing disabilities may dial 1-732-745-3888 (TTY users only) or 711, the New Jersey Relay System. East Jersey Olde Towne Village and the Cornelius Low House Museum are accessible sites. An Assistive Listening System is available and will be in use during the programs. An American Sign Language interpreter can be provided without charge with a two-week advance request. Wheelchairs are also available upon request for visitors who may need assistance from the parking lot to the program.

Funded in part by Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission and New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.

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