Biographical / Historical
The Boyd Family Collection consists primarily of correspondence, recruitment and other posters, personal papers, and photographs of a naval surgeon, John C. Boyd, and his son Walter Willard Boyd.
Dr. John C. Boyd was a surgeon and medical inspector for the United States Navy. Included in the collection is Boyd's Naval Commission, December 19, 1873, his Patient Case Book 1874-1877, and a Letterpress book of his correspondence with other professionals and military officials. As a naval inspector, he not only examined patients' conditions, but he also inspected the sanitation of the soldier's quarters and other areas aboard naval ships.
His son, Dr. Walter Willard Boyd, was a photographer of medical surgeries performed by Dr. Harvey Cushing (1869 1939). Cushing was widely known as the greatest neurosurgeon of the 20th century and his school of neuro surgery was world famous. His contributions to neuroscience were numerous and he was also known as a medical historian. Cushing's biography of Sir William Osler won a Pulitzer Prize in 1926. Boyd interned under Cushing and put together an exhibit at the Bent Brigham Hospital's 30th Anniversary Celebration in honor of Dr. Harvey Cushing's contributions to neuroscience. This collection contains photographs taken by Walter Boyd that were displayed at this exhibit. Dr. Richard U. Light (one of Cushing's last residents and also an avid photographer) and Dr. Boyd filmed Dr. Cushing's 2000th verified brain tumor operation on April 15th, 1931. Two films of this operation are included in the collection. In addition, Scrapbook #3 contains photographs of Dr. Cushing performing operations.
Also contained in this collection is a scrapbook outlining the details of a leg accident of Walter Jones Willard. Walter Jones Willard is the son of C.C. Willard, former owner and proprietor of the Ebbitt Hotel and the Willard Hotel, both in Washington, D.C. Walter Jones Willard and his brother Edward were both graduates of Yale University class of 1892 and were members of the prominent Willard family of D.C.