07 October 2014
Frank Wicker over at BottlePickers.com tipped me off to this wonderful, yet bizarre stereoview card on eBay with a mock medical scene, a wizard of some sort, some poor sick lad and a Clara Barton wanna-bee. Take a moment and really look at all the props and symbology used in the image. This all takes place at “She Bang Hospital”. Curious about She Bang?
The earliest known citation of the word uses it as some form of hut or rustic dwelling. That’s in Walt Whitman’s Specimen Days, from Complete Poetry and Collected Prose, 1862:
“Besides the hospitals, I also go occasionally on long tours through the camps, talking with the men, &c. Sometimes at night among the groups around the fires, in their shebang enclosures of bushes.” More
The eBay description reads,
“Here with 1874 ID on the back is this mock medical scene. The wizard like doctor and nurse assistant are attending to the female patient. A Plantation Bitters bottle is seen in the foreground. The back side has an old inked transcription of the sign.”
[Marianne Dow] The lock, key and trident are symbols related to Pluto, aka Hades, God of the Underworld, which I interpret as they’re saying having women nurses could lead to women doctors, and figurally speaking, all hell breaking out, hence the references to explosions and the She-Bang Hospital. There was a huge controversy around the professionalizing of nurses during the Civil War, and of course the eternal Women’s Rights controversy continues. The card mentions Dr. Quintard, who was a well known Civil War doctor who became a noted Episcopal Bishop in Tennessee. I think he likely favored nurses, as he certainly needed all the help he could get as a war time doctor.
Read: Dr. Quintard bio link
Read: Pluto symobols link