As the Cruciform Hub welcomes all the new students enrolling over the next few days, we take a look back at what the average Fresher in the medical school looked like in 1942….
U.C.H. Magazine was the journal of University College Hospital and Medical School, and offers an insight into the lives of the medical students, doctors, nurses and other staff working at the Hospital and University.
As part of a regular series we hope to highlight some of the more interesting and unusual articles featured in the magazine.
The magazine also included a number of less serious items, including this photo which was printed in the October – November Edition in 1942 accompanying a humorous article titled “Welcome to the Freshmen – What they Look Like in the U.C.H. Rogues Gallery.”
An early example of photo manipulation, this is a composite photo of every new student starting in the medical school that year. The article explains how it was produced:
“How was it done? Well, all the photographs of the complete October Entry were printed, one on top of the other, on one and the same piece of sensitized paper. And how sensitive it was!
The exposures were of equal length and each sufficient only to produce a very faint image. Great care was taken to get the eyes, nose, and mouth accurately superimposed. By this means a character common to you all [the students] was repeated more frequently and reproduced more clearly.”
The photograph was also sent to a “Giambattista Della Porta” for a “Reading of the Character and Future” without mentioning that was a composite photograph. His verdict includes:
“It is an exceptionally interesting photograph, but I must confess that I am in one or two ways mystified by it.
One thing that has perplexed me is that there is a streak of femininity that is depicted in a freakish, startling, yet subordinated kind of way”
“The face is strong and intellectual and the person is by no means without originality, wit and humour.
He is of a rather sensitive type, easily provoked and rather passionate.”
“The facial lines denoting the possession of a strong intention to benefit the community as a whole are rather strongly defined.”
“The facial lines denoting a strong intention to benefit himself are clear and deeply marked.”
“There is an obvious sign of some obstacle which is interrupting the smooth train of reasoning, which, in a character such as this, should normally be functioning. It is vitally important that this obstacle should be overcome – success and happiness throughout life depend on this.”
Copies of U.C.H. Magazine from 1910-1971 are available for reference in the Cruciform Library under the classmark CRUCIFORM WX 28 UCH.