William R. Scott, Teacher of the Deaf at the West of England Institution

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 21 October 2016

Northumbrian born William Robsson Scott (1811-66), was a son of the physician and magistrate, Dr. Walter Scott (see In Memorium for what follows).  He became a teacher of the deaf, and principal of the West of England Institution in Exeter.  His obituary does not tell us what embarked him on his career as a teacher, but tells us that he was another of those teachers who received early training at the Yorkshire Institution under Charles Baker.  He left there in 1841 to go to Exeter where he stayed until his death, thirty-six years later, though “an attack of paralysis” partially incapacitated him for the last five years of his life.  It seems he must have met his wife, Mary Maundel or Mandell Scott, when he was in Doncaster, where she was from, and they married in London, presumably when he was on his way to Exeter.

Marriages Mar 1841, London

MASON Mary Mandell  – SCOTT William Robson

Mary was the matron at the school.  Indeed, I expect it was the preference of the governing bodies of institutions to appoint a husband and wife team, so perhaps he had to get married, and it may have been a practical marriage rather than a romantic one – we will never know.  They did have several children.

1841 was also the year Mrs Hippisley Tuckfield first became involved with the school.  There is a good chance that Scott was the head when the fictional Arthur in the short story by Mrs Webb was published – in other words, perhaps he and Mr Wheatley were the models for the teachers in her story, Mr Eyre and Mr Johnson.  Her story then may give us a window into the teaching methods in that period.

No less a person than Sir William Wilde, the ENT doctor and father of Oscar, wrote in his book On the Physical, Moral, and Social Condition of the Deaf and Dumb, that “By far the best work that has appeared in this country on the Deaf and Dumb during the present century is by Dr. Scott, the Principal of the West of England Institution at Exeter – a work should be in the hands of every parent or guardian of a mute child.” (Wilde, 1854, p.21).

The school seems to have undergone little external change in its first sixty years – they were publishing this same view in the oldest annual report we have, that for 1884.  West of England School

D.B., In Memorium, William Robson Scott. Magazine intended chiefly for the Deaf and Dumb, 1877, 5, 97-98.

Wilde, William, On the Physical, Moral, and Social Condition of the Deaf and Dumb, 1854

“Why do you sing so loud, aunty,” – Annie Webb-Peploe’s story, Deaf and Dumb

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 14 October 2016

Arthur“Why do you sing so loud, aunty,” said Jessie; “I like to hear you sing softly.”

“I want baby to listen to me,” replied her aunt hastily, and she continued her song even louder than before.

“Stupid little Arthur,” said Jessie.

“Poor little Arthur,” said Aunt Amy, with a heavy sigh.

(Deaf and Dumb)

Annie Molyneux, a prolific, if more or less forgotten Victorian author, was born on the 24th of February 1806 (not 1805 as so many bibliographical details say), daughter to John Molyneux (one of a remarkable fifteen children), and a descendant of Thomas Molyneux, who was born in Calais when it was still English.  Thomas settled in Ireland and the family entered politics, with some of his descendants and Annie’s ancestors becoming Irish MPs.  Annie married John Birch Webb, who became the vicar of Weobley in Herefordshire.  In 1866 he took the surname Peploe, so they became the Webb-Peploe’s.  Annie Webb-Peploe, or Webb in the earlier part of her life, is as I say, hardly known now, but if she is read or remembered, it is probably for the book Naomi: or, The last days of Jerusalem (1841), which is a particular genre of ‘conversion’ literature that Annie wrote a number of books on.  The main character is a Jewish woman who becomes a Christian.  It went through a considerable number of editions, including in the U.S.A., and was also translated to Danish in 1892, and German in 1900.  I did not spot any English edition quite that late, but Valman says that it continued to be published to the end of the century.  It might be interesting to draw parallels between her attitude to “the devoted and impenitent Jews” (Naomi, preface, p. v) and the Deaf people in her short story, Deaf and Dumb (uncertain date).  There is an interesting chapter in Valman’s 2009 book (see reference below), that discusses Naomi. Arthur at school

Deaf and Dumb* tells the story of a deaf boy called Arthur, and his sister Jessie who are orphaned as young children.  They live with their aunt who then sends the boy to be educated at the Exeter School.  The boy is at first educated ‘by signs’, then “when he became an intimate of the asylum it was considered time to cultivate his power of speech, which, strange as it may seem to some of our readers, is actually as perfect with those who are called deaf and dumb as with those who have spoken from infancy” (Chapter 2, page 3 – though the pages of the whole book are unnumbered).  She seems to have taken some trouble with the details of education at Exeter, but I am unclear as to what she means about ‘the art of speaking on the fingers – or dactylology’ (Chapter 2 p.6) – is she referring to sign language or fingerspelling?  The stress seems to be on becoming oral, learning to speak –

The author has heard a deaf and dumb lady read a newspaper quite intelligibly, and also converse with a mutual friend who was also deaf and dumb, and with whom she had been brought up at Braidwood’s establishment.  The tone of their voices was guttural and rather monotonous, but by no means difficult to understand.

Yes it is ‘preachy’ and in my view not terribly well written, but it is interesting.  I suspect the book dates from circa 1860-65 based on her name as it appears – Mrs Webb, and on the few details on her two fellow writers in the collection.  Our copy must I think be very rare indeed.

It is difficult to find out anything much about Annie Webb-Peploe, even though she wrote and published quite a lot over a long period.  She does not as yet appear in the ‘Orlando – Women’s Writing’ pages, unlike two of her three fellow writers who are published in the same volume, Frances Browne and Frances Mary Peard (the third being L.A. Hall).  Her three sons went into the army (Daniel), the navy (Augustus), and the church (Hanmer).  Hanmer was a member of the evangelical ‘Holiness Movement‘, and has an entry in the DNB (see below).  You can see more of her family details here.  She died in 1880.  It seems that she is ripe for some research by someone interested in Victorian literature.  I am sure there are Webb-Peploes around today who might have some family records that would add to the bare details, and a photograph perhaps.

I have saved the whole story as a pdf for those interested.  When opened, right click the file to put it the right way up.  Deaf and Dumb by Mrs Webb

Arthur and Jessie 1http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/n84051745.html

The Jewess in Nineteenth-Century British Literary Culture de Waard, Marco. Gender Forum 21 (2008) (Review)

Valman, Nadia, The Jewess in Nineteenth-Century British Literary Culture, CUP 2009

Online Books by Mrs. Webb-Peploe


My Life on the Prairies

I. T. Foster, ‘Peploe, Hanmer William Webb- (1837–1923)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/47130, accessed 3 Oct 2016] – see also here.



Maintaining Current Awareness with Journals

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 7 October 2016

By Ed Lyon

UCL subscribes to 50,000 electronic journals, and a wide range of journals received only in print format.  There are dozens of journals which publish in the fields of audiology and otorhinolaryngology – it can be very difficult to monitor these journals for developments and maintain one’s current awareness: but it need not be.  There are several tools which can help you keep up to date.

At the most basic levels are things like Google Scholar alerts, requiring a Google account which is easy to set up.  These however bring you rather variable results.  You can put in terms you’re interested in, such as “cochlear implant”, and make more complex searches, e.g. “cochlear implant” and author:waltzmann.  This type of search is better than nothing but, depending on the terms used, may return a great deal of dross for every result of interest.

More useful material can be achieved through running regular searches through Medline.  To do this you need to create an account, design and input your search and adjust the update settings. This is not as onerous a task as it sounds, but Medline uses medical subject headings – MeSH – which can be confusing when you first encounter them. Please call in or contact us and we will talk you through the steps.

Most journal websites allow you to set up alerts to receive electronic tables of contents.  This can be a useful way of keeping up to date, but does rely on your seeing and acting on the emails.  If you receive a lot of emails these may be missed.

However, UCL has a subscription to Browzine, which can be accessed through the Library website.  Go to http://metalib.ucl.ac.uk/V/?func=find-db-1-title&mode=titles&scan_start=b&search_type=start&restricted=all and scroll down; you will need your UCL username and password if using it offsite.UCL jnls 1

This search for ‘audiology’ has turned up a number of journals, e.g. ‘Audiology and Neuro-Otology’: and two subjects, audiology and rehabilitative audiology. These expand to reveal a further range of journals:UCL jnls 2

You can add journals to a virtual bookshelf after creating an account, and then return to Browzine.  You can see a video about it here:


The Bolton Deaf F.C Team in 1905

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 23 September 2016

The Bolton Deaf Football Club in 1905, pictures fourteen members.  I thought it might be interesting to try and trace as many of them as we can.  I immediately recognized Ernest Ayliffe in the back row, so I will leave him out as he has already featured in these web pages.  He took over as Bolton missioner after Ernest Abraham left for Australia, assisted by John Shannon.  Shannon left fot Chester in 1911, and Ayliffe for Liverpool in 1914 (Ephphatha p.630).

James Hayhurst:  He was born in France, circa 1882, a British subject, and in 1905 he would have been 23/4.   In the 1901 census he was living at 8 Latham Street, and is described as an apprentice clog maker, ‘Deaf and Dumb from childhood’.

Bolton DFC 19051901 – James Hayhurst Class: RG13; Piece: 3627; Folio: 33; Page: 24

Ernest John Yarnall was born in 1883, son of George, a mill furnace man at an ironworks, and his wife Ann, both of whom were orriginally from Staffordshire.  He was apprenticed as a carpenter in 1901, and was living in Bridgman St. with his parents and sister Edith.  The 1911 census tells us he was now a joiner, and had been deaf aged 10 or 11 months.  In 1909 he married Annie Haslam, born 1880 who was deaf when aged three.  I think Ernest died in 1954, but that needs checking.

1901 census Class: RG13; Piece: 3625; Folio: 136; Page: 7

1911 census Class: RG14; Piece: 23413

Samuel Haslam was a younger brother of Annie.  They were born in Bradshaw where their mother Mary was a farmer.  In 1901 Samuel was a wheelwright.  Curiously he is not marked as deaf on the 1911 census, but the census information is not always complete and there can be degrees of deafness of course.

1901 census Class: RG13; Piece: 3615; Folio: 11; Page: 11

Samuel Irlam: He was Bolton born in 1889, and his mother, brother James and sister-in-law Sarah Ann were all deaf.  He would have been about 16 when the photograph was taken.  On the 1911 census form his mother wrote under infirmity,  ‘Born from birth,’ ‘B from birth’, and ‘Deaf from birth,’ which is what she really meant.  For her grand daughter she wrote ‘alright’.  Samuel attended the Royal School in Manchester when William Nelson was headmaster, as did J.T. Hamer, Herbert Penn(e)y (try both spellings) and Joseph Griffin.

1911 census Class: RG14; Piece: 23321

A shortage of time restricted what I could research here – I hope to come back and add some more of the players, but if anyone has some information they can contribute, please put it in the comments space below.

Update: Our friend, historain Norma McGilp, has added this information she gleaned from the Manchester School records –

Manchester Deaf Institution records

James Hayhurst born 1880 – admitted 6 Aug 1890 – Bolton – father Warper.  His brother, Allan Hayhurst (not in school record) (born 1875) m Clara Brindle – son Allan Brindle Hayhurst (1913-1981) of the BDA (Sec/Treas).

Joseph Taylor Hamer – born 26 April 1887, adm 22 Jan 1895, Turton, father dead.

Herbert Penney born 15 Sept 1885, adm 13 Aug 1894, Bolton, father tailor.

Ernest John Yarnall [Yarnell] born 3 Jan 1883, adm 12 Feb 1890, Bolton, father Furnace-man.

Samuel Haslam born 28 Feb 1881 – admitted 7 Aug 1889, Bolton, father farmer (siblings – Robert Haslam b 6 Nov 1877 adm 2 Aug 1887, Annie Haslam born 16 Apr 1880, admitted 2 Aug 1887).

Samuel Hamer born 16 Dec 1882, adm 4 March 1890 Ramsbottom, father labourer.

James Smethhurst b June 25 1880, adm April 1889 Macclesfield, father tailor.

Joseph Smethurst b 11 July 1883, adt 4 Aug 1891 Bolton, father labourer.

Joseph Griffin born April 18 1885, adm 13 Aug 1894, Broughton, father Musical Instrument maker.

Samuel Irlam born 11 May 1887, adm 7 Aug 1894, Bolton, father ‘Beetler at a croft’ (brother David Thos Irlam born Aug 7 1878 adm 1 Apr 1891, Hallwell, father a crofter).



Historical sketch. British Deaf Monthly, 1896, 6, 31-36. (photos of missioners)

History and work. Ephphatha, 1922, 52, 630-631.

The Messenger, vol.7 1904 p. 150 (photo)


An American Periodical, The National Deaf Mute Gazette, 1867-8

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 9 September 2016

The National Deaf Mute Gazette was published in Boston, with the first volume in January, 1867.  We have two volumes in the library.  It was edited by William Martin Chamberlain, with offices in 221 Washington Street.  He was a remarkable Deaf man, who lost his hearing from measles, aged 5 or eight (Braddock, p.11 and for what follows).  Born on the 13th of July, 1832, in South Reading, Massachusetts, he spent some years as a fisherman in Marblehead, then tried various trades including that of a printer, which obviously stood him in good stead for producing newspapers.  His lipreading skills were such that he bluffed his way into the Union Army in the Civil War, but was dismissed when he failed to answer a sentry.  He was fortunate not to be shot as happened to other deaf people in the two world wars.  It shows us what a good deal of gumption he had!  He ran The Marblehead Messenger for a while, then a couple of issues of a comic magazine, before that failed (ibid).DMG 2

The National Deaf Mute Gazette is beautifully produced, on good quality paper.  It contains stories about deaf people, farming tips, foreign deaf news, and so on.  It followed on from Gallaudet Guide and Deaf-Mute’s Companion, but it folded in 1868, and  was succeeded by The Deaf-Mute’s Friend.  He was nothing if not persistent and determined.  Chamberlain was not the owner however, and as early as October, 1867, “Packard & Holmes” are described as editors and proprietors, with Philo W. Packard as editor and proprietor by February 1868 (out copy lacks issue 13, January 1868).   Guilbert Braddock says, “These three early ventures started the graveyard of silent periodicals, which has now attained a considerable acreage.”  The same could be said of newspapers on this side of the Atlantic.  DMG 1

After this venture he became an ‘instructor’ at the New York Institution for the Deaf in 1875, dying in 1895 (ibid, p.12).

It looks worth a little study, and I have found no article considering it other than in passing – though that was only after a brief search.  Articles and obituaries are always of great interest for genealogical research as well, and there are some here.


Click on images for a larger size.

Braddock, Guilbert, Notable Deaf Persons. 1975

Lane, H, Pillard, R.C., & French, Mary, Origins of the American Deaf-World: Assimilating and Differentiating Societies and Their ERelation to Genetic patterning. In, Emmorey, K, & Lane, Harlan, eds.  The signs of language revisited : an anthology to honor Ursula Bellugi and Edward Klima, 2000  


Wind turbines and sleep – a short literature search

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 7 September 2016

After tweeting a recent article on wind turbine noise and sleep (the third below) I thought it might be timely to look at some recent articles in Medline.  Some of these are freely available – follow the links to PubMed to see the abstracts or the articles where available.  It will not have escaped some of you that wind turbines can also affect wildlife.  There is one particular article just out that surveys the literature with regard the cetaceans, freely available, Consolidating the State of Knowledge: A Synoptical Review of Wind Energy’s Wildlife Effects.

As ever, when you consider how valuable an article it is, examine it critically, for example sample size, whether it is original research or a review article, and so on.  This wiki page may help if you are new to this.

Jalali L, Nezhad-Ahmadi MR, Gohari M, Bigelow P, McColl S.  The impact of psychological factors on self-reported sleep disturbance among people living in the vicinity of wind turbines. Environ Res. 2016 Jul;148:401-10. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2016.04.020. Epub 2016 Apr 29.

Michaud DS, Feder K, Keith SE, Voicescu SA, Marro L, Than J, Guay M, Denning A, McGuire D, Bower T, Lavigne E, Murray BJ, Weiss SK, van den Berg F.  Exposure to wind turbine noise: Perceptual responses and reported health effects. J Acoust Soc Am. 2016 Mar;139(3):1443-54. doi: 10.1121/1.4942391.

Kageyama T, Yano T, Kuwano S, Sueoka S, Tachibana H. Exposure-response relationship of wind turbine noise with self-reported symptoms of sleep and health problems: A nationwide socioacoustic survey in Japan.Noise Health. 2016 Mar-Apr;18(81):53-61. doi: 10.4103/1463-1741.178478.

Michaud DS, Feder K, Keith SE, Voicescu SA, Marro L, Than J, Guay M, Denning A, Murray BJ, Weiss SK, Villeneuve PJ, van den Berg F, Bower T. Effects of Wind Turbine Noise on Self-Reported and Objective Measures of Sleep.Sleep. 2016 Jan 1;39(1):97-109. doi: 10.5665/sleep.5326.

Abbasi M, Monazzam MR, Akbarzadeh A, Zakerian SA, Ebrahimi MH. Impact of wind turbine sound on general health, sleep disturbance and annoyance of workers: a pilot- study in Manjil wind farm, Iran.  J Environ Health Sci Eng. 2015 Oct 12;13:71. doi: 10.1186/s40201-015-0225-8. eCollection 2015.

Feder K, Michaud DS, Keith SE, Voicescu SA, Marro L, Than J, Guay M, Denning A, Bower TJ, Lavigne E, Whelan C, van den Berg F.  An assessment of quality of life using the WHOQOL-BREF among participants living in the vicinity of wind turbines.Environ Res. 2015 Oct;142:227-38. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2015.06.043. Epub 2015 Jul 11.

Onakpoya IJ, O’Sullivan J, Thompson MJ, Heneghan CJ. The effect of wind turbine noise on sleep and quality of life: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies.Environ Int. 2015 Sep;82:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2015.04.014. Epub 2015 May 16. Review.

Schmidt JH, Klokker M. Health effects related to wind turbine noise exposure: a systematic review.PLoS One. 2014 Dec 4;9(12):e114183. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0114183. eCollection 2014. Review.

Magari SR, Smith CE, Schiff M, Rohr AC. Evaluation of community response to wind turbine-related noise in western New York state.Noise Health. 2014 Jul-Aug;16(71):228-39. doi: 10.4103/1463-1741.137060.

Knopper LD, Ollson CA, McCallum LC, Whitfield Aslund ML, Berger RG, Souweine K, McDaniel M.  Wind turbines and human health.Front Public Health. 2014 Jun 19;2:63. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2014.00063. eCollection 2014. Review.

Pawlaczyk-Łuszczyńska M, Dudarewicz A, Zaborowski K, Zamojska-Daniszewska M, Waszkowska M.  Evaluation of annoyance from the wind turbine noise: a pilot study.Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2014 Jun;27(3):364-88. doi: 10.2478/s13382-014-0252-1. Epub 2014 May 13.

Rubin GJ, Burns M, Wessely S.  Possible psychological mechanisms for “wind turbine syndrome”. On the windmills of your mind.Noise Health. 2014 Mar-Apr;16(69):116-22. doi: 10.4103/1463-1741.132099.

Roberts JD, Roberts MA.  Wind turbines: is there a human health risk?J Environ Health. 2013 Apr;75(8):8-13, 16-7.

Hume KI, Brink M, Basner M. Effects of environmental noise on sleep.Noise Health. 2012 Nov-Dec;14(61):297-302. doi: 10.4103/1463-1741.104897. Review.

Nissenbaum MA, Aramini JJ, Hanning CD.  Effects of industrial wind turbine noise on sleep and health.Noise Health. 2012 Sep-Oct;14(60):237-43. doi: 10.4103/1463-1741.102961.

Chapman S. Editorial ignored 17 reviews on wind turbines and health.BMJ. 2012 May 15;344:e3366; author reply e3367. doi: 10.1136/bmj.e3366. No abstract available.

Bakker RH, Pedersen E, van den Berg GP, Stewart RE, Lok W, Bouma J. Impact of wind turbine sound on annoyance, self-reported sleep disturbance and psychological distress.Sci Total Environ. 2012 May 15;425:42-51. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.03.005. Epub 2012 Apr 3.

Shepherd D, McBride D, Welch D, Dirks KN, Hill EM.  Evaluating the impact of wind turbine noise on health-related quality of life.Noise Health. 2011 Sep-Oct;13(54):333-9. doi: 10.4103/1463-1741.85502.

Knopper LD, Ollson CA. Health effects and wind turbines: a review of the literature.Environ Health. 2011 Sep 14;10:78. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-10-78. Review.

Pedersen E, Persson Waye K.  Wind turbine noise, annoyance and self-reported health and well-being in different living environments.Occup Environ Med. 2007 Jul;64(7):480-6. Epub 2007 Mar 1.

Picture of Selwyn Oxley

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 19 August 2016

This is Selwyn Oxley, whose historical collection is at our heart, looking out of a roof!  Compilation of statistics took my time from writing a blog today!

Oxley on roofPhotographer unknown, possibly Hallett, one of the south London deaf photographers who worked for him at one time or another… Circa 1920.


“Lamentable Death of a Medical Man” or how not to treat tinnitus – Joseph Toynbee

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 12 August 2016

Joseph Toynbee

Lincolnshire born Joseph Toynbee (1815-66) was a pioneer otologist.  He attended school in King’s Lynn, then was apprenticed to William Wade of the Westminster General Dispensary, and later on at St George’s and University College hospitals (Weir).  In 1842 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society, surely one of the youngest fellows, for “his researches demonstrating that articular cartilage, the cornea, the crystalline lens, the vitreous humour, and the epidermal appendages contained no blood-vessels” (Plarr’s Lives of the Fellows).  He was early on an opponent of the ‘aurists’ like John Harrison Curtis, writing letters to The Lancet on the matter.  Curtis claimed that some deafness came “from a want of action of the ceruminous glands” – that is a lack of wax.

Toynbee belongs to the great set of scientists, like John Scott Haldane, who tried self-experimentation.  In the case of Toynbee this did not end well. The Leeds Mercury begins its story on Toynbee’s end as follows –

Lamentable Death of a Medical Man
Yesterday afternoon a very painful investigation took place before Mr. C.St. Clare Bedford and a select jury at the New Vestry-hall, St. James’s, Piccadilly […] which was caused by the inhalation of chloroform and cyanic acid while prosecuting experiments for the advancement of science. […]
He was continually in the habit of making experiments on himself for scientific purposes and for the relief of suffering mankind. (The Leeds Mercury)

His man-servant George Power described how he saw a patient in the afternoon for a few minutes. Shortly after another patient called & Power entered the room to find Toynbee lying with a piece of cotton wool over his nose and mouth. He thought he was asleep but removing the cotton wool realised that something was wrong then ran off down Savile Row trying to get another doctor to assist, to no avail. In the meantime Dr. Orlando Markham, a colleague from St. Mary’s hospital, had heard that Toynbee was in need of help, but arrived to find him dead. With another friend, Dr. Arthur Leared, they tried artificial respiration for half an hour.  It seems from papers and a watch on his chairs, that he was trying “The effect of inhalation of the vapour of chloroform for singing in the ears so as to be forced to the tynpanum, either by being taken in by the breath through a towel or a sponge, producing a beneficial sensation or warmth”,  and “The effect of chloroform combined with hydrocyanic acid”.  He died on the 7th of July 1866, either from the chloroform, or the combination (The Morning Post, Leeds Mercury).  

Toynbee 2We have a copy of Toynbee’s A Descriptive Catalogue of Preparations illustrative of the Diseases of the Ear in the Museum of Joseph Toynbee that must have been given by Toynbee as it is signed ‘from the author’, to Henry Hancock the surgeon, like Toynbee one of the original 300 fellows of the Royal College of SurgeonsHe was not an ENT specialist, so perhaps that is why he then donated the book to the Charing Cross Hospital with which he had a long association.  The Catalogue describes items in Toynbee’s collection, which ended up in the Hunterian but was lost during the war in an air raid.  A page here shows that foreign bodies in ears are not new!Toyb

In the introduction he writes,

When, in the year 1839, I entered upon a systematic study of the diseases of the ear, the conviction was soon forced upon me, that its pathology had been almost entirely neglected. This conviction induced me to commence a series of dissections of that organ, which have continued up to the present time, and now amount to 1,659.

Toynbee 3

Above is a page from his book  The diseases of the ear: their nature, diagnosis, and treatment (1868) which demonstrates use of a eustachian catheter.

An experiment in chloroform (from the website of our friend)  Dr. Jaipreet Virdi-Dhesi, From the Hands of Quacks

Curtis J.H., Employment of creosote in deafness. Lancet 1838, 31 328-30

The Leeds Mercury (Leeds, England), Thursday, July 12, 1866; Issue 8813. British Library Newspapers, Part I: 1800-1900

The Morning Post (London, England), Wednesday, July 11, 1866; pg. 3; Issue 28886. British Library Newspapers, Part II: 1800-1900

Mudry A., The making of a career: Joseph Toynbee‘s first steps in otology. J Laryngol Otol. 2012 Jan;126(1):2-7. doi: 10.1017/S0022215111002465. Epub 2011 Sep 5.

Neil Weir, ‘Toynbee, Joseph (1815–1866)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/27647, accessed 12 Aug 2016] 

John Wallis – the Sermons, and his Letter to Robert Boyle “Teaching a person Dumb and Deaf to speak”

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 1 August 2016

The Sermons (1791 edition) are not what I would call my literature of choice, but John Wallis was notable for us in his attempts to educate a deaf boy, Alexander Popham.  It was the cause of a huge row in the early Royal Society, as William Holder said that he had taught Popham, and this was not acknowledged by Wallis.Scanned from a Xerox Multifunction Device

A memoir of Wallis, with additional notes by the Rev. C.E. de Coetlogon, says,

About the year 1653 he published his “tractatus de Loquela Grammatici-Physicus,” since reprinted many times; wherein he gives a particular account of the physical or mechanical formation of sounds used in speech, or expressed by the letters of several languages: a design which is not known to have been (before him) undertaken by any person; in pursuance of which, he hath undertaken, with success, to teach some dumb persons to speak.  To which is added, a letter of the Doctor’s to Mr. Thomas Beverly, concerning his method of instruction, which he says he had taught Mr. Alexander Popham, born deaf, to speak distinctly, and to express his mind tolerably well by writing, and to understand what was written to him by others, as he had also done to Mr. Daniel Whaley. (p.lvii)

SheridaneOur copy came from the library of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, the celebrated playright.  Quite why he was interested in Wallis I cannot say – perhaps he bought his books in bulk, perhaps Sheridan was just interested in the ideas and use of language.  Selwyn Oxley also bought a collection of Wallis’s essays on The Doctrine of the Blessed Trinity, ex libris one John Bedford, and Number 61 of the Philosophical Transactions from 1670, which contains the letter of Wallis to Robert Boyle “concerning the said doctors Essay of Teaching a person Dumb and Deaf to speak, and to understand a Language” etc.  Wallis does tell us that Popham may have been able to speak previously, having lost his hearing ‘by accident’ aged about five, ‘but doth scarce remember it’ (p.1093).   I attach the complete short essay here – A Letter of Doctor John Wallis to Robert Boyle Esq.

This is the first page below, sadly covered with Oxley’s spidery hand!

Wallis 2An audio file of a Royal Society talk by David Cram on Wallis and his dispute with Holder is to be found here.  Unfortunately there is still no video for some reason – see comments below – https://royalsociety.org/science-events-and-lectures/2012/wallis-holder-dispute/

Also, if you read the comments you will note that David Cram and Jaap Maat are writing a book on the notebook of Popham.




James Kerr Love, Scottish Aurist, friend of Helen Keller, 1858-1942

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 22 July 2016

Kerr Love 2James Kerr Love was one of the leading British otologists of the early 20th century, but will be remembered more for his involvement with deaf children and his friendship with Helen Keller than for his surgical skills (BMJ, 1942).

It was this less spectacular work that lay nearest to his heart, and he spared himself nothing in its pursuit. […] In Dr. Kerr Love they had for many years a sympathetic and tireless champion, who wrote, lectured, and organized on their behalf with unflagging energy. (ibid)

He was born in Beith, Ayrshire, a ‘son of the manse’.  He was educated in Glasgow High School and the University of Glasgow, becoming an M.D. in 1888 writing his thesis, “The Limits of Hearing” (ibid, & BDM p.128).  He was a surgeon at Glasgow Royal Infirmary for thirty years, and worked for the Glasgow Institution for the Deaf and Dumb.  It was with his colleague, Dr. Addison, head of that Institute, and later Missioner for the deaf in Salisbury diocese, that he wrote the book Deaf Mutism (1896).  His father-in-law was the Rev. Joseph Corbet or Corbett.  He died on the 30th/31st of May, 1942, at Sunnyside, West Kilbride, Ayrshire.

It is hard to briefly summarise Kerr Love’s views on education, and he does stress that it is a matter for teachers.  Let us look at a couple of passages with his own words.  At the end of his 1906 book, Diseases of the Ear, he says,

So far as State arrangements for the education of the deaf and dumb are concerned, it seems to the author that in every large community two schools for the deaf should exist :-

1. One containing all the semi-deaf, the totally deaf with much residual speech, and the ordinary deaf mute who makes good progress on the oral method.  Nothing but the oral method should be adopted in this institution.  Signs should be used as little as possible, and finger spelling should be prohibited.  All deaf children should pass their first year in this school.
2. A school min which the finger method or a combination ogf the oral and finger methods is taught.  It is the writer’s opinion that at least half of the deaf-mute children would ultimately find their way into this second school.(p.320)

He seems to have maintained this view that sign language was only good enough for those unable to learn spoken language, writing in 1936 (in The Deaf Child, p.109),

Some of the schools describe themselves as oral schools, some as combined schools.  But if it is difficult to define a combined method, it is more difficult to define a combined method school.

I am now speaking of the institutions and not of the day-schools, and I state that, apart from theose in Manchester and London, all the residential institutions I have visited are combined schools.  Only in these two cities do arrangements exist for the separation of the defective deaf, who should be taught manually, from the ordinary deaf child, who should ber taught orally. (p.109)

It is probably unfair to give a couple of quotes out of the full context of his thought, and his views seem more nuanced than these quotations might make him appear. His work is worthy of consideration in the history of deaf education in the period from 1890 to the 1930s, as he was well known and widely read, being involved in the foundation of the National Bureau for Promoting the General Welfare of the Deaf.  They published his monograph consisting of four essays, The Causes and Prevention of Deafness (1912).

We see him here with his friend, Helen Keller.  She was such a celebrity, perhaps one of the first modern celebrities, that everyone wanted to meet her or be seen with her, poets, politicians, doctors etc.  Selwyn Oxley contacted Kerr Love when she came to the UK in 1932, as he too wanted to meet her.  I love Kerr Love’s reply – “I cannot see what she can make of your library unless it be in Braille.”  These notes were later stuck into a copy of one of his books by Oxley.Kerr Love note 1

Kerr Love note 2Kerr LoveKerr Love, J. & W.H. Addison.  Deaf-mutism.  1904

Kerr Love, J. & W.H. Addison.  The education of the deaf and (so-called) dumb: two papers, by James Kerr Love and W.H.Addison. Glasgow: Philosophical Society of Glasgow, 1893.

Kerr Love, J. & W.H. Addison.  A statement on the subject of methods of education, by James Kerr Love, with remarks thereon by W.H.Addison. Glasgow: James Cameron, 1893.

Kerr Love, James (ed).  Helen Keller in Scotland, a personal record written by herself.  1933

Kerr Love, James. Deafness and Common Sense. 1936

Obituary: James Kerr Love, M.D., LL.D. The British Medical Journal, Vol. 1, No. 4250 (Jun. 20, 1942), p. 775

Deaf-mutism, by J. Kerr Love, & W.H. Addison, (review) The British Deaf-Mute p.126-8, Vol. 5 1895-6