Polioforever's Blog

The Treatment



 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_lung , invented in 1928          


  The Jewish Hospital for Joint Diseases (HJD)- est.1905 by the Frauenthal and Rothschild families; orthopedic surgery (currently part of NYU) http://www.nyuhjd.org/hjd/about_us/history.html [see Henry Frauenthal page https://polioforever.wordpress.com/henry-frauenthal/ ] Corrective surgery for polio http://www.post-polio.org/edu/pphnews/pph11-3a.html


  Sister Elizabeth Kenny developed rigorous methods of hot-packing and physical therapy  —  “On April 14, 1940, Elizabeth Kenny, a broad-shouldered Australian Army nurse in a wide-brimmed hat, disembarked from an ocean liner, and stepped onto a pier in Los Angeles…She lacked formal education, was not above obfuscation about her qualifications…She was a provincial woman, a homemade nurse without solid professional credentials, practicing what doctors (nearly all men) saw as insubordination….Sister Kenny knew that the medical establishment, at least in Australia, would not tolerate her….If her formulation of the problem was homespun, it was leavened by hope and enthusiasm. A redeeming positivism ran through out the Kenny method. She energetically set upon the affected arms and legs of her patients.” http://www.skally.net/ppsc/swaim.html

“Sister Kenny came to Minnesota in 1940 and established the Sister Kenny Institute in 1942…This archival collection (1937-1992) documents Kenny’s life and career http://www.mnhs.org/library/tips/history_topics/91kenny.html


                                                        The Clinics, historic and contemporary

Mayo Clinic – “Frank Krusen, MD established the Physical Medicine Program at the Mayo Clinic in 1936… Krusen coined the word ‘Physiatrist’ to describe..physicians who were..adding physical medicine to medical therapeutics to treat neurological and musculoskeletal disorders. Krusen wrote the first widely used textbook..in 1941..[and] is recognized as the ‘Father of Physical Medicine’.  http://www.physiatry.org/Field_history.cfm


San Francisco Children’s Hospital – world’s busiest polio hospital in its time


Warm Springs GA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roosevelt_Warm_Springs_Institute_for_Rehabilitation; October 1924, during FDR and Eleanor’s first visit to the Warm Springs spa, he wrote to his mother, “When I get back I am going to have a long talk with Mr. George Foster Peabody who is really the controlling interest in the property. I feel that a great ‘cure’ for infantile paralysis..could be established here.” http://georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu/FDRvisit.htm


 Henry J. Kaiser, Kabat-Kaiser Polio Institute

Kaiser Permanente History — originally organized in 1938 by Henry J. and Edgar F. Kaiser with Dr. Sidney Garfield to give prepaid medical care to the workers at the Grand Coulee Dam site. During the war, the Kaisers engaged neurologist Herman Kabat to merge their joint interests, which led to the creation of the first Kabat-Kaiser Institute in Washington, D.C. in 1946. In 1948, a second institute was built in Vallejo, Ca. and a third in Santa Monica followed in 1950. http://www.ipnfa.org/index.php?id=113.
   “On August 21, 1942, when the Permanente Foundation Hospital (old Fabiola) was dedicated, Henry Kaiser enumerated the goals of the health plan. One, he said, was ‘to provide funds for research in industrial medicine.’ ” http://xnet.kp.org/permanentejournal/Fall01/genes.html
In 1944, Henry Kaiser developed multiple sclerosis: “Also included [in his posterity papers] is correspondence..concerning the 1957 industrial preview and inauguration of a nuclear reactor, designed and built by the Henry J. Kaiser Company at Idaho Falls, Idaho.”  http://www.oac.cdlib.org/view?docId=tf3x0nb00m;developer=local;query=;style=oac4;view=admin
New York University – “Rusk Institute was founded in 1948 by Dr. Howard A. Rusk, widely known as ‘the father of rehabilitation medicine’…In 2006, the Rusk Institute combined its programs with the Rehabilitation Program at NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases.”  http://ctsi.med.nyu.edu/about-us/nyu-resources
Roanoke, VA
“..1950 was a record year for polio in Virginia and..Virginia ranked second in the nation in the incidence of polio per capita in 1950.” http://www.ott.zynet.co.uk/polio/lincolnshire/library/drhenry/virginiaepidemic.html ; the epicenter of Virginia’s polio was the crossroads town of Wytheville, in the narrow Blue Ridge corridor. Drs. Charles Bray and Louis Ripley at Roanoke’s Memorial and Crippled Childrens Hospital treated hundreds of these patients, later establishing the Roanoke Orthopedic Clinic in 1955. www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke%5Cwb/49267
The Shepherd Center, Atlanta GA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shepherd_Center (MS specialty)
FrenchPolioCombo.jpg image by LuluFatale


Methylene Blue http://www.answers.com/topic/methylene-blue ; used extensively in veterinary care for ‘nitrate toxicosis’, methylene blue was first applied in human medicine as an anti-malarial and was found to be an effective treament for polio

Ascorbic Acid – “In 1949 Klenner described his successful treatment of polio…using ascorbic acid. The main value of his work is in showing that any viral disease can be successfully brought under control with ascorbic acid if the proper large doses are used…..Millions have been spent in unsuccessful attempts to find a nontoxic, effective virucide….while, harmless, inexpensive, and non-toxic ascorbic acid has been within easy reach.”—Dr. Irwin Stone

“Although we were able to cure many cases of polio with massive doses of ascorbic acid, one single instance demonstrates the value of vitamin C. Two brothers were sick with poliomyelitis. These two boys were given 10 and 12 grams of ascorbic acid, according to weight, intravenously with a 50 c.c. syringe, every eight hours for 4 times and then every 12 hours for 4 times. They also were given one gram every two hours by mouth around the clock. They made complete recovery and both were athletic stars in high school and college. A third child, a neighbour, under the care of another physician received no ascorbic acid. This child also lived. The young lady is still wearing braces.”—Dr Klenner http://www.whale.to/vaccine/polio.html

Vitamin C paper by Frederick R. Klenner, M.D., F.C.C.P. http://www.orthomed.com/klenner.htm “The Treatment of Poliomyelitis and Other Virus Diseases with Vitamin C: Klenner, Southern Medicine & Surgery, July, 1949 “The treatment employed [in the poliomyelitis epidemic in North Carolina in 1948, 60 cases] was vitamin C in massive doses… given like any other antibiotic every two to four hours. The initial dose was 1000 to 2000 mg., depending on age. Children up to four years received the injections intramuscularly … For patients treated in the home the dose schedule was 2000 mg. by needle every six hours, supplemented by 1000 to 2000 mg. every two hours by mouth … dissolved in fruit juice … All patients were clinically well after 72 hours. Where spinal taps were performed, it was the rule to find a reversion of the fluid to normal after the second day of treatment.”



“During the epidemics, hundreds of articles and books were written by health practitioners concerning the treatment of patients with polio….When concern regarding polio patients’ emotional well-being was expressed in the clinical literature it was more likely to be for adults who had contracted the disease than for children.”…”The lack of concern for child patients’ feelings reflects the health care and child rearing ideologies of the times. In describing the hospitalisation of children in the first two thirds of this century in Britain, Darbyshire wrote that, “the history of paediatric care is one where improvements in child health existed side-by-side with a disregard for the humane side of child and family care which seems almost barbaric today”
“Opposition to more humane care of children in hospital was pervasive.”
“Greater recognition of the stress polio patients experienced began to emerge in the medical literature toward the end of the epidemics. An article that appeared in the American Journal of Physical Medicine in 1952 (13) warned nursing staff that their management philosophy of not “spoiling” children with polio in reality increased their anxiety, dependency and hostility”…
“Late in the epidemics several articles discussed the severe stress experienced by polio patients who required respiratory support (23,28,31). Some patients were reported as experiencing hallucinations when placed in an iron Lung. Being weaned from respiratory support was described as particularly frightening”…
“An insight into the mystification of patients which was prevalent at the time is found in the notes issued to physiotherapy students in New South Wales in the 1950s (1). The author advised against giving patients information, stating that it is, “bad practice for a physiotherapist to teach a patient the names of muscles and discuss their respective gradings” as ” most orthopaedists naturally do not like a pseudo-learned discourse from the patient.”…
“Many polio survivors wrote autobiographical accounts about contracting polio and other people, often their parents, wrote their stories”…” The sociologist Irving Zola (who had both polio and post-polio syndrome) believed that few biographies of people with disabilities, “tell it like it is”…In summary, survivors’ biographies downplayed the distress and stress associated with having polio” ….  http://www.ott.zynet.co.uk/polio/lincolnshire/library/westbrook/mw1601.html


The  pools   at Warm Springs


                                                                         WARM SPRINGS

“It was a sort of coincidence that brought Warm Springs, Ga. to Mr. Roosevelt’s attention. Three years ago Louis Joseph, a New Yorker who formerly lived at Columbus, hit upon the idea of trying Warm Springs as the locale for a fight against the effects of infantile paralysis. [Joseph helped arrange and stayed with Roosevelt on his first visit to Warm Springs.] He was in far worse shape than Mr. Roosevelt, it is said, but he bathed  persistently in the waters of Warm Springs, where the pool has a natural temperature of 90 degrees the year round… When Roosevelt returned to Warm Springs in the spring of 1926, he was ready to purchase much of the property himself. Loyless had died and Peabody was prepared to sell the properties… [FDR] established the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation in January 1927. It  was a non-stock, non-profit institution, incorporated by Roosevelt, Peabody,  Basil O’Connor, Herbert N. Straus, and Louis Howe. Dr. [LeRoy] Hubbard was named chief physiotherapist and director of nurses.”

George Foster Peabody, 1852-1938, investment banker; deputy chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (1914-1921); married Katrina (Nichols) in 1920, widow of his friend and partner Spencer Trask (president of Edison Illuminating Co.); moved to the Trask estate ‘Yaddo’ in Saratoga Springs, NY; died at his winter home in Warm Springs http://rjohara.net/peabody/gfpeabody; Katrina died in 1922 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katrina_Trask

Herbert N. Straus— son of Isador Straus, co-owner (with Nathan Straus) of R.H. Macy’s department stores. Isador Straus & wife died in the Titanic sinking, 1912.  Herbert’s father and uncles were renown in New York politics. Oscar Solomon Straus was a Cabinet member under Theodore Roosevelt, as Secretary of Commerce and Labor http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Oscar_Straus.html;  Nathan Straus, dedicated WZO Zionist, turned his personal fortunes to building Israel and pasteurizing milk. Family information: www.straushistoricalsociety.org; The Ruination of Milk http://www.rocfern.com/jennlake/TheRuinationofMilk.html

Louis McHenry Howe (1871-1936), FDR’s “shadow” and political strategist http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_McHenry_Howe



FDR’s personal and highly commendable struggle to regain use of his legs after a 1921 polio attack led him to the mineral waters of Georgia Warm Springs. Regaining some strength, FDR decided to convert the springs, derelict and almost unused, into a business proposition to aid other polio victims.

Unfortunately, the precise source of the major funds used to develop Georgia Warm Springs cannot be determined from the FDR files as they exist today. The FDR folder on Georgia Warm Springs is relatively skimpy, and it is exceedingly unlikely that it contains all the papers relating to development of the project. The folder gives the appearance of having been screened before release to the Hyde Park archives. There is no public record of the funding for Georgia Warm Springs. Given FDR’s tight personal finances during the 1920s, it is unlikely that the funds came from his personal resources. We do have some evidence for three sources of funds. First, it is more than likely that his mother, Mrs. James Roosevelt, was one. In fact, Eleanor Roosevelt wrote FDR, “Don’t let yourself in for too much money and don’t make Mama put in much, for if she lost she’d never get over it!”3 Second, Edsel B. Ford is reported to have contributed funds to build the enclosure of the swimming pool, but was not a trustee of the foundation. Third, and most important, the original property was owned by corporate socialist, George Foster Peabody. According to FDR’s son, Elliott Roosevelt, there was a sizeable personal note on the property itself, and this note was probably held by Peabody:

On April 29, 1926, he acquired the derelict property, where Loyless was running ever deeper into debt. At the peak of his obligations as the new proprietor, Father had precisely $201,667.83 invested in the place in the form of a demand note, which was not completely paid off until after his death, and then only from a life insurance policy he had taken out in Warm Springs’ favor. The $200,000-plus represented more than two thirds of everything he owned. It was the only time he took such a monumental risk. Mother was terrified that if this went the way of so many of his business ventures, none of us boys could go to college, a fate which I, for one, was more than ready to face.4

It is significant that Elliott Roosevelt reports the existence of a $200,000 demand note that was not paid off until FDR’s death. It is a reasonable supposition, moreover, that the funds were put up by some or all of the trustees. This places FDR in the same position as Woodrow Wilson, beholden to his Wall Street creditors. As these trustees were among the most powerful men in Wall Street, the charge that FDR was “in the grip of the bankers” is at least plausible.
It is therefore reasonable to suppose that the funds for Georgia Warm Springs were put up, or were under the control of, the trustees of the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation and the associated Meriweath
er Reserve. The trustees of the foundation in 1934 and their main business affiliations are listed below:

Georgia Warm Springs Foundation: Trustees in 19345

Name of Trustee6 Chief Affiliations
Franklin D. Roosevelt President of the United States of America
Basil O’Connor Attorney, 120 Broadway, former law partner of FDR
Jeremiah Milbank Director, Chase National Bank of N.Y.
James A. Moffett Vice President & director, Standard Oil of New Jersey
George Foster Peabody Original owner of the property and holder of the note on Georgia Warm Springs
Leighton McCarthy Director of Aluminum, Ltd (Canadian subsidiary of ALCOA)
Eugene S. Wilson President, American Telephone & Telegraph (195 Broadway)
William H. Woodin Secretary of the Treasury under FDR
Henry Pope Director of Link-Belt Company
Cason J. Callaway President of Callaway Mills, Inc. of New York

The trustees of Georgia Warm Springs obviously tie FDR to Wall Street. The most prominent of these were Eugene Smith Wilson (1879-1973), a vice president of American Telephone and Telegraph of 195 Broadway, New York City. Wilson also held directorships in numerous other telephone companies, including Northwestern and Southwestern Bell and the Wisconsin Telephone Company. In 1919 he was attorney for Western Electric, then became counsel for A. T. & T. before appointment as vice president in 1920. Wilson had a long association with the campaign against polio, became associated with Franklin D. Roosevelt, and in the mid-1930s was a member of the investment committee of the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation. His fellow directors on A. T. & T. included John W. Davis, who turns up in the Butler Affair (see Chapter 10).

Another of the Georgia Warm Springs trustees was James A. Moffett, a vice president of Standard Oil of New Jersey. Walter Teagle of the same company was one of the key administrators of NRA.

Trustee Jeremiah Milbank was director of the Rockfeller-controlled Chase National Bank and the Equitable Trust Company.

Trustee William H. Woodin was a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 1926 to 1931 and was appointed Secretary of the Treasury by Franklin D. Roosevelt after strongly supporting FDR’s 1932 election bid. Woodin resigned within six months, but because of ill health, not for any lack of interest in holding the Treasury** position.

Trustee George Peabody has been identified in the previous volume7 and was prominently associated with the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

7. Sutton, Bolshevik Revolution, op. cit.

polioforever>>>*US Treasury had jurisdiction over the Public Health Service; previous secretary Andrew W. Mellon hugely expanded PHS (military) hospital-building c.1930, before leaving the Treasury (1932) for an appointment as Ambassador to the Court of St. James (UK).

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