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Featured Exhibit


Richard Upjohn Light, MD (1902-1994) was a remarkable man. He was one of Harvey Cushing's last residents and many of the photographs of Cushing with which we are familiar were taken by Dr. Light and shared in our Special Exhibit "Dr. Harvey Cushing - A Book of Photographs". Dr. Light was one of the people behind the camera during filming of Cushing's 1931 2000th Verified Brain Tumor Operation and narrates the Archives oral history video. We can also thank Dr. Light for allowing us an opportunity to glimpse the practice of medicine in 1932 through Special Exhibit "Case History of one of Harvey Cushing's Last Patients".

This Special Exhibit is the journal of his historic 1934-35 "Seaplane Cruise Around the World", just seven years after Charles Lindbergh made the first trans-Atlantic flight! The Exhibit consists of portions of his journal and some of the few flight logs that were transcribed. It is, of course, written in a time when "political correctness" did not have the meaning it does today and no effort has been made to edit Dr. Light's comments about his world.

Dr. Light's navigator on this trip was Robert Wilson who worked for General Electric. Their plane was named "Asulinak" which is Greenlandish for "I'll take a chance" or "Why worry". It was a Bellanca Skyrocket.

We will begin this 4 part serial with Dr. Light's "Part One - Atlantic Ocean". This part of the journal took place between August 20 and September 13, 1934, 65 years ago. It starts in New Haven, Connecticut and ends in London, England. To put the era in to perspective, the day before he and Bob left, Adolph Hitler was given sole executive power in Germany.

Dr. Sidney TolchinThe AANS Archives Committee would like to thank Dr. Sidney Tolchin (past President, The American Association of Neurological Surgeons, 1995-1996) for his guidance in the development of this exhibit.

This exhibit was in part made possible through a grant from Upjohn/Pharmacia.

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Read Dr. Light's Introduction.

Proceed to the Journal!

The Eastern Hemisphere Route of Dr. Light's Trip

The Western Hemisphere Route of Dr. Light's Trip

This map is from the 1936 publication, The Growth of Nations, by Wallace Atwood and Helen Thomas. The red lines represent the route taken by Dr. Light in the course of his journey, and the blue lines represent the progress made during the present journal entry. The black lines you see represent the common airplane routes of the 1930's.

Dick Meagher, Franc Ingraham, Harvey Cushing, and Dick Light in Berne, Switzerland, 1931.

Dr. Light speaking at Dr. Cushing’s 70th birthday in April 1939.

Dr. Light speaking at Dr. Cushing’s 70th birthday in April 1939.