20 October 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

A very pleasant day. Calm + sunny at least in the early part. There was a touch of hoar frost for the first time. I was from 12 till 3 at Viewfield1. Dav.2 first removed an internal Semilunar Cartilage from a Mrs Hislop3 under special anaesthetic + then I gave Chlor[oform] for to Mrs Hardie4, wife of a postman on whom D. induced doing a Ventrifixation5 but found the uterus so adherent to the bowel that he couldn’t do it. Cycled to Faldonside, Mrs Maycock6 better. Mrs Dees7 gave me 2 cucumbers + a half doz. tomatoes. Got weighed, my net weight being 9st 51/2lbs.

1 Viewfield, Viewfield Lane, Selkirk, hospital, nursing home, cottage hospital, later known as the Andrew Lang Unit, Canmore ID 100325, grid reference NGR NT47112,28807; it was taken on by the Muir and Graham medical co-partnership in 1920

2 David Charteris ‘Dav.’ Graham (1889-1963), M.B., medical practitioner and Dr Muir’s business partner

3 Mrs Hislop is unidentified

4 John Hardie, postman, was Tenant of a house at 16 Tower Street, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll, VR007900012-/134, Selkirk Burgh, page 134 of 644]

5 Ventrifixation as a ‘mechanical’ treatment for ‘Uterine backward displacements’ was the subject of an article in the BMJ in 1924 which reported a meeting of the North of England Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society at Liverpool at which its merits and risks were discussed – though the details of the process are vague – and also there is a hard-hitting criticism of the process by an Edinburgh medic James Oliver, M.D., F.R.S.Edin., in the BMJ in 1915, which identifies problems with adhesion specifically; Lapthorn et al offer a more detailed description of the process [Sources: “Reports Of Societies.” The British Medical Journal, vol. 2, no. 3332, BMJ, 1924, pp. 858–60, http://www.jstor.org/stable/20438318; Oliver, James. “Ventrifixation Of The Uterus: Is It Justifiable?” The British Medical Journal, vol. 1, no. 2837, BMJ, 1915, pp. 871–871, http://www.jstor.org/stable/25313651 and Smith, A. Lapthorn, et al. “A Discussion On The Palliative And Radical Treatment Of Uterine Flexions And Displacements.” The British Medical Journal, vol. 2, no. 1921, BMJ, 1897, pp. 1151–56, http://www.jstor.org/stable/20251766.%5D

6 Catherine Maycock née Gow (1874-1959), wife of George James Maycock (1877-1957), butler, later poultry farmer, at this time living at Lower Faldonside, Galashiels – see diary entry for 14th October 1921 for more detail

7 Edith Mary Boileau Dees née Henderson (1872-1948), daughter of the Reverend Canon Dr. James Henderson and Jane Lowrey, and wife of Robert Irwin Dees

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

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Archivist, interests include Dr John Stewart Muir 1845-1938) of Selkirk, general practitioner, and Seton Paul Gordon (1886–1977), naturalist, author and photographer

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