Cleo W. Stevenson Collection
In the 1870s during yellow fever epidemics, a lamp — called a fumigator — was used to heat formaldehyde over a flame, a process thought to counteract the miasmic causes of yellow fever. A fumigator is one of approximately 700 artifacts in the Stevenson Historical Collection. Some of the items in this collection are familiar, like stethoscopes and microscopes, but others are from a long-ago time: fashionable bottles for carrying smelling salts, bleeding cups, and phrenology busts.
Dr. Stevenson graduated from the UTHSC College of Medicine in 1943. He practiced medicine in Memphis and was director of the Methodist Hospital School of Nursing for 40 years.