InterCom (Durham, N.C.) /
Nov. 18, 1970, edition 1 /
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40-Year Employe Remembers When . . .
EDITOR’S NOTE: Donald Love, patho^ogy, is the longest
term employe at Duke Hospital. He recounts the opening
months at the Hospital in this article.
By Donald Love
On a Monday morning about 40 years ago—June 2, 1930,
to be exact—I walked into Duke Hospital for my first time.
I hadn't even seen the building until then. In fact, I didn't
even know if it was the right building. Of course, this was the
only one I could see on this end of the quad.
The construction was incomplete save a few areas here and
there in the Hospital section. Construction men were
everywhere—on the outside, on the inside, on the top and
swinging from the outside walls.
I had come to the Hospital for a job that I got through my
father, John Love, who operated a printing machine on the
East Campus for many years. There were many hospitals forms
which had to be printed. He and Dr. W.C. Davison were
acquainted through working together on these forms over a
lengthy period of time leading up to the opening date of the
My father spoke to Dr. Davison about a job and he agreed
to give me one when the time came. My father told me to go
to the Hospital on that Monday and Dr. Davison would be
expecting me to begin work.
I didn't know Dr. Davison nor did he know me. I was told
by the construction workers that I could find him in the
I entered. My first stop was at tne telephone headquarters
and a nursing area right in front of the elevator in the
basement. Many electric sewing machines were in the
telephone room. On the right side of the room were many
tables made from high wooden horses with slabs on them and
on the tables were lots of blueprints.
I waited and finally Dr. Davison came. He took me on a
tour of the Hospital, the Medical School and the tower at the
end of the Medical School. This building was a great mass of
cement and stones. I knew I would never learn my way around
in this giant of a building!
Getting Ready to Open
There were heads in certain points working to have their
part ready or nearly so by opening dates: Miss (Marion)
Batchelder in the operating room. Miss (Mildred) Sherwood on
Howland, Miss (Elsie) Martin I'n dietetics, Mrs. (Carrie) Sykes
in the sewing room. Miss (Bessie) Baker in nursing. Dr. (E.P.)
Alyea in urology. Dr. (Watt) Eagle in ear, nose, and throat. Dr.'
(Deryl) Hart in surgery. Dr. (H.L.) Amoss in medicine and Mr.
(Marcellus) Winston, the first superintendent in
Everybody worked hard and together. Everybody knew
everybody. It was a united effort on a united front. There was
alot to do in a short time and not much help to do it.
The medical school was a way off from opening. Most time
was spent getting the Hospital area ready. Dr. (Francis) Swett
was working in anatomy. Dr. (Wiley) Forbus in pathology, and
Dr. (William) Perlzweig in biochemistry.
Mrs. Sykes was interested in getting materials made for
certain areas in the Hospital. Miss Baker was interested in
many things such as getting certain ward supplies made in the
DOORSTEP DELIVERY SYSTEM—When the Medical
Center was under construction, building materials and supplies
were brought to the site by a special train. This photo was
taken in 1928 looking toward the main quadrangle from what
is now the Davison Building. To the right is the partially
completed Duke Chapel.
sewing room, hot water bags, ice bags and throat bags made,
different kinds of binders and, above all, ward curtains. Miss
Batchelder's interest were table covers, ether boats, face masks
and many others things.
One problem for the nursing heads and the sewing room
was designing a Duke cap for the nurses. They designed a very
nice looking cap. These caps for many years were made in the
sewing room. These sewing women were superb.
My tasks were many also. They included readying a ward
for use. Curtains had to have gromets for hanging, the ward
area had to be cleaned, dusted, doors and transoms polished.
The tasks were many and great, so sonne of the construction
workers I knew played a big part in helping. Had it not been
for them, I don't know what would have happened.
The hospital storeroom was under the supervision of Jim
Patton. His duties were getting beds and mattresses in their
places. There were hospital beds and intern beds with certain
kinds of furniture for each with two kinds of pillows, hair and
The linen was my responsibility. Two pillow cases, two
sheets, one spread and one blanket for each bed. On the ward,
three sheets (two large and one draw sheet), one spread, one
bath blanket, one face, bath and wash cloth.
More People to Help
I finally got some help for myself. Ernest Pratt, who was
just a kid then, Hazel Lyons and others. We had to check in
laundry which was done locally, then fill requisitions for the
wards and deliver.
We also had the responsibility of housekeeping. Many times
the sewing rooms would get behind on ward needs, such as
binders. I was called in to help there. Had a special machine I
used. I became very good. We finally got more help.
About this time, we were able to get one orderly, Bert
(continued on page eleven)
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