United States. Navy Dept. Bureau of Medicine and S.

Annual report of the Surgeon General, U.S. Navy .. (Volume 1895-1900) online

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Kavy Department,
BuREAtT OF Medicine and Surgery,

Washington, D. C, October 1, 1896.
Sir : In obedience to iustructions contained in Department's letter
of July 8, 1896, I have tlie- honor to report the operations of this
Bureau for the last fiscal year, accompanied by a set of annual esti-
mates for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1893, and statistical report
showing the health of the Navy for the year 1895. The report embraces
a statement of the condition of the naval hospital fund, the naval
medical establishment, and other matters of interest pertaining to the
duties of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.


The condition of this fand is as follows :

Balance on liandJuly 1, 1895 $339,505.60

Transferred to the credit since July 1, 1895 96, 566. 72

Credit by appropriation for fiscal year 1896 20, 000. 00

456, 072. 32
Expended since July 1, 1895 141,242.99

Balance on hand June 30, 1896 314,829.33


No increase in annual appropriations has been asked for.

Estimates have been submitted for two ambulances for use at the
naval hospitals at Portsmouth, N. H., and Mare Island, Cal., where they
are urgently needed ; the ambulance at the naval hospital. Mare Island,
having been condemned as worn out and of obsolete type.

An estimate of $1,000 for the cemetery at the United States naval
hospital at Brooklyn, N. Y., is submitted, the medical officer in charge
of the above hospital having urgently represented the necessity for
placing this cemetery in good condition.


Naval hosjntal, PorfsmotUh, K. H. — No improvements have been made
at this hospital during the past year, with the exception of making


iniiior repairs where necessary to the woodwork of the hospital build-
ing, and improving- and putting in order the grounds of the hosi)ital

Ile[)airs to the steam-heating plant are now being made, and this
work will soon be completed.

Naval hospital., Chelsea, Afass. — During the past year the roof of the
hospital building has been reflated, and new copper has replaced cop-
per and tin over a portion of the roof; new copper conductors and gut-
ters have been supplied. All outside woodwork has been repaired and
painted. The roofs of the medical director's house and adjoining
veranda have been repaired and Avoodwork of building renovated.
Minor repairs have been made to the ward for contagious diseases, also
to laundry and stable.

Naval hospital, BrooMyn, N. Y. — Owing to the repairs and improve-
ments now being made at this hospital, an account of which is found
in another part of this report, there were relatively few patients under
treatment during the past year, the number being limited by frequent
transfers to other naval hospitals.

Besides the special repairs above referred to, minor repairs to grounds
and outbuildings have been made, two wrought-iron gates have beien
erected at entrance to hospital grounds, and the gatehouse has been
renovated and enlarged.

Naval liospital, Philadelphia, Pa. — The sanitary improvements of tliis
hospital have been continued during the past year, and it will now
comi)are favorably with the most advanced of our civil and military

Kepairs on north wing of building are completed, and the wards
occupied. A modern operating room has been fitted and thoroughly
equipped for the aseptic performance of operations. All of the old sani-
tary fittings, includmg water-closets, bathtubs, sinks, and wash basins
have been removed and modern fixtures introduced. The installation
of the electric light throughout the entire building has been completed,,
and gives much satisfaction. As the steam heating plant is not sulfi-
cient for x^roperly heating the entire building during cold weather, since
the occupation of the north wing, the Bureau will take steps toward
having the system modified to meet the conditions now existing.

Naval hospital, Washington, D. C. — ISTo material changes have been
made during the past year in the hospital or grounds. The paving of
Tenth street east, which has been commenced, will add much to the
comfort of patients. The hospital is now being furnished with a mod-
ern operating room, properly equipped for the performance of opera-
tions, and it is hojied that it will be completed at an early date.

Naval hospital, Norfolk, Ya. — During the past year much has been
accomplished toward a complete rehabilitation of this hospital. The
roof has been rei)aired and painted and steam heat and combination elec-
tric fixtures have been introduced. The south wing is now being made
ready for the reception of patients, and when completed it will double
the capacity of the hospital. A new operating room and lavatory,
etherizing, sterilizing, dressing, surgical, and receiving rooms have been
added, and these will soon be fitted with modern surgical appliances.
Two new 30-horsepower boilers (built at the JSTavy-Yard) have been
placed in the boiler house, and the latter has been repaired and painted.
The wagon shed has been repaired and refloored with cement concrete
and a new hospital wharf and boathouae have been erected.

Besides the above repairs, considerable work has been done in repair-
ing the roads, paths, and brick walks, and in trenching, ditching, and
draining within the hosi^ital giounds.


Naval hospital, Fcnsacola, Fla. — No repairs have been made to the
hosi)ital buildiiio-s duriiift- the past year. In order, liowever, to prevent
deterioration to buildings and to luive the hospital tlioroughly equipped
for inmiediate occupation, sliould the emergency arise, a complete reno-
vation of the hospital and outbuildings has been commenced, under
the snpervision and direction of the Bureau of Yards and Docks, and
will soon be completed.

Karal hospital, Mare Island, Cal. — Many minor repairs have been
made at the hospital during- the i^ast year. The entire basement area
of the hospital, with the exception of the two dining-room lioors, has
been paved with artificial stone, and all basement woodwork and walls
have been j)ainted, and wooden and iron plates placed over the lines of
the i)ipes.

There has been a general renovation of grounds and outbuildings,
drains and sewers.

Naval hosjyital, Yolioliama, Japan. — Minor repairs have been made to
the buildings during the past year and the grounds of the hospital
have been placed m excellent condition. All of the woodwork of the
detached ward has been renovated and the walls replastered.

The supply of water has been increased by the building of a cistern
with a capacity of 15,000 gallons, affording an additional protection
against fire.


The work under contract at this establishment has progressed slowly,
as shown by the weekly reports received and on file to May 2, 1896.

Fraudulent work on boundary wall was reported by laborers employed
by contractor on April IL and 21, 1890. These reports were forwarded
oificially for investigation, and, being found correct, all work was
stopped A])ril 28, 1890, and a board ordered by the Department, consist-
ing of Civil Engineers U. S. G-. White and C.'O. Wolcott, U. S. N., and
Mr. A. W. Lane, foreman, department of yards and docks, to examine
and report upon all work done under the contract, to determine whether
any fraudulent work had been done in parts other than the boundary
wall heretofore examined.

The contract for work referred to was made July 9, 1895, and work
commenced in conformity with specifications July 17, 1895, as stated
in last report, and if the terms of the contract had been fulfilled the
entire work should have been completed in six calendar months. The
delay has greatly interfered with the duties of the hospital and caused
general discomfort to officers and the few patients kept there under

The report of the board, submitted and dated June 16, 1896, having
been carefully considered, the Department directed, July 21, 1896, in
view of the matters brought to light concerning the work done under
the contract dated July 9, 1895, under the provisions of said contract,
the same to be declared forfeited on the part of the contractor, notify-
ing him and each of his bondsmen to that effect. This was immediately
done by registered letters, all duly acknowledged.

Permission was obtained July 22, 1896, to have the work required
under contract for repairs and improvements at the naval hospital,
Brooklyn, N. Y., completed under two contracts, as follows:

1. For making good the defective work on new boundary wall.

2. For making good the defective work, and completion of improve-
ments and repairs on the hospital.


In obedieuce to instructions, advertisements were issued August 20,
1S96, for proposals for work specified under section 2, in accordance
witli plans and specifications approved by the Department, and adver-
tisements issued August 25, 1896, for work specified under section 1,
also according to plans and specifications a])proved by tlie Department.

Bids to be opened, respectively, September 21, 18UG, and September
28, 1896.

Five bids were received to complete the work at the United States
naval hospital, Brooklyn, N. Y., as follows, viz:

Thomas Dwyer, 106 East Cue liundred and sixteenth street, New York $47, 000

D. S.Hess & Co., 876 Broadway. New York H8, 900

Arthur H. Weeks, 2150 Fulton street. Brooklyn 32, 000

M. Gibbons & Son, 318 Columbia street, Brooklyn 29, 975

Isaac A. Walker & Son, 1213 Filbert street, Philadelphia 26, 491

The firm of Isaac A. Walker & Son, lowest bidders, have at present
under consideration the question of scaling their bid within the limit
of the available appropriation (.$20,000).

Two bids were received for making good the defective work on
boundary wall, as follows, viz:

Ihomas Dwyer, 106 East One hundred and sixteenth street, New York $15, 120

M. Gibbons & Son, 318 Columbia street. Brooklyn 9,375

A contract for the work in question can not be awarded to the lowest
bidder until the Bureau is informed of the result of the legal proceed-
ings recently commenced against contractor and bondsmen in con-
nection with contract dated July 9, 1895.

The improvements contemplated under these contracts consist in
extensive alterations in the interior construction of the hos]ntal build-
ing, including a complete renovation of the woodwork, flooring, plaster-
ing work, and paint work.

Certain rooms, designated for the accommodation of sick officers, by
rearrangement are made into suites of three rooms each, so that each
officer shall have, instead of a single room, which in some instances is
smaller than is considered desirable, two rooms with bathroom and
closet attached. By judicious arrangement this very great addition to
the comfort of the occupant is accomplished with the minimum sacrifice
of otlier considerations, the total air space allotted to each patient under
the former arrangement being considerably increased in these apart-
m.ents made en suite. Eearrangemeut of medical officers' quarters is
also carried out in a similar manner.

Complete renovation of the entire system of water supply and drains
has been made, with the substitution of new and improved bath tubs of
enameled iron, and of marble basins with modern connections and traps
throughout, together with a considerable increase in thie number thereof.
The old catch basins are eliminated and direct sewer connections made.

Although electricity is the illuminating medium employed, it is pro-
vided that the building be repiyied for gas, so that in the event of the
failure of the current from any cause no embarrassment would result.

A new feature is the installation of a modern-type electric elevator
of ample capacity to accommodate a ward litter with patient and

The steam capacity of the boiler house is considerably augmented by
the addition of a horizontal steel return tubular boiler, designed to carry
a gauge pressure of 80 pounds. Additional radiators are also distributed
throughout the building.

The corridors on the first floor are to be laid in vitrified tile of neat
design, and the main stairway replaced by a new one.


In addition to improvements in hospital building, tliere is to be
erected in the courtyard a three-story structure of brick, in which will
be located the mess hall, dispensary, chapel, and operating room.

The operating room is to be 25 by 45 feet, well ligiited by a large
central skylight. The floor is to be of smooth vitrified tile, with a
gentle slope from all sides to a central drain, of most approved con-
struction. The walls will be finished in cement, and a curved glazed
tile base will make connection between the floor and the walls. Adjoin-
ing the operating room, and with it constituting the entire third floor,
are the etherizing, recovering, and sterilizing rooms, and also accom-
modations for medical officers to i)repare themselves for operating.

Across the driveway, in the rear of the courtyard building, a two-
story brick structure is designed, on the first floor of which is located
the kitchen, with steam cooking apparatus and two large modern ranges
in the equipment. On the second floor a commodious smoking room for
convalescents is provided, having a "kosmocrete" floor. Both build-
ings are to be electric lighted, steam heated, and artificially ventilated.

Jiy act of Congress approved June 10, 1896, brick material was
allowed to be used for construction of ward authorized by act approved
July 26, 1894, and a similar additional ward allowed to increase needed
capacity of hospital, making an amount of $50,000 available for the
pui'pose, the same to be paid from that portion of the naval hospital
fund accruing from the sale of naval hospital grounds to the city of
Brooklyn, and XDlaced to the credit of the naval hospital fund, in pur-
suance of the provisions of the act ax)proved July 2, 1890.

In view of the proposed increased accommodations for the sick, a
board was recommended June 17, 1896, to determine upon and report
to the Department the most desirable sites in the hosj^ital grounds for
the wards about to be erected under authority of the act referred to,
and the apjDroximate size and character of each ward; also to consider,
in selecting the sites, the question of sunlight, accessibility to main
building and court building under construction, preservation of archi-
tectural effect of hospital proper, and necessity of preserving harmony
of all other buildings within the inclosure.

After a careful examination of maps and drawings, hospital build-
ings and grounds, the board recommended a building about 50 feet
wide by 155 feet long, two stories high, with basement, built of butf
face brick and white marble or other light-colored stone trimmings; the
building to be located parallel to the south wing of the main building,
and distant about 65 feet; thus receiving the sun's rays obliquely upon
one side in the morning and upon the other side in the afternoon.

The recommendation of the board was approved by the Department.

Information regarding character of building, etc., was furnished
architects in New York and Washington, upon their application, with
permission to prepare preliminary drawings and estimates, at their own
risk and expense.

Satisfactory preliminary plans and specifications for proposed new
wards were submitted by the firm of Smithmeyer & Didden, architects,
of Washington, D. C, based upon the report of the board above men-
tioned, and authority was requested of the Department, September 29^
1896, to have them present plans and specifications in detail, and to
advertise for the work when such plans and sx)ecifications shall have
been submitted and approved.

Upon receipt of Department's letter, dated October 2, 1896, granting
the desired authority, the architects were immediately notified to
prepare the plans in question.



The necessity for increased accommodations for the sick at this estab-
lishment is apparent.

The records of the hospital for the five years 1891 to 1895, inclusive,
show 30 admissions of officers, with a total of 1,265 sick days; other
admissions, sailors and marines, number 528. Patients are received
at this hospital chiefly irom the navy-yard and marine headquarters,
but from time to time they are transferred here from other hospitals,
from coast survey vessels, and from other vessels, foreign or belonging
to our own Xavy, which may be in port; also old sailors and marines on
the retired list who have no suitable home and Avheu taken ill find a
refuge here.

The officers attached to the navy-yard and marine headquarters
number about 50, while the number of sailors and marines is about 240.
Besides the above, there are in and about Washington 250 or more
officers, active and retired, liable to need hospital accommodations and

Tlie situation of the hospital is excellent, occupying an entire square
of land on four streets, having thus abundant sunlight and fresh air.
The elevation above the navy-yard is inconsiderable, but sufficient to
make a very great change perceptible in the condition of malarial
patients transferred. The mere change from the one place to the other
has sometimes sufficed to put a stop to an attack of malarial fever.

There is but one separate room in which a sick officer can be isolated.
Additional accommodations should be provided, so that the whole of
the two principal floors could be allotted to patients, the lower or main
floor to officers, and the second floor to the enlisted men. The medical
officers on duty should be lodged in an annex, which could be easily
built within the j)resent grounds and in connection with the hospital
proper, and an appropriation with this object in view should be sub-
mitted at an early date.


The history of this hospital has been given in full in previous reports,
and a bill has been prepared and submitted to the Department, for
approval and transmission to Congress, to dispose of the property as
soon as it can be done on satisfactory terms, and the proceeds derived
from the sale devoted to the renovation of such other naval hospitals
as require to be placed in a modern sanitary condition. Minor repairs
are continued, to keep the building in as good a state of preservation
as i)ossible.


Necessary directions have been given to prepare for the files of the
Bureau complete maps showing lines of Avater supply, sewerage, heat-
ing, gas and electric lighting of all buildings and grounds of the
different naval hospitals, as follows, viz :

1. Location of all water mains, noting material, size, length, and

2. Location of sewers, brick or pipe, size and length.

3. Lighting: Number and location of gas and electric lamps, gas
mains, and electric-light wiring.

4. Location of telephone wires, stations, and connections, and of
hydrants, fire-alarm stations, and buildings.


5. Heating: System employed, location of steam i)i])es and radiators.

This work became essential in order to carry on duty intelligently at
the various establishments, to jirevent damage, and facilitate repairs.

Blue xirints of plans when received are forwarded to the particular
hospital to which they belong, with directions to have them placed on
file with symbols used for easy reference, and to report to the Bureau
when alterations are necessary, by emergency or otherwise, so that they
can be made on the maps, in accordance with scale, with date of order
authorizing the change.

The scale used for grounds is 100 feet to the inch, and of buildings
one-fourth of an inch to the foot.

Thework has been finished and plans submitted of hospital buildings
and grounds at New York, Philadelphia, and Norfolk, and blue prints
have been forwarded to these hospitals and the medical ofticeis on
duty instructed to familiarize themselves with the subjects considered.
Plans for other hosj)itals will be transmitted as soon as received.

Complete sets of hospital maps and plans are sent to the Naval
Museum of Hygiene for exhibit and study. The value of such plans
will be readily understood by everyone who has had any experience in
hunting for connections or leaks in old buildings and grounds without
plans for guidance.


The cemeteries of the several naval hospitals have had very little done
to them since the war, and are in no way creditable to Government

Special appropriations will be required for each one to place them in
such a condition that they can be cared for in the future by the hospital

The sum of 81,000 was allowed in the appropriations of present fiscal
year for the complete renovation of the naval cemetery at Mare Island,
California, and the sum of $1,000 has been submitted in estimates for
next fiscal year, to be expended on the cemetery at naval hospital. New

For labor and material for widenini;' of apjiroaches, and repairing and painting all
gates and fences ; for mailing graveled roads and paths, building walls where neces-
sary, properly' grading the whole area, and planting appropriate shrubbery.

These cemeteries are visited annually on Decoration Day by repre-
sentatives of patriotic societies, and should be placed in good condi-
tion, and kept so.

A uniform record of burials has been adopted for all hospitals.


Navy-yard, Portsmoutli, N. R. — The health record of this station has
been excellent, no diseases of a contagious or infectious nature having
occurred. The total number of sick under treatment was 126, and
number transferred to hosi)ital 36.

The yard is in need of a modern system of sewerage, a better supply
of water, and the introduction of an electric-light plant.

Navy-yard, Boston, Mass. — The health of this yard during the past
year has been satisfactory. The total admissions to the sick list have
been 137, and of these 41 were invalided to hospital, A single case
of epidemic catarrh of mild type emphasizes the disappearance of the
disease which has been so prevalent of late years, and but one case of


measles occurred. Two cases of tuberculosis pneumouica acuta "were
invalided to hospital. The injuries to workmen employed in the yard
have been few in number and none were of a serious nature.

The statistics of vaccination performed during the year show very
clearly the necessity for its unremitting employment. Of the total
number vaccinated (172) 40 were successful, a percentage of 23. Pri-
mary vaccinations were invariably successful.

Marine harracls. — There has been little improvement in the sanitary
condition of the marine barracks during the year. The same defects
exist which have been i^ointed out in previous reports. The ven-
tilation of the sleeping quarters is not satisfactory, being only that
afforded by the natural means of open doors and windows, practicable
in mild weather, but impossible during the winter months, wlien cold
drafts are created, subjecting the inmates to conditions prejudicial to

Online LibraryUnited States. Navy Dept. Bureau of Medicine and SAnnual report of the Surgeon General, U.S. Navy .. (Volume 1895-1900) → online text (page 1 of 160)