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Reviews of the Atlas and Yale's copies

Plate 49-Syphilitic tubercular lupus

Pl. 49.  Syphilitic tubercular lupus
Modern term: Tertiary syphilis

Tertiary syphilis is characterized by nodules and tumors (gummas) that may ulcerate.

Plates from the Atlas were exhibited at the Association Annual Museum held at the time of the Annual Business Meeting in 1879.  The comprehensive display included instruments, specimens, photographs, inventions, and new drugs and preparations.  Original watercolors by Edwin Burgess, the artist and lithographer of the atlas, were also shown, providing a preview of upcoming installments. However, only five additional plates would be published.

Plate 49, shown here, was the last.

Plate 31-Indurated chancres

Pl. 31 Indurated chancres
Modern Term: Primary and secondary syphilis

Widespread erythematous plaques with scale represent secondary phase and well-circumscribed ulcers in pubic region represent primary phase (chancres).  See p. 105-106 in the Descriptive Catalogue.

The Atlas received a number of positive reviews, particularly focused on the drawings:

This Fasciculus supplies life size portraits of Pityriasis rubra, popular syphilis, with indurated chancres, and Pruriginous impetigo following varicella, which are extremely beautiful, and look life-like.  Edin. Medical Journal, May 1872

They are better, to our mind, than any other plates in use amongst us; and there cannot be a question as to the Society’s issue being as popular as it is useful. Lancet, n.d.


Plate 22-Morbus pedicularis

Pl. 22 Morbus pedicularis
Modern Term: Body lice or pediculosis corporis

Multiple excoriations due to severe pruritus. Body lice live in the seams of clothing, not on the body as do head lice and crab lice. See p. 67-68 in the Descriptive Catalogue.


We have received the thirteenth fasciculus of this splendid collection of drawings, of which no further praise is needed than to say that they are executed with the same artistic skill and fidelity to nature which have characterized the whole series. Dublin Journal of Medical Science, May 1874.

Plate 17-Onychitis

Pl. 17 Onychitis
Modern Term: Nail dystrophy due to psoriasis and syphilis

In addition to palmar hyperkeratosis due to psoriasis, there are nail findings including “oil drop” changes, thickening of the nail bed, and ridging. See p. 52 in the Descriptive Catalogue.

The Atlas of Skin Diseases is surprisingly rare given its popularity and the number of copies distributed to subscribers and to non-members of the Society.

Many of the surviving copies may have been protected by a portfolio which held the loose plates.  The portfolios were made available in first, second, and third quality.  The atlas that belonged to Harvey Cushing is preserved in a well-worn cloth cover.


Plate 5-Alopecia Areata et Lupus serpiginosus

Pl. 5   1. Alopecia areata  2. Lupus serpiginosus exulcerans (Hebra)
Modern Term: 1. Same  2. Cutaneous tuberculosis, lupus vulgaris variant

1. Circumscribed patches of hair loss due to autoimmune phenomenon. More common in children than adults.


2. Lupus vulgaris with inflamed serpiginous border whose secondary changes include ulcerations and hemorrhagic crusts.
See p. 24 in the Descriptive Catalogue.

In November, 2014, the Library received an atlas which had belonged to the physician Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.  The gift of Drs. Marie-Louise Johnson and Kenneth Johnson, the atlas had belonged to a family friend who received it from Holmes.  Dr. Marie-Louise Johnson was one of the first residents and full time faculty members in dermatology at Yale.

Reviews of the Atlas and Yale's copies