Cards, kids, the Pelican: the story of the origin of the medical symbols

Cards, kids, the Pelican: the story of the origin of the medical symbols

Reading heraldic symbols like a detective story with a dashingly twisted plot — if the author is talented, would never guess who the killer is.

And in the case of symbols will never understand why a particular object is intended to represent any kind of activity. Of course, medical heraldry is also subject to these tough laws.

And also implies a funny exception. Say, a true master of the detective genre can easily tell who the killer is, at the beginning of the work. A recognized master of detective Conan Doyle in “Notes about Sherlock Holmes” one of the stories called austere and tasteful “Silver”. At the end of the story it becomes clear that the stallion with this nickname and was the culprit of a mysterious murder of a trainer at the racetrack.

The mouths of Babes

About the same things and one of the most common symbols of Pediatrics. Who is the object of this branch of medicine? That’s right — children. Who the idea could be its symbol? The most obvious solution — the image of the child.

This thought came to light the heads of those who in the first half of the nineteenth century formed the actual peds. Or, as they called it, “pediatrica”. Which “is the science of distinctive features, items and the diseases the child’s body and based on those characteristics the health and treatment of diseases in children.” As the emblem was chosen in the picture a swaddled baby. Not aby what, and with a rich history.

Ospedale degli Innocenti (translated as “hospital” or “shelter sinless”) was opened in Florence in 1445, Sinless in those days was called either popes or newborns abandoned by mothers. It was the first institution of its kind in Europe. No shelters in monasteries have happened before, but here was ambitious. In the Wake of the rise of humanistic attitudes of the Renaissance conceived unprecedented — to make not just a shelter or hospital, and an institution that systematically works with orphans, adopting babies and releasing already adult people.

The design of the unfinished, which lasted nearly a quarter of a century, was answered by the dynasty of della Robbia sculptors. Specifically Luke and Andrea. The latter is absolutely without a second thought decided to decorate the facade of majolica medallions with the image of a baby in diapers. All of the medallions was 14, and each adorned with this character. Piquancy of the situation adds two interesting fact. First, the Andrea della Robbia was a kind of foundling, the foster son of the head of the workshop of Luca della Robbia. And secondly, pediatricians, stood at the origins of this self-discipline, forgot to agree what the baby is of 14 to represent their path, the master, as was supposed, portrayed, and children, and diaper different. That is to say, for every taste.

Therefore, in Puritan America, and the strict Victorian England as a symbol was elected as the baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling cloth to the armpits. In more frivolous France diaper barely reach to the waist.

And when in bourgeois Latvia in the period between the First and Second world wars, arranged a charity raffle to benefit children, chose the image of the baby where the diaper is wrapped, only the legs. A true dialectic — a single canonical symbol of Pediatrics does not exist. But that is completely recognizable and not be confused. Especially if it is accompanied by the traditional motto literally out of the mouths of Babes: “it is Better to be well-groomed than mourn”.

Cards, kids, Pelican