DR. HARRY H. BAKER 1910 - 1911 ORIGINAL ARCHIVE OF TWO  MANUSCRIPT DIARIES DETAILING THE LIFE AND ILLNESS OF A BROOKLYN DOCTOR FROM DIAGNOSIS TO DEATH
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, CHICAGO ILLINOIS 1910 Good+ Manuscript
On offer is a very interesting archive of two  handwritten diaries and 14 early photos handwritten by Dr. Harry H. Baker of Brooklyn New York and at one time Chicago Illinois. The diaries relate specifically to his life and practice but of particular note are entries detailing his own illness from diagnosis to death. [In fact he writes right up until the last week of his life.] Historians, researchers and collectors of medical writings of a personal and intimate nature will find this a unique perspective within the two small leather bound diaries that the doctor kept in 1910 and 1911. He lived at 480 East 19th Street, Brooklyn, New York. He kept careful daily recordings of his activities. Beginning in June 1910 through December he begins detailed records of his visits to the doctor and he gets a diagnosis of Mitral Stenosis. He reports frequently afterwards on symptoms and medication. He keeps up a lively social schedule through the rest of the year. The 1911 diary continues with the details of his medical condition as well as social visits. He records driving his auto and taking a doctor who was afraid to drive on his calls. In fact he seems to love taking people for a ride in his auto, no matter the weather, no matter how bad he feels. His condition worsens in April of 1911 and he requires a nurse at home. [Perhaps the same nurse who is represented in group of photos that came with these diaries?] He is bedridden and the diary ends May 7th. Research suggests he died only a few days later on May 12th. He sensed his oncoming death because at the end of April he makes out and signs a new will. Here are some snippets: 1910 "June 20th, Began Digalon (?) again. 5 qts. B's d. First since 4/9. 10 weeks. Legs swollen, worst since came from Ohio. Did not go down at night as formerly." "July 7th, Dig. 5 qts. Demonstration of Overland with Dr. F. When talking with Mr. Silver on curb felt faint. Sat on window ledge a moment. Worse. He took me in to Cowperthwaite's where I lay down on settee. Better. Walked to 62 Ave. Worse again. Sat and cold sweat on forehead. Pulse almost imperceptible. Lay down for almost 40-45 minutes. Better." "July 13th, Mr. Silver agreed to make me a special agent for Overland on 10 percent commission and sell me a car at special reduced price and give me prospect to follow up. Watch 52 seconds slow." "July 30th, Called on Mrs. Krause, Bismarck Hotel, Chicago. "Ed" Moved. "Isn't she a luscious piece of flesh" Fannie to Mrs. Clarke, music teacher, about Helen. Left 1934 Sedg. About 1 mo ago. H. W. at work for Field's on wagon. Mrs. Yorke and Mr. and Mrs. Opert's came." "August 6th, At Dr. Cady's 11:30-12:30. Walked over Brooklyn Bridge. Called on Clara Girrach and with her inspected Nurse's Home and several wards of Bellevue Hosp. No dig. Today. Watch 45 seconds slow…." "August 27th, Downtown then to Br. Beach. Walked to Marsh Beach and Ocean Ave. car. Then to Sheepshead Race Track where I saw Ely fly and one other. First flight I have seen. Entrancing. Wonderful. Watch 42 seconds slow…." "September 26th, Went to Bellevue Hosp. Poor report for Miss Brink, Supt. Of training nurses. Also poor report of Mr. Wilson of Roosevelt Hosp. Exam of Cadillac, Stearns and Jackson Autos." "October 2nd, Slept late and well. Went in auto with Dr. and Mrs. F. to call on Dr. Barnes at Williamsburg Hosp. Still in bed, over 4 weeks after operation for Apps. Chess. Pinochle in eve with Dr. and Will Raymond. No Dig." "October 4th, At home all day. In eve heard Elbert Hubbard lecture on "The New Religion" at Cooper Union with Theo. Met him and Madam Adrla Maria Rique'; also Kauffman." "November 14th, In bed till after 2 P.M. Headache, splitting now for about 4 weeks on account of hard cough. Cough not so hard, pain in and side of chest at old pneumonia spot. Heavy. Played chess with Will, he 6, I 4." 1911 "January 2nd, Went to E. NY and took Dr. F. on his calls. Returned to 480 E. 19th St. with Mrs. F. Took Elsie Randall through Prospect Part to Coney Island, Manhattan Beach and back via Ocean Ave. First time she had seen Atlantic Ocean. She enjoyed ride immensely. After dinner, music. Mr. and Mrs. Operts. Took Mrs. F. home in auto and stayed over night." "January 23rd, Went with will on his calls in his auto in A.M. After 2 took him in mine on a call then down town. Played 1 game of billiards at Knick's. He 25, I 24. Then home. Went to Dinsmon's and had stop cock of radiator lowered. After dinner took Mrs. F. to hear Surette and Charles G. Soprano's on Brooklyn's 1st Symphony. Met Auntie, Ida, Elsie Randall and Abbie Ingram there. 3 handed pinochle after getting home with Will and Raymond." "February 2nd, Drove auto downtown. Took Mr. Davis on a call. Called on Dr. Campbell. Had a talk with his wife. They bought a Cadillac. Dinner at McCann's. Took Mr. Lindon to St. Johns Hospital then went on to Archer's Hill, Jamaica where heard Mrs. Gregory on "Folk Lore and Songs of the South." Drove her home. Cold N.W. wind. She had had bad news from her sister." "March 1st, Went to NY with Will to Frank's office. Heard him explain why no one paid up notes. Told him I wanted everything turned back into my name. All my property. He first said he couldn't do it. I told him he had promised to do so and I now demanded that he should. Then he said he would see if he could figure out some way to protect both of us. Went to garage and got Jan. and Feb. bill receipts. Drove car to Dr. F's in garage on Penna Ave. Dig 5 qts." "March 21st, About 12:30 P.M. had an attack of weak heart and poor circulation causing awful tingling and numbness in leg then foot and toes became immovable. Will gave me Puls. Cc1. In 2-3 hrs it got some better tho tingling when touched on inside of leg and foot. 2 days. Pain with this was excruciating. Auntie came over and helped Dr. and Mrs. F. Had a nurse, Mrs. Evelyn at night." "April 5th, Slept fairly well. Felt better during day than since taken sick this time, tho very weak. Sharp pain about heart 4-5 times, very severe. Up most all day, 11-7…." "April 21st, Slept about 5 hrs. Very well, no retarded respiration. Abd. full and feels heavy but no pain. Bad attack of shortness of breath 12-3. Auntie over all day. 35 ozs. urine 4 P.M. New will made out and books received by McD. Corrected new will. L. Thigh 23 ½". Urine 37 ozs. Dig 12 qts A.M. Dig 12 qts. P.M. Ars. 30 2h, 3 only." "May 5th, Slept 5 ¼ hrs. at night. None during day. Sat up most all day. Very difficult to lie down. Miss Smith sick and did not come Thursday night. Miss Arnold stayed till 11 A.M. 5". Auntie over and helped. Swells quite bad on account sitting up so much. About 5 Mr. Charles L. Thatcher over and Will and I each signed request for exam by a Reform of Ct. F. over to see Will 9-11 P.M. Miss Cunningham at night……" Enhancing the narrative are related photographs showing Dr. Baker from childhood as a baby only 4 months and on into his adult years. There are 9 photos of him, all have his name on the back and some even his address at the time and the date. Two are duplicates, but the rest were taken during the various stages of his life. On the back of one it says "6239 Monroe Ave. Hyde Park, Chicago Ill. 1st Practicing medicine." One photo states: "Nurse. Mrs. Annis. 1908 or 1909." The other photos show his father and mother: The Rev. and Mrs. Ephraim Baker. Two of the CVDs are of Rev. Ephraim Baker at different ages. Then the younger man's photo was made by J.W. Clark, Mendota, Illinois, the older man was made by Soderberg, Sutton, Nebraska. His wife was Janet or Jeanette Whitney. There is a photo of her as an attractive young woman with her hair dressed with long curl on her shoulder. The photographer was J.W. Clark. The Cabinet photo shows her as an older woman and there is no photographer named. According to family research both people graduated from Oberlin College. They were the parents of Dr. H.H. Baker. The 1910 diary measures about 2 ½" x 4" and the 1911 diary measures about 2 ¾" x 5 ¼". Both the diaries and photos are in good shape.