Medicine: Brands from the Burning

One June day in 1939, Dr. Jacob Shatzky, librarian of the New York State Psychiatric Institute in Manhattan, was mulling over a book catalogue that had just arrived from Vienna. The catalogue advertised the sale of 812 18th-and 19th-Century books and papers on animal magnetism, hysteria, interpretation of dreams. The price for the lot was $500. The name of the owner was not divulged. He was, stated the catalogue, a "famous Viennese psychic explorer."

Dr. Shatzky had a psychic flash. He ran to the Institute's Director Nolan Don Carpentier Lewis, exclaimed: "This can be the collection of only one man, and he...

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