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Howard B. Hamilton, MD papers
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Howard B. Hamilton, MD papers

  • MS 066
  • Collection
  • 1945-1997

The Howard B. Hamilton, MD, papers, MS 066, includes material from 1945-1997 related to the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC) and the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF). Hamilton was the Chief of Clinical Laboratories for the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission from 1956 until its dissolution in 1975. He served in the same capacity for the Radiation Effects Research Foundation, which succeeded the ABCC, until 1984. This collection encompasses this period of time in Dr. Hamilton's career, as well as his related scholarly work after his retirement from RERF. Dr. Hamilton donated his collection of letters, reprints, newspaper articles, photographs, memos, and ephemera to the John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center between 1985 and 2002. The collection is in good condition and consists of 3.75 cubic feet (8 boxes).

This collection contains eight series: I. Correspondence; II. Memorandum, Notes, Books; III. Conferences, Congresses, Manuscripts; IV. Reprints; V. Newspaper Articles; VI. Akio Awa Cartoons; VII. Additional Correspondence; VIII. Addendum Series. This collection contains many reprints of articles Hamilton wrote or co-wrote on topics including the structure and function of hemoglobin, biochemical genetics, and the long term after-effects of exposure to ionizing radiation. One highlight of the collection is a series of cartoons, Series VI, created by Hamilton's friend Dr. Akio Awa that gives a unique look into the daily goings-on of the ABCC and RERF. Another collection highlight is the photographs in the Addendum Series, Series VIII, which includes images of former United States Senator Ted Kennedy who visited RERF in the late 1970s. Photos also include group photos from many ABCC and RERF conferences and events.

This collection was donated to the Historical Research Center over a number of years, and the material was processed at different times by different people, which resulted in several different organizational schemes being used. During the most recent processing of the collection the arrangement of the material was left unchanged to maintain continuity and for the sake of scholarly citations that may have been made previously

Hamilton was born in Oak Park Illinois on December 4, 1918. He graduated from the University of Rochester in New York in 1941 and from Yale University School of Medicine in 1945. Hamilton served in the United States Navy from 1942-1945, during World War II. In the late 1940s and early 1950s Hamilton conducted research at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University, the Long Island School of Medicine, the New York College of Surgeons, and the University of Tokyo in Japan.

In 1956 Hamilton moved to Hiroshima, Japan, where he lived for the next thirty years. After his move to Japan, Hamilton served as the Chief of Clinical Laboratories for the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC) from 1956 until its dissolution in 1975. Hamilton worked in the same capacity for the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF), which succeeded the ABCC, until 1984. Between 1984 and 1986 Dr. Hamilton began transitioning into retirement; he continued to work as a consultant for the RERF during this time.

Hamilton was a consummate scholar and published extensively thoughout his career. Hamilton published papers on topics including endocrinology, steroid chemistry, enzyme kinetics, hemoglobinopathies, the structure and function of hemoglobin, genetic polymorphisms, biochemical genetics, the long term after-effects of exposure to ionizing radiation, and epidemiology of cardio-vascular disease.

Hamilton's hobbies included playing tennis and practicing the Japanese theatrical art of Noh, which features dramatic masks and carefully defined movements. After his retirement, Dr. Hamilton catalogued Noh and Kabuki works and published Noh plays. In some circles, Dr. Hamilton was known as much for his enthusiastic patronage and participation in Noh as he was for his work with the ABCC and RERF. (Source: Washington Post, May 9, 2007)

Hamilton died on May 9, 2007 at his home in Falls Church, Virginia. He was 88 years old.

The collection is in good to excellent condition depending on the age of the individual item and how carefully it was stored and preserved in the years before it entered the HRC's collection. Dr. Hamilton donated his large collection of letters, reprints, newspaper articles, photographs, memos, and ephemera to the John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center between about 1985 and 2002. The collection consists of 3.75 cubic feet (8 boxes) and is collection MS 066.

Hamilton, Howard B.

Karyotyping

Cartoon of Dr. Akio Awa conducting research involving karyotyping. Joke spoiler: He appears to be 'working his fingers to the bone' where he is seen accidentally snipping his fingers off with a pair of scissors.

Isozyme Study

Cartoon of Dr. Akio Awa conducting research involving isozymes. His test results reveal 'Sukiyaki, Beer, Girls, and Sake.' These are surprising results from an Isozyme study. Book in the background says, "J.Electrophoresis."

[Caged and Confused]

Cartoon of one person looking into a cage of a man at his desk with a smaller man inside a smaller cage. It seems like a metaphysical portrait of having to report to your supervisor.

I Quitt!!

Cartoon of Howard B. Hamilton (abbreviated HBH), is portrayed typically with his bow tie. Dr. Howard has nearly destroyed his office with the caption, "H.H Preparing For Biochemical Variation (Hokkaido)."

Mt. Niseko

Cartoon of "H.H.," or Howard Hamilton. This portrays Dr.Hamilton skiing down Mount Niseko in Hakkaido.

Type Recital

Cartoon of "H.H.," or Howard Hamilton. This portrays Dr.Hamilton typing on a Royal typewriter as his imagination has him think he is a great pianist performing a masterpiece.

Photographer

Cartoon of Dr. Arthur D. Bloom. He is whimsically portrayed as holding a camera with a teacup spilled on the ground.

[Hula Away Howard]

Cartoon of a hula dancing Dr.Akio Awa. He is portrayed telling Dr. Howard to, "Have a nice trip!!" The caption reads, "On H.H. Going to CUD Conference in Honolulu." This is a reoccuring motif within the cartoons of saying farewell to work friends before they leave the research facility in Hiroshima for work travel.

Back of Dining Room Check

Cartoon of Dr. Howard Hamilton looking at crickets and/or grasshoppers in the dining room. Although bugs in the cafeteria typically cause diners uneasiness, Dr. Hamilton seems delighted by these dinner companions. Caption reads, "Back of Dining Room Check."

ADB to Washington

Cartoon of Dr. Arthur D. Bloom literally 'sleeping on the plane' on his way to a conference in Washington. This is an unlikely spot to take a nap, but Dr. Bloom seems to be in quite a deep sleep. Caption says, "Preparation for The Great Conference: Sleep tight!"

H.H Off to Honolulu

  • Cartoon of "H.H.," or Howard Hamilton, on a plane to Honolulu. Dr. Howard seems to be defying normal airline rules by leaning out the airplane window mid flight to wave goodbye to his friends. Caption says, "Have a nice trip!!" Cartoon is signed by: AAA
  • T.H.
  • I.S.
  • A.H.
  • K.T.
  • A.D.B.

Tea Party at Auditorium

Cartoon of two women and one man, who are members of the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission. The caption reads, "E. Bloom," and, "A.D.B. [initials for Arthur D. Bloom] M. Bloom For Mrs. E. Bloom."

A Lonely Man

Cartoon depicting a somber Dr. Arthur D. Bloom where the Bloom family is wishing him well with the caption reading, "Have a Nice Trip."

AAA Returns a Borrowed Book

Cartoon signed, "AAA," for Dr. Akio Awa who is depicted as returning a borrowed book. The caption reads, "Thank you very much." The title of the cartoon appears to be in someone else's hand, and it is presumed as Dr.Hamilton's, who may have created some of the titles for some of these illustrations.

Opening AAA's Window

Cartoon of Dr. Hamilton because of the presence of the bow tie of his character, who is using an unconventional entrance into Dr. Akio Awa's office. He may also be doing a poor job of trying to open the window of Dr. Awa's office. The caption reads, "Thank you, you did very well for me."

ADB Leaving for Washington

Cartoon of Arthur D. Bloom leaving for work on an airplane. His head is wrapped in a bandage surrounding the outer perimeter of his head, which is a common motif in cartoons of someone being or feeling ill.

At Miyajima

Cartoon of Dr.HBH, or Howard B. Hamilton, performing in a Japanese theater called No? (Noh). This was a past time for Dr.Hamilton, and he would later translate No? plays into English. Dr.Arthur D. Bloom is seen photographing Dr. Hamilton in the cartoon. The comic is signed AAA for Dr. Akio Awa.

Without Title

Cartoon of Dr. Awa because of the lack of a bow tie. The employees created and participated in tennis matches. Dr.Awa appears to be taking a magic tennis racket ride possibly insuating he has magical tennis skills.

[Hard Headed]

Cartoon of Dr. Howard Hamilton getting hit over the head with an unusually large tennis racket by a "devil" Dr. Akio Awa. When the characters in the cartoons are up to no good, they are usually depicted with horns and fangs. Dr. Akio Awa is clearly up to some mischief in this scene that is reminiscent of other famous cartoons such as "Tom and Jerry."

[Don't Hang out with Howard]

Cartoon of Dr. Akio Awa with "devil" Dr. Hamilton, and the cartoon is a display of dark humor. When the characters in the cartoons are up to no good, they are usually depicted with horns and fangs. This is probably a hyperbole of the sentiment, "You're killing me!"

Dead or Alive

Cartoon of a cat[?] with a nicotine habit, smoking a pipe. The creature is wearing a ten-gallon hat, and this poster has American Wild West undertones. The caption says, "Dead or Alive $100,000 FBI Wanted Chrom. Lab."

[Bedrest]

Cartoon of Dr. Hamilton sick in bed with a thermometer in his mouth with his EKG sheet near his head.

[Arthur D. Bloom on Brown Lunch Bag]

Cartoon of Dr. Arthur D. Bloom smoking his pipe with his eyes crossed appearing stressed. Dr. Bloom is frequently depicted with his seemingly beloved pipe, and this cartoon has been drawn on what appears to be a brown paper lunch sack.

Staff meeting

Cartoon of Dr. Hamilton sitting with his feet on the desk during a staff meeting. Dr. Hamilton participated in many other activities outside of work, and these are portrayed in his thought bubbles above his head. They include: performing in Noh plays, skiing, playing tennis, eating (in the cartoons he is seen with pie often), and typing.

Famous Brand-New Car

Cartoon of presumably Dr. Hamilton, although the bow tie is not visible/present. Dr. Hamilton is seen driving this same style VW Bug in other cartoons. This cartoon is reflective of the Flinstones motif, where Fred powered the motion of his car with his feet.

Pools by AAA

Cartoon of Dr. Hamilton appearing to have fallen in the pool being rescued by Dr. Awa who seems to have a smirk on his face hinting at possible mischief.

With Best Regards

Cartoon of Dr. Akio Awa presumably being indifferent to the nervousness he may be feeling towards some upcoming work-related situation. The cartoon is signed by someone with Japanese characters. The Caption reads, "You can't say that I'm nervous," and, "Relax!!"

New Office!!

Cartoon of Dr. Howard B. Hamilton relaxing in his new office. There appears to be a disorganized mess behind him as he takes a moment to close his eyes and nap.

[Skating Rink]

Cartoon of Dr. Howard B. Hamilton rollerskating in his new office. This image appears to be related to MS066-006-029a because the mess that was behind Howard is now piled onto his desk to make way for his new skating rink.

Moving into New Office

Cartoon of Dr. Howard B. Hamilton being pushed on a cart by Dr. Awa. They are moving his things into a new office, which is depicted in other cartoons including: MS066-006-029a, MS066-006-029b, and MS066-006-030b.

[Moving into New Office part 2]

Cartoon of Dr. Howard B. Hamilton moving into his new office with the help of Dr. Awa who is standing to the side looking sheepish. This cartoon is related to images: MS066-006-029a, MS066-006-029b, and MS066-006-030b.

Liver Conference

Cartoon of Dr. Howard B. Hamilton throwing away his tie as he hides underneath a table. Dr. Awa seems to be leading the presentation at the Liver Conference, which is labeled in the comic a well as a caption that says, "Real Presentation."

AAA's Bruised Knee

Cartoon first of a mini-series related to image MS066-006-033b. Here Dr. Howard B. Hamilton is laughing at Dr. Awa's bruised knee, but the joke will soon be upon Dr. Hamilton.

[Karma]

Cartoon second of two in a series related to image MS066-006-033a. This depicts Dr. Howard B. Hamilton attempting to kick Dr. Awa's bruised knee, but it comes back to bite him.

TV Star AAA

Cartoon of Dr. Awa being filmed by the NHK Japanese Broadcasting Corporation while Dr. Howard B. Hamilton attempts to cut the power cord. They are filming the broadcast from the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission Clinical Lab.

NHK 8:05-9:00 AM Music Hour

Cartoon of Dr. Howard B. Hamilton peacefully enjoying music broadcasted by the NHK Japanese Broadcasting Corporation as one of his associates attempts to play a cruel joke on him.

Run Away

Cartoon of Dr. Howard B. Hamilton attempting to run away from Dr. Awa who is grabbing him by his bow tie.

H.S Scolding

Cartoon of Dr. Howard B. Hamilton getting stabbed by a female coworker. The title alludes he may have gotten a scolding from this coworker.

[Barking Up the Wrong Tree]

Cartoon of Dr. Howard B. Hamilton barking at a dog barking at him. This is the first part in a series of two cartoons related to image MS066-006-045b pasted beneath it on the original object.

I'm Sorry, Sir.

Cartoon of Dr. Awa with puppy eyes apologizing to someone who called him a, "Bakayaro." This roughly translates to, "You idiot!"

Hon and His Friends

Cartoon of one of the workers at the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission Research Center trying to fall asleep to no avail due to background noise.

Yakitori-Ya

Cartoon of Dr. Howard B. Hamilton enjoying 'people kabobs.' The title, "Yakitori-Ya," is a restaurant that sells chicken cabobs, or 'yakitori.'

Flood by Sweat

Cartoon of Dr. Howard B. Hamilton flooding a tennis court with his own sweat. The caption at the bottom reads "Isni Kai Match."

Who Knocked?

Cartoon of Dr. Howard B. Hamilton shutting his bow tie and foot in the door while Dr. Awa waits to be let inside.

Awa

Cartoon of Dr. Awa enjoying a large beer. There are Japanese characters for the caption.

[Editing]

Cartoon of a staff member referred to as "HS." She appears to be handed a frustrating work assignment.

Lunch

Cartoon of Dr. Howard b. Hamilton being served a dangerous meal by a dangerous waiter.

Awa Recovers from the Vapors

Cartoon of Dr. Awa with an unconvincing face stating, "Thank You, Sir. I'm Fine, Sir." The vapors are a vague catch-all phrase. The meaning may differ for this cartoon, but Dr. Awa is standing above an open man-hole after walking past a caution construction sign indicating something maybe mentally draining.

Kangen-sai

Cartoon of Arthur D. Bloom and his family taking a boat tour. This is part one of two in a mini series of drawings.

After all…

Cartoon of Arthur D. Bloom and his family taking a boat tour minus the boat. This is a part two to a two-part mini series of drawings.

I Have No Objection

Cartoon of Dr. Awa giving his approval to show his cartoons to the Hematology department. The caption says, "AAA when asked if his cartoons could be shown to Hematology."

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