Born on Independence Day in 1883, the independent-minded Reuben Lucius “Rube” Goldberg (1883–1970) labored first as a degreed engineer for—believe it or not—the Sewers Department of San Francisco. He then worked as a newspaper cartoonist successively for the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Bulletin, New York Evening Mail, and finally for national syndication. In 1929 Goldberg published his book Is There a Doctor in the House? (left). While waiting for his wife to be whisked off to surgery, Goldberg sketched (right) that “men and women, clad completely in white, kept rushing past … like ghosts in a Shakespearean tragedy.” The cartoonist lamented that “the unsung husband … endures a sympathetic pain for every one of his wife’s agonies and alone suffers the full burden of … the doctor’s final bill.” Goldberg concluded that “they ought to give ether to husbands.” (Copyright © the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc.)

Born on Independence Day in 1883, the independent-minded Reuben Lucius “Rube” Goldberg (1883–1970) labored first as a degreed engineer for—believe it or not—the Sewers Department of San Francisco. He then worked as a newspaper cartoonist successively for the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Bulletin, New York Evening Mail, and finally for national syndication. In 1929 Goldberg published his book Is There a Doctor in the House? (left). While waiting for his wife to be whisked off to surgery, Goldberg sketched (right) that “men and women, clad completely in white, kept rushing past … like ghosts in a Shakespearean tragedy.” The cartoonist lamented that “the unsung husband … endures a sympathetic pain for every one of his wife’s agonies and alone suffers the full burden of … the doctor’s final bill.” Goldberg concluded that “they ought to give ether to husbands.” (Copyright © the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc.)

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George S. Bause, M.D., M.P.H., Honorary Curator, ASA’s Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology, Schaumburg, Illinois, and Clinical Associate Professor, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. UJYC@aol.com.