©Wellcome Library, London

Students of both sexes work with Bunsen burners in a chemical laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston. The New York physician, Robert Morris (1857-1945), claimed that ‘before the year 1870, in this country there were no laboratories excepting those of anatomy because the expense of laboratories seemed too great for the teachers who divided fees that were received by students'. By the end of the 19th century, however, American hospitals had more laboratory facilities than those in England or Europe which created a need for well trained technicians. Hospital doctors were more likely than their European colleagues to practise laboratory-based medicine which led to criticism that they had less contact with patients and neglected their emotional needs.

Wood engraving.