E. B. Jamieson
Edward Bald Jamieson, Demonstrator and lecturer in Anatomy at the University of Edinburgh, and author of classic medical textbooks on the subject, seventh child of Robert Jamieson (1827-1899) and Barbara Laurenson Laing, brother of Christina Jamieson and James Peter Speid Jamieson.
' ... The story of E.B. Jamieson's life is a remarkable one. He was born and brought up on a croft in the Shetlands. Of his five brothers and two sisters, three of the boys became medically qualified. His eldest brother achieved a first class honours degree in classics and mental philosophy from Edinburgh University and spent most of his working life as Chief Inspector of Schools for the Southern Division of Scotland. Another brother was a commercial traveller, and died of pneumonia aged 26. John K. Jamieson, the fourth son, graduated in medicine from Edinburgh in 1894, and was later appointed the first full-time Professor of Anatomy at Leeds University.
E.B.J. qualified in medicine from Edinburgh in 1900. J.P.S. Jamieson was the youngest child, another Edinburgh medical graduate. He emigrated to New Zealand, and was particularly involved in medical politics there. All of his sisters remained on the island.
It would be very difficult for anyone reading this book not to be impressed by this example of what it is possible to achieve despite almost insurmountable odds. The handicaps suffered by those who lived in the Shetlands during Victorian times and well into the present century are difficult for most of us to imagine. While his father was an educated man, and headmaster of the local school, much of his upbringing took place in a society where physical poverty dominated, although there was clearly no bar to educational advancement if the potential was there and the individual receptive. It is likely that the youngest reader of this slim volume who will have been taught by the legendary E.B. Jamieson in the Dissecting Room in Edinburgh will have recently retired from clinical practice. Even those of us who attended the Edinburgh Medical School during the early 1960s cannot have failed to fall under the umbrella of his benign influence when in the Department of Anatomy. Our demonstrators all carried copies of the book 'Wee Jimmy' (his Companion to Manuals of Practical Anatomy) in their pockets for ready reference, while we always carried with us our copies of the appropriate volume of 'Jimmy's Plates' (his Illustrations of Regional Anatomy). These were used by all medical students to supplement the lectures, and were invaluable aids to assist us in learning and revising our 'gross' anatomy.
I have little doubt that there will be few from either group who do not have large numbers of his diagrams indelibly imprinted in their brains. I was recently shown a set of his 'Illustrations', and was amazed how familiar all of the diagrams appeared to be, despite the fact that the last time that I had seen them was in the early 1960s. While I did not recall much of the detailed text, the illustrations were exactly as I recalled them.
His knowledge of regional anatomy was clearly enormous, as was his ability to convey this information in an easily digestible form to others. The first edition of Sections 1-5 of his 'Illustrations' published in October 1934 was an immediate success. A further two Sections dealing with the Limbs were published in 1936. The eighth edition containing minor amendments suggested by the author shortly before he died in 1956 was published in August 1954. A ninth edition was published in 1972, being revised by Robert Walmsley, one of the demonstrators who had prepared some of the dissections on which a number of the illustrations were based. Dr T.R. Murphy assisted him in this exercise ...
... This is an excellent and thought provoking read, and the authors are to be congratulated on their efforts ...'
Professor Matthew Kaufman