First Fridays: The Salesman’s Scalpels

23-23 First Fridays banner


Correspondence, letters, notes, messages, mail – there are many words for these materials that comprise the backbone of the archives. This year we will uplift the humble letters that pepper our collections. 

Please register to attend in person or online. ASL interpreters will be present for all First Fridays events.

Light buffet lunch at 11:30 a.m. | Presentations begin at noon | A tour of the archival caverns will follow the presentation. 


The Salesman’s Scalpels: How to Succeed in Medical Sales Without Even Trying

2.2.24 FF

Presented by Emily Beck, Assistant Curator, and Caitlin Lenox, Metadata Researcher, Wangensteen Historical Library

The Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine (WHL) recently acquired a correspondence archive of an early 20-century traveling salesman for medical instruments and supplies. With letters and documents ranging from 1924-1933, this archive reveals stories about medical practices in the years leading up to the Great Depression, prices of medical supplies, workplace frustrations, automobile obsessions, and even a romance! In the second half of this presentation, the WHL’s Artifact Metadata Researcher Caitlin Lenox will discuss medical instruments held in the WHL’s artifact collection that are featured in this archive.


First Fridays is made possible by a generous gift from Governor Elmer L. Andersen and Mrs. Eleanor Andersen in honor of former University Librarian Dr. Edward B. Stanford.

Start date
Friday, Feb. 2, 2024, Noon
End date
Friday, Feb. 2, 2024, 1 p.m.

Elmer L. Andersen Library, room 120 and ONLINE