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Presentation of Medical Missions "Hanging a Sign"
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This pamphlet, "Hanging a Sign: A Presentation of Medical Mission," was written by Mrs. E. C. Cronk.
The original document was provided by the South Dumfries Historical Society.
Date of Original
[ca. 1920s]
Personal Name(s)
E. C. Cronk
Local identifier
South Dumfries Historical Society
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.2501 Longitude: -80.24966
Copyright Statement
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Recommended Citation
E. C. Cronk. A Presentation of Medical Missions "Hanging a Sign", ca. 1920s. South Dumfries Historical Society, 1999.60.39D.
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The information and images provided are for personal research only and are not to be used for commercial purposes. Use of this information should include the credit "South Dumfries Historical Society."
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Full Text

"One Half of the World is Without a 'Doctor. *'

\ 50,000,000 WOMEN IN INDIA 159 Women Doctors



93 Women Doctors



15 Women Doctors



LANDS 20 Women Doctors


A Presentation of Medical Missions




Women's Missionary Society, United Lutheran


'Price /5c each; 5Oc for &ix; 75c per doz.



ENTER GIRL IN STUDENT CAP AND GOWN WITH DIPLOMA IN HER HAND. IN OTHER HAND is A SIGN, "ELEANOR BRENT SMITH, M. D.": At last! Oh the thrill >± actually holding in my own two hands this precious diploma and my sign all ready to hang up'to lure patients. Now where shall I hang my sign? It would be great to go back to my own, my native town and demonstrate to the unbelievers that I have actually finished the course, and that I have a perfectly jgood license authorizing me to the practice of medicine and surgery 1 hey did not think I would stick to my studies until I finished and I should just like to hang this sign in that old town to show them. But there are let me see (counts) one, two, three, four, five, six—six doctors there now ancT there are only three thousand people. It would be an uphill business to build up a practice, and every one of the other doctors would oppose me Perhaps it would be better for me to stay right here in Philadelphia, near the medical college. But, think of all the famous doctors and surgeons here-I m afraid no patients would ever come to poor little me and my sign would just wave on and on in the gentle breeze while the heedless and healthy throng passed it by unseeingly. I thought my troubles would all be over when I passed the various and sundry tests and examinations, but here's a new problemT-given a diploma and a degree and a sign all ready to hang up. Where shall I hang it? Who bids for my sigrl?


ENTER CHINESE GIRL: Oh, let me put in a bid for China. Hang it in my land. China has two hundred million women, and only about one hundred women doctors. Why should you wait for patients in America while China has patients waiting for you? China is making wonderful progress, but still there is such great need. Still our doctors and priests are bound by superstition. Still we have little straw men made to place beside those who are sick in order that the sickness may be lured or enticed into the man of straw by the money which we tie to it, and then the straw man be burned or thrown away. China needs, with a greater need than you can know, this sign of yours. There you can begin at once to minister to those who need you and are waiting for you. There you can help us to train our own doctors and nurses. I beg you to hang your sign in China.

ENTER JAPANESE GIRL: I bid for your sign for Japan. We have many doctors and many hospitals, but oh, so few Christian doctors. We need, oh, Japan needs so much the message of the Great Physician, whose name has never yet been named to millions of our people.

ENTER GIRL REPRESENTING MISSIONARY FROM AFRICA: I am a missionary to Africa. I beg you to hang your sign in that dark land. A whole continent of opportunity is opened to you. I can show you a block of country nearly

_.~a thousand miles square without a doctor of any kind and only one trained nurse. Recently a young doctor who came to a mission hospital in Africa performed his first major operation within fifteen minutes after his boat landed. He did not have time to hang a sign. The suffering people had heard that another white doctor was coming and they were lined up to receive him when he landed. I can show you the bleached bones of thousands who have been taken out on the veldt to die alone, uncared for, because they were declared to be bewitched. Just recently, when the mother of a chief died two little slave children were compelled to walk around the corpse all night to keep the evil spirits from breaking loose into, the town. Then at daybreak the next morning the two children were buried alive in the same grave with the dead woman. Thousands of people are doomed to drink the poison cup to prove that they are not witches. If they die of the poison they are declared guilty. If they survive they thus prove their innocence. How the poor people of Africa suffer! How the women suffer! How the little children suffer! Fifty millions of women in Africa and only fifteen women doctors! In the name of the Christ who died for them, I beg you to hang your sign in Africa.

ENTER KOREAN GIRL : Korea bids for your sign. You girls of America oh, how little you know of a childhood terrorized by fear of evil spirits! All of my life I have spent in terror of the spirits—spirits of the air, spirits of the water, spirits of the land! The bodies of our whole nation show even today the scars of superstition, pierced as they have been by sharp knives to let the evil spirits out. Smallpox is so common in my land that no man counts his children until after they have had smallpox. Our eyes have been blinded by steel needles. Our bodies have been burned with hot irons. Even today our native physicians are giving prescriptions such as powdered tiger claws, tincture of bear's gall, or decoction of crow's feet. You laugh at our superstitions, but you send us so few doctors to teach us truth. I beg you not to hang that sign in a place that needs it not, when Korea's need is so great.

ENTER MOHAMMEDAN GIRL: I bid for that sign for Moslem women. In your hand you hold the key, the only key which can open the Mohammedan lock. The medical missionary can enter through doors locked and barred to every one else. Think of one hundred million women in Moslem lands with only twenty women doctors! Why should you enter an overcrowded way here, when you might be a pioneer in unbeaten paths to bring health and healing to the veiled women of Islam?

ENTER GIRL FROM PHILIPPINES: If you want your sign to hang neath your own Stars and Stripes, I bid for it for the Philippines. The United States has done much for us, but there is yet much to be done. Why should you not hang up your sign with the determination to help put tuberculosis and leprosy out of the Philippines and out of the world?

ENTER GIRL FROM INDIA: I bid for your sign for India—for India with its millions of child wives and widows. We have only about one woman doctor to every one million women in India. Our land is not as is your land, for, in India, no man is permitted to look upon the face of the women of the high caste. It will not be hard for you to build your practice in India. I can take you to a hospital that has its gate closed because the only missionary doctor there broke down and had to go away for rest. Notwithstanding all her pleadings and entreaties to the girls of America, no one else has come out to take her place. A high-caste girl was carried many miles to that hospital. Through all the pain of the rough way she looked forward to the time she should reach the hospital and find the wonderful doctor of whom she had heard. When they came to the gate at the entrance, it was closed. The old gate-keeper had to send them back all the long way because there was no doctor there. On the homeward way the girl died. So my people are suffering and dying with no one to help. Little children and little mothers! Oh, such little mothers, when your children of America are happy at their play. Let me show you one of the little widows I have seen, lying, half starved in a damp hall, burning with fever, cursed by her father-in-law, who forbade any one to minister to that wicked creature, who, he said, had caused the death of her husband, his bright and gifted son. When he thought she was about to die he had her carried out into the street on a mat so she would not pollute the house. For three days and nights she lay there without food or shelter in the pouring rain. The chilly air of the rainy season penetrated through her tiny worn frame and no one came to minister to her. The orthodox Hindu neighbors dared only to hope she would soon pass away, since her cries and moans disturbed their slumbers. Thus do our little girls suffer! I bid for your sign for India.

AMERICAN GIRL: And now the face of my problem has changed. Given one sign to hang and such a multitude of calls! What shall I do? One of them is my call. No sleeping potion could give me rest if with these calls ringing in my ears I failed to answer. That land is henceforth my country which needs me most. But the other calls!—

(Faces the audience squarely)

I pass them on to you. Who will answer them? Who will go? Who will send?

One girl steps out from group of foreign girls and says:


By Laura Scherer Copenhaver.

"0 Men of Science, hear ye not the cry, Physicians with the healing in your hands?

Beside the sacred river-beds we die

Plague-stricken on the pilgrim-crowded sands.

By hands uplifted to the silent skies

By hopes that perish in convulsive birth, By pray'r-decked images with sightless eyes,

By bodies stretched their length upon the earth.

By charms dispelled not, scars of red-hot rods, Give us the healing of the surgeon's knife;

By tortures at the shrines of heedless gods, Give us the One Who died to bring us life.

O women of the West that hear not,

O women dwelling in the blessed light, O women of the West that fear not

The darkness deepening into endless night.

By lives that end when yours are just beginning, By babes that perish in our helpless hands,

By mother joys we have no hope of winning, By nameless horrors which our law commands.

To you, O women of the West, our pray'r comes.

What thralls you that you come not in our need? What dulls your hearing, what opiate benumbs,

That you are silent when we bid you speed?

They tell us that your lives are full of joys, And, best of all, that they are free—are free.

Yet we in bondage cry to you; the noise Of wailing, can it reach from sea to sea?

They say you're queens of homes and hearts;

By woman's crown dragged in the dust we plead; By homes from which all joy, all hope departs;

By hearts that beat—for this—that they may bleed.

0 Men and Women dowered with skill and pow'r, We call in anguish, not in fancied need.

By lives that perish—hundreds every hour—In His name Who died, we beg you come with speed!"


STUDENT: Cap and Gown, Diploma and Sign in hand.

INDIA: A Sari, if one is obtainable. If not, take eight yards of coarse cheesecloth or muslin—red or white. The material should be at least a yard wide, to form the length of the skirt. No sewing required. Hold one end in the left hand at the waist line in front. Pass the goods tightly around hips to front. Tie the upper corner in firm knot to the upper edge of goods held in right hand. Bring the cloth snugly around the body once, then lay the long end in plaits to within three or four yards of the end. Tuck these plaits in over the knot in the middle of front, bringing fullness about six inches below waist line. Pass the loose end of cloth on over the left hip, up under right arm and over the left shoulder, bringing it around over the right shoulder and up over the head. A plain waist with short, tight sleeves may be worn underneath.

MOHAMMEDAN: Choice of Mohammedan costume of any land. One may be made by sewing together lengthwise two strips of black, or dark purple, 61 black-and-white cloth about two yards in length. Run draw-string through middle lengthwise. Tie around waist, making fullness for skirt in lower half. The upper half should be brought up over shoulders and head. A silk handkerchief may be fastened just under eyes, falling down over the face. Instead of this costume, a Mohammedan purdah may be worn. Make this by sewing together at sides two widths of white cheesecloth, forming a bag open at both ends. Gather at upper edge and sew around a small circle of cloth to fit top of head. This hangs full to the floor. There are no sleeves and no gatherings at waist or neck. Cut a small triangular opening around the face or round openings for the eyes and insert pieces of lace.

PHILIPPINES: The costume of the Filipino women consists of a bright-colored plaid skirt, with or without a short black overskirt reaching to the knees and caught up at one side. With this is worn a white waist cut low with a wide, flaring collar. The sleeves are very wide and cover the arms as far as the elbow. A white neck scarf or embroidered handkerchief completes

the costume.


AFRICA: Ordinary costume of missionary. Carry Bible.

JAPAN: Kimona with wide, square sleeves, and wide sash of silk or cambric tied high in the back. Study pictures for correct arrangement of sash.

CHINA: Plain black or dark-blue skirt (or wide trousers reaching to ankles). The full Chinese jacket may be made by a pajama pattern from dark-blue cambric. Fasten with loops of red or white braid.


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Presentation of Medical Missions "Hanging a Sign"

This pamphlet, "Hanging a Sign: A Presentation of Medical Mission," was written by Mrs. E. C. Cronk.
The original document was provided by the South Dumfries Historical Society.