Dr. Joseph Mountin’s Microscope
In 1946, Dr. Joseph W. Mountin envisioned the “Centers of Excellence” that turned a wartime malaria control effort into today’s CDC. According to his memoirist, Hugh Leavell, “Mountin was recognized for his vision and his passion for facts. Never satisfied with the status quo, he sought the reason for things, and he kept asking what the people wanted done about their health. . . Because Mountin’s views of health were so dynamic, he not infrequently trod on the toes of those content to look backward rather than forward” (Leavell, 1953, 19).
Dr. Mountin’s grandson, Daniel Joseph Mountin, Jr., contacted CDC in 2001 about donating the microscope to the CDC. In an e-mail he stated, “Since I know you have an exhibit honoring my grandfather’s legacy, I felt that the microscope belonged there, at the CDC Museum, rather than in a storage closet in my house.” Dr. Mountin’s children, Mr. Daniel Joseph Mountin, Sr., of Carrollton, Texas and Ms. Joan Hopke, of Naples, Florida, visited the CDC Museum with their spouses in 2002, and presented the microscope to CDC. It is currently on display in the David J. Sencer CDC Museum.
Take a closer look:
- Disease-causing culprits are typically too small to be seen by the naked eye. That’s why microscopy is an important part of CDC’s work! Take a look at images of pathogens that CDC laboratories have identified during disease investigations.
- Want to see the man behind the microscope? View photographs of Mountin, the founder of CDC.
- If you’re feeling inspired, check out selected papers of Dr. Mountin’s and an article reflecting on his work four decades after his death.
- Take a closer look at Dr. Mountin’s microscope from the front, side, and above.
- CDC Museum is named after David J. Sencer, MD, MPH. See David J. Sencer receiving the first annual commemorative Dr. Joseph W. Mountin award.
From the source:
- CDC microscopists like Cynthia Goldsmith play key roles in capturing visuals of deadly viruses and bacteria. Learn Cynthia’s story!
- Zoom in on the parasite that causes malaria in this 1946 footageexternal icon.
- View this 1950 filmexternal icon describing the original activities of the CDC and its services to local and state health departments, then view a 1986 video celebrating 40 years of preventionexternal icon.
Then and now:
- Art is a powerful tool to explore and deepen our understanding of microbes, cells, DNA, and everything in between. CDC Museum’s exhibit, The World Unseen, showcases the ponderings of artists and scientists alike! Can you think of examples of art that represents or reflects science? What about science that reflects art?
Give it a try: