Lineal Genealogy of the Curtis Family Related to the House
Josiah Curtis - Yale Graduate, Jefferson Medical College Physician, Inventor
Of the children born to Josiah and Betsy, their son Josiah (born 1816) left behind a legacy of significant professional achievement, which included being the creator of Collodion, a product that can still be purchased today for painting over a cut to provide protection.
"Collodion was a viscous liquid - guncotton dissolved in ether and alcohol - which had only been invented in 1846, but which quickly found a use during the Crimean war; when it dried it formed a very thin clear film, which was ideal for dressing and protecting wounds. One can still obtain this today, for painting over a cut." © Robert Leggat, 1996
CURTIS, Josiah, physician, born in Wethersfield, Connecticut, in 1816. He was graduated at Yale in 1840, and soon afterward became principal of an academy in Salem, New Jersey, and later taught in Philadelphia, where he studied medicine, and in 1843 was graduated at Jefferson Medical College. After spending a year in lecturing on physiology and public health, he settled for practice in Lowell, Massachusetts. In 1849 he removed to Boston, and between 1850 and 1855 twice visited Europe for the purpose of studying the sanitary condition of the large cities. In 1861 he was called to Washington to superintend the mortality statistics of the U. S. census of 1860. He there entered the army, and remained with it until 1865, when he took up his residence in Knoxville, Kentucky. In 1872 Dr. Curtis filled the place of surgeon, microscopist, and naturalist to the U. S. geological survey, and in 1873 became chief medical officer of the U. S. Indian service. He has published numerous articles on ventilation and kindred subjects, and is the author of a report on the "Hygiene of Massachusetts" (1849), and earlier reports to the Massachusetts legislature on the registration of births, marriages, and deaths. He is noted as the discoverer of collodion, which he undoubtedly discovered practicing medicine as its initial use was for dressing and protecting wounds.
Today: It is unknown if Josiah Curtisís Collodian discovery is the predecessor to the New-Skin® product owned by Prestige Brands Holdings, Inc. (Irvington, NY), which in turn is owned by GTCR Golder Rauner, LLC (Chicago, IL), a equity investment firm.
Believe it or not, New-Skin® has been protecting cuts and scrapes for over 100 years! Seen to the right is one of our first advertisements - From 1907.
New-Skin® was invented around 1900, and first trademarked in January 1901.
New-Skin® is the brand that consumers have trusted for over 100 years to provide a clear, flexible, waterproof covering that is breathable yet tough enough to last for days. New-Skin® is the Original and the #1 Liquid Bandage Brand. It's so easy to use too! Simply brush it on! New-Skin® dries rapidly to form a clear protective cover that helps kill germs with an antiseptic. Itís so simple, it fast! Unlike regular bandages that can come off when they get wet, New-Skin® is waterproof and flexible - thatís why we say it's the bandage that stays on. New-Skin® Liquid is perfect for small cuts and scrapes. New-Skin® Spray uses the same trusted formula in a spray applicator, making it easier to cover larger areas. New-Skin® Scar Therapyô is the easy to use scar treatment gel that visibly reduces the appearance of scars in as little as six weeks.
Collodion would also play a vital role in photography. The Collodian process was introduced in 1851 and marks a watershed in photography. Up till then the two processes in use were the daguerreotype and the calotype. Daguerreotypes were better than calotypes in terms of detail and quality, but could not be reproduced; calotypes were reproducible, but suffered from the fact that any print would also show the imperfections of the paper.
The search began, then, for a process, which would combine the best of both processes - the ability to reproduce fine detail and the capacity to make multiple prints. The ideal would have been to coat light sensitive material on to glass, but the chemicals would not adhere without a suitable binder, which obviously had to be clear. At first, Albumen (the white of an egg) was used.
Then in 1851 Frederick Scott Archer (b. 1813; d. 2 May 1857) came across collodion. Collodion was just the answer as far as photography was concerned, for it would provide the binding, which was so badly needed. Archer's procedure was to mix collodion with potassium iodide, and then immerse this in a solution of silver nitrate. Both the exposure and the development had to be made in the camera whilst the plate was still wet. © Robert Leggat, 1996