A gift of medical history

Stethoscopes, a wooden insect magnifier, a medicine spoon, a thermometer, a surgical set in (background) and pill makers-two flat pieces of Bakelite with holes (foreground) are part of the collection of medical antiques from the 1800s that Jean Gaissert Leonardy, widow of Dr. John G. Leonardy, donated to the College of Medicine. Photo by Priscilla Santos

The Thomas H. Maren Medical Student Reading Room now displays a collection of rare medical instruments used in the 1700s, 1800s, and 1900s, including scarificators (used in the practice of bloodletting), tortoise shell lancets and vintage thermometers.
Jean Gaissert-Leonardy presented the UF College of Medicine with the large collection of antique medical instruments that belonged to her late husband, Dr. John G. Leonardy, who passed away in April 2008.
Mrs. Leonardy visited the college Aug. 26 and was able to see the collection on display at the Maren Reading Room, located on the ground floor of the Communicore Building.
“I enjoyed my day at the college immensely, as I always do,” said Mrs. Leonardy.

Jean Gaissert-Leonardy, widow of Dr. John G. Leonardy, donated her husband's large collection of antique medical instruments to the UF College of Medicine and visited the campus Aug. 26. Photo by Priscilla Santos

Nina Stoyan-Rosenzweig, archivist and education coordinator for the UF Health Science Center, said she is excited about the potential the historical collection has for involving students in research.
“Knowledge of our history is so important for gaining a perspective on the present,” Stoyan-Rosenzweig said. “The Health Science Center has never before received a donation of medical tools of such quality and size.”
Although John Leonardy was not a UF College of Medicine graduate, he always said if there was a medical school in Florida when he was applying, he would have chosen UF over Emory University, his wife said.
“I believe that giving the collection to the College of Medicine is just one of those meant-to-be situations,” she said.