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Maude Callen on duty. In December 1951, LIFE published one of the most extraordinary photo essays ever to appear in the magazine. In W. Eugene Smith’s pictures, the story of a tireless South Carolina nurse and midwife named Maude Callen working in the rural South in the 1950s. She served as “doctor, dietician, psychologist, bail-goer and friend” to thousands of poor (most of them desperately poor) patients.

Maude Callen on duty. In December 1951, LIFE published one of the most extraordinary photo essays ever to appear in the magazine. In W. Eugene Smith’s pictures, the story of a tireless South Carolina nurse and midwife named Maude Callen working in the rural South in the 1950s. She served as “doctor, dietician, psychologist, bail-goer and friend” to thousands of poor (most of them desperately poor) patients.

Nurse midwife Maude Callen (right), South Carolina, 1951

W. Eugene Smith's Landmark Photo Essay, 'Nurse Midwife'

Nurse midwife Maude Callen (right), South Carolina, 1951

Woo hoo!

Woo hoo!

It was Christmas Eve 1926, the streets aglitter with snow and lights, when the man afraid of Santa Claus stumbled into the emergency room at New York City's Bellevue Hospital. He was flushed, gasping with fear: Santa Claus, he kept telling the nurses, was just behind him, wielding a baseball...

The little-told story of how the U.S. government poisoned alcohol during Prohibition.

It was Christmas Eve 1926, the streets aglitter with snow and lights, when the man afraid of Santa Claus stumbled into the emergency room at New York City's Bellevue Hospital. He was flushed, gasping with fear: Santa Claus, he kept telling the nurses, was just behind him, wielding a baseball...

looking for love

looking for love

W. Eugene Smith’s ‘Nurse Midwife’

W. Eugene Smith's Landmark Photo Essay, 'Nurse Midwife'

W. Eugene Smith’s ‘Nurse Midwife’

Nurses

Nurses

Labor of love: Remarkable photos of South Carolina midwife who nursed 1950s community living in crippling poverty that inspired thousands of dollars in donations

Labor of love: Remarkable photos of South Carolina midwife who nursed 1950s community living in crippling poverty that inspired thousands of dollars in donations

Nurses...

Nurses...

Students of the Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing enjoying the festivities of "Hospital Day," June 10, 1970. "Hospital Day" was an annual event, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Hospital, celebrating the Hospital and the Community as a whole. Photo by Robert S. Halvey, Hospital Photographer.

Students of the Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing enjoying the festivities of "Hospital Day," June 10, 1970. "Hospital Day" was an annual event, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Hospital, celebrating the Hospital and the Community as a whole. Photo by Robert S. Halvey, Hospital Photographer.

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