Charlie Hodge and the MNI

Charlie Hodge of
the MNI c1954

Toronto. Dr Wilder Penfield founded McGill’s Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) in 1934. The institute became world famous for Penfield’s ground breaking research on seizures and  the human brain. Charlie Hodge was his Neurological Photographer of choice.

In 1945, a 21 year old Hodge joined the MNI as an assistant in photography. Six months later, he took over the medical photography department when its experienced head, Peter Hayden, retired. Charlie ran the department for nearly a half century. Charlie embarked on a crash course in medical photography to meet the exacting standards of Dr Penfield.

In the middle of the previous century, good work demanded bright lights and big cameras. The bulk of the medical photography was done with black and white film in plates, cut-film, and movie reels. When Charlie died in 2001 at about 76 years old, he was remembered a few months later in an article in the July 2001 issue of NeuroImage magazine.

My thanks to George Dunbar, who unearthed this 1954 photograph of Charlie and an assistant in action at the MNI, in the holdings of Library and Archives Canada (LAC).


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