Saturday, May 12, 2007


The Other Poe

One of the great rewards of my line of work is hearing from the descendants of a previously-forgotten figure that I've written about. After publishing my Don Miff piece in The Believer a couple years ago, I heard from one of Virginius Dabney's descendants... incredibly, none other than Rodes Fishburne at the Grotto, a writer with whom I have mutual friends.

Well, it's happened again. After publishing a New Scientist piece and appearing on NPR to discuss artificial respirator inventor George Poe -- you know of his more famous cousin -- I've heard from Greg Ostrander, a US Navy physiologist and the descendant of Poe's assistant, Arthur Ostrander. Turns out -- here is the really amazing news -- the Ostrander family saved Poe's respirator machine. They still have it!

He now has a journal article in the works, complete with photos. Stayed tuned.

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