| When was the last time you saw Joe Hamilton?
| I have no idea. Actually if you know when he died, I can say
that it was shortly before that. I went up to visit him one time. Oh, I
think that was when I saw Leah's work. I think that was it: I went to visit Joe.
|Was she still psychotic at that time?
| I don't know.
| He was home. He wasn't in the hospital.
| He was at his home.
|What was he like in terms of personality?
| Good question. He was a nice guy. Number one. He was a
dedicated scientist, dedicated scientist. He became sad when he was dying. I
guess everybody would be. You don't fear death, you fear the dying. It was sad.
| How would this manifest itself?
| Sad. I like the Spanish word tristé. That has
the sound of sadness.
| How would you characterize Stone when you talk about him?
| Stone was a Scotsman. That was part of his makeup. He was
very chintzy about spending money on the department, for instance. He was an
excellent clinician. He was an excellent radiologist. He was a dedicated and
exciting research guy. Everybody recognized his work on patient analysis, and
you have the best in the world.
| He was somewhat of a prickly character, I had the
impression, just in correspondence I've seen. He made some enemies.
| Yes, he could. It never came into my ken. Like Shimkin, for
example, or even Bierman. He had a reason. He felt that those people were
getting out of line. With John Lawrence, he thought he was getting out of line.
| How so?
Tension Between John Lawrence and Stone
| I don't think I'm going to answer that. I don't know; he
just disagreed with what [they were] trying to do.
| With what Lawrence was going to do?
| Yes, trying to develop a medical school in competition, for
| That would have been one cause of tension between Stone and
Lawrence, certainly. John Lawrence was trying to create a medical school at
Berkeley and Stone was at UC San Francisco. I can see how that could be a cause
| Stone felt strongly that there wasn't room for two medical
schools twelve miles apart.
| Although it seems somewhat curious that Stone would have
been one of the liaison people between UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley.
| It was his work in both places.
| I'm just thinking out loud here: I'm a little surprised that
Stone wouldn't want to create his own center at San Francisco at the medical
center and not have much to do with Berkeley.
| You see, timing is what this is all about. Early on, Stone
did not have a bevatron, he didn't have a laboratory. The Berkeley thing had the
big equipment for neutron therapy and the whole bit. That is why he would go to
Berkeley. You understand?
| Yes. Let me just mention a question Anna had asked earlier.
Stone was one of the first to use neutron therapy. I think around 1947 he writes
a paper and they abandoned this.
| He also was one of the first that did million-volt radiation
therapy. He was the first one who ever used radioactive material in an attempt
to treat a patient.
| Sodium or phosphorus?
| Sodium, exactly. It's funny recalling this stuff out of thin
| A couple of letters I've seen from Stone suggested that at
one point there was a rivalry. I don't understand this, because I need a
radiologist to enlighten me on this: a rivalry between Stone and his Sloan
machine, the bevatron, and new cobalt machines were being developed and used on
the east coast that used 360-degree rotation of the radiation beam. Is that
| I have no idea.
| The case I saw involved Loran Gatter (phonetic).
Gatter was diagnosed as having a brain tumor, I believe, and he was initially
treated by Stone in San Francisco, but then he went on to Mass[achusetts]
General [Hospital to be treated] by one of the new machines.
| Normally, radiation therapy is given to the patient from two
or more directions in order to give the tumor the most radiation with the least
radiation to the normal tissue around it. With the 360-degree rotation the ratio
of tumor to normal tissue dose is increased, and therefore there is less damage
to the normal tissue.
| This is actually a document that comes from the archive.
(Herken hands Miller a document)
| Is it in relation to large doses of radioiodine used for
treatment of carcinoma or thyroid? A twelve-year-old boy was riddled with
metastases from cancer of the thyroid. We treated him with 100 millicuries for
five times. Today he is well. His father and I are dear friends, for good
reason. This boy, now fifty years old or getting on to sixty, can break me in
half. That was the one really shining example.
|Did you have any interactions with Dr. Paul Aebersold75 at
| I knew him. He was working with the Atomic Energy Commission
and that was the relationship.
| Are you aware that, I believe, it was him that committed
suicide later on? Do you know anything about that?
|You don't know anything about that.
| I know he was a magnificent dancer. All of the women loved
| You didn't happen to know Shields Warren by any chance?
| I knew him, but I never really was close to him.
| I was just wondering. From what we're seeing here, this
sounds like research.
(Herken shows Dr. Miller a document.)
| This had to do, I'm sure because it was large doses of
iodine, it was with carcinoma of the thyroid. It had to be, because we were
attempting to get the tracer dose down farther, farther, and farther. Of course,
when you're treating a carcinoma, you have to hit it hard; otherwise, forget it.
|This is for the Project [(Contract)] 48, so that answers
that question. So, this would have been AEC-funded at that point.
| '47, okay. I didn't know anything about that. You were
asking before why I felt I didn't want to be conducting this, because you have
to do this kind of thing all the time.
|[Textbox: Robert Spencer Stone, M.D., L.L.D. (March 10, 1967)]
| This is an interview with Dr. Earl Miller by Anna Berge of
the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory Archives and Records Office on the 17th of
August, 1994, at his residence in San Rafael, California.
| I haven't had this sense of paranoia about you, as I did
about that guy.76
| The following interview is a continuation of an interview
with Dr. Earl Miller on his work as a researcher and radiologist at the
University of California in San Francisco.
Many of the following questions will be based on the history of radiology as
seen by Dr. Earl Miller, which is a transcription of a recording on video of the
history of the [UCSF] Department [of Radiology] as he lived it.
Dr. Miller, you made a number of references to different hospitals that you
worked with. I was reading this [transcription of your video] and you mentioned,
in the section on the growth of the department, a number of different other
laboratories and hospitals. I was wondering if you could tell us a little bit
about how your collaboration or the department's collaboration with other
hospitals and other institutions workedfor example, San Francisco General
Hospital, or any number of them.
Use of Tomography to Diagnose Tuberculosis Patients
| Let's stay with the San Francisco General to start with.
The San Francisco General was a hospital for indigent people. It's still, I
think, called San Francisco General. It's quite a different place now. At the
time I was there, I was there as a [Radiology] resident from Stanford[University's medical school, 193739]. [The] San Francisco General
Radiology setup was run by both Stanford and UC. I had nothing to do with UC at
that time; in fact, I didn't know much about it. That's where I met Henry L.
Anything else you want to know about it?
|I guess I don't understand how you worked with them.
| I was a resident in training at Stanford, then at SF
General, and then back at Stanford, in the old Stanford Hospital at Clay and
| Did you ever do any work after you were a resident there?
| There, no. Although, somehow I got interested in
tomography.77 A Dr. Petrillo, I thinkhe was a radiologisthad one
in San Francisco. Neither UC nor Stanford had one [(a tomograph)]. I went to the
shop and built one. That was the time when tuberculosis78 was a rampant
disease. A whole hospital wing was devoted to the care of these unfortunate
patients. [To test the laminograph,] I asked the doctors on that ward to send me
their six toughest patients, those in which there was persistent positive79
sputum80 and no demonstrable cavities. All six were shown to have cavities in
the lungs with the new gadget.
| It's body-section radiography. By means of an arm, (pointing
to different parts of his outstretched arm) here's the x-ray tube, here's
the patient, and here's the film.81
|Any other hospitals you worked with?
| No. Then I went back to Stanford in San Francisco. There was
a dual arrangement where both Stanford and UC sent residents to SF General
Hospital for study.
|You mentioned, for example, Moffitt Hospital.
| That's UC. There's Moffitt and now there is another one on
the UCSF campus called
|[Textbox: History of Radiology, University of California at San Francisco, as Seen by Earl R. Miller, M.D. in the Mid 1980's]
Working in the Radiological Research Laboratory
|What kind of work did you do with the Radiological Research
| That was my life.
|It just had a fancy name.
| That's what I called it. The lab occupies 3,200 square feet,
had a [machine] shop, electronics lab, x-ray room, dark room, conference room,
and office space. In 1978, the regents renamed the lab the "Earl R. Miller
Radiologic Imaging Laboratory."
| Are you feeling okay?
| Can you elaborate on what your research was like, in terms of
how a general day was like?
| I did clinical work and teaching in the mornings, and I
worked in the labs in the afternoons. There were two labs. The Radiological
Research Lab was in the basement of the West Wing, [room] number 207. The
Clinical Radiologic Research Lab was in the Cancer Research Institute on the13th floor of H.C. Moffitt. Two half-days a week I worked up in the Clinical
Laboratory. The rest of the time I spent down in the other laboratory.
So, the work up on the 13th floor was primarily the study of physiology of
the lower urinary tract and the study of speech. We examined patients who had
lower-urinary-tract problems, patients who had swallowing problems, and who had
abnormal speech, usually due to cleft palates. These patients required the use
of the sophisticated equipment which presented anatomic and physiologic data
simultaneously on each frame of an x-ray movie, and on each frame of a
The basement lab provided the instruments and the know-how to make and use
such equipment. Data from the Clinical Lab was analyzed in the basement lab
because it [(the Radiological Research Lab in the basement)] contained
sophisticated TV and electronic equipment for the analysis and dissection of
images. Data was usually presented on the face of the CRT82 tube of an