The Van Allen Hospital in Kodaikanal recently celebrated reaching its centennial year. To commemorate this, the hospital planned to publish a Centennial Celebration magazine,and I was commissioned to research and write the section about Van Allen’s history. It would have been a breeze, if there had been any official documents or any records about the hospital. But because of the complete absence of factual information, I had to rely instead on old photos stored away, old jokes and anecdotes recollected by retired nurses, and old letters written by doctors. It was surprisingly a ton of fun sketching out the timeline of the hospital, adding facts and stories, finding photos and taking pictures to match the information. One of the best days was looking for details on the Dr. Van Allen the hospital is named after, and finding a picture of the building in 1913 as well as a description written on the back by the doctor’s brother, on perhaps page 23 of Google search. Here’s the finished write-up Van Allen Centennial Celebration Final Edit (if you open the file, make sure you view it with Adobe Reader).