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George Wagoner Papers

Identifier: MSS 361

Scope and Contents

The George Wagoner Papers are divided into three series.

Series I: Photographs and Illustrations consists of photographs, x-rays, negatives, and illustrations created or used by Dr. Wagoner, the bulk of which are undated. Of note in this series are glass slides and x-rays of subjects ranging from tissue samples to bone case studies. Also included are pictures of 1932 flood of Johnstown, presumably taken by Dr. Wagoner. One folder containing a "Treatment of Giant Cell Tumor" chart is stored separately in flat file.

Series II: Papers series contains of George Wagoner’s personal papers. This series includes translations Dr. Wagoner wrote for international colleagues so that their papers might be published in journals written in English. Of particular interest are United States Department of Agriculture Weather Bureau Meteorological reports used by Dr. Wagoner to research the relationship between climate and the poliomyelitis epidemic. Another important part of this series is a letter and certificate to Dr. Wagoner from President Franklin D. Roosevelt for his work with the Orthopedic Council. Other presidential materials consist of a program and related papers from a dinner with The Medical Club of Philadelphia with President Taft.

Series III: Publications series houses academic articles written by Dr. Wagoner, which span the years of 1923 to 1939. These papers deal largely with the study of various bone diseases. Of note are papers relating to the article “Giant Cell Tumor on Radius,” which include paper research, original photographs, and correspondence about the paper. Additionally, four folders house assorted reprints of Dr. Wagoner’s published articles, dating from 1923 to 1939.


  • 1915 - 1941


Biographical / Historical

George Wagoner, Philadelphia-based orthopedic surgeon, was born in 1896. He cultivated his interest in medicine by training with his father, Dr. George W. Wagoner of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. He eventually attended college at the University of Pennsylvania and went on to graduate from its Medical School in 1922. Wagoner then interned at the Philadelphia General Hospital until 1924, where he met and eventually married his fellow intern Marjorie S. Jefferies, M.D. From 1924-1926, he served as the first John Hunter Fellow in Research Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1926, he began work at Bryn Mawr Hospital, becoming the Chief of Orthopedic Surgery. He then studied bone pathology with Professor Lang at the University of Innsbruck from 1929-1934. During his time as Professor of Orthopedic Research and director of the laboratory at the Graduate School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, he introduced the celloidin mount technique for microscopic examination of total specimen sections. He also studied the relationship of climate to the epidemic of poliomyelitis for the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis from 1936-1937.

In addition to his medical research, Dr. George Wagoner spent a great deal of his career in leadership and administrative roles. He served in the United States Ambulance Corps in World War I and again as a Commander in the United States Naval Reserve in World War II. He held the position of Secretary-Treasurer of Staff of Bryn Mawr Hospital from 1947-1950, ascending to the hospital’s President from 1950-1952. Before his death in 1957, he ended his career as Attending Orthopedic Surgeon at the Graduate Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and served as an orthopedic surgery consultant for Pottstown Hospital and Women’s Hospital of Philadelphia.


4.4 Linear feet (8 document boxes, 2 lantern slide boxes, 1 flat box)

Language of Materials



George Wagoner (1896-1957), was a Philadelphia-based orthopedic surgeon who spent his career studying bone pathology. He served in administrative and teaching roles in various hospitals in Philadelphia and pioneered the celloidin mount technique for microscopic examination of total specimen sections. Collection materials consist of photographs, x-rays, glass slides, academic publications, correspondence, and personal papers. This collection is divided into three series. The first series, Photographs and Illustrations, houses photographs, glass slides, and x-rays used for professional and personal purposes. The second series, Papers, contains Dr. Wagoner’s personal papers and the third series, Publications, deals with the papers Dr. Wagoner wrote for publication in academic journals.

Oversize items

Flat file no. 1, drawer 2

Contents: 1 chart
George Wagoner papers
Mary Hanes
September 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia Repository

19 S. 22nd Street
Philadelphia PA 19103 United States