Skip to main content

Astley Paston Cooper Ashhurst photograph collection

Identifier: P-APCA

Scope and Contents

This collection contains over 350 photographs of surgical techniques, practices, and cases which require surgery; orthopedic surgery patients; skiagraphs of fractured bones; and other related images. The majority of the images can be found in Ashhurst's Surgery; its principles and practice, for students and practitioners (1914).


  • circa 1900-1920


Biographical / Historical

Astley Paston Cooper Ashhurst was born on August 21, 1876 in Philadelphia, PA to John Ashhurst Jr. and Sarah Stokes Wayne. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in 1896, and his medical degree 1900, both from the University of Pennsylvania.

During his career, Ashhurst held numerous hospital positions, including Surgeon to the Episcopal Hospital in Philadelphia from 1904 to 1930, Surgeon at the Philadelphia Orthopedic Hospital and Infirmary for Nervous Diseases from 1904 to 1930, Surgeon to the Dispensary at the Children’s Hospital from 1906 to 1911, and Chief of Gynecological Dispensary at Pennsylvania Hospital from 1906 to 1911. Ashhurst also held several teaching positions at the University of Pennsylvania, including Prosecutor to the Associate Professor of Applied Anatomy from 1904 to 1911, Instructor in Surgery from 1911 to 1920, and Professor in Clinical Surgery in the Graduate School of Medicine from 1923 to 1930.

Ashhurst served the United States military with distinction. In 1916 he attended the Medical Officers Training Camp, and in December 1917 was sent to France with Base Camp Unit No. 34 to aid in the World War I effort. From January to March of 1918, Ashhurst served as Director of Base Hospital No. 34 with the American Expeditionary Forces in Nantes, France. From April to July 1918, Ashhurst was sent to the Beauvais and Oise areas of France to serve in a medical capacity with the French army; and from July to November 1918, served as Chief of Operating Team at Nieully-sur-Seine, Chierry, and Souilly sous Verdun. Toward the end of the war, Ashhurst served as Consultant in Surgery from November to December 1918 in Savenay, Nantes, St. Nazaire; and the Camp Hospitals at Coetquiden and Neucon. Ashhurst then returned home, and from January to April 1919 served on duty as Chief of the Surgical Service at Walter Reed General Hospital for returning veterans. For his service, Ashhurst received a citation from General Pershing for “Exceptionally Meritorious and Conspicuous Service with Base Hospital 34.”

Ashhurst’s other accomplishments include publishing several monographs on surgical subjects, his Textbook on Surgery, co-written with John B. Deaver, being his best known work. Ashhurst also belonged to several medical societies, and was particularly active with the American Surgical Association, which he joined in 1913. He became a Fellow at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia in 1906.

In May 1930, Ashhurst suffered a cerebral hemorrhage stemming from a car accident, and was forced to retire from the medical profession. Later that year, he wed Anna P. Cambell. In August and September 1932, Ashhurst suffered two more cerebral hemorrhages and passed on September 19th.


5.6 Linear feet (5 photograph boxes and 1 postcard box)

Language of Materials



This collection was found during the 2015 inventory of manuscript collections. It is likely that these images were donated with the rest of Ashhurst's papers and separated.

The photographs and illustrations were in no discernible order. Those that were numbered in blue pencil were kept in that order, followed by images easily identifiable in Surgery; its principles and practices, followed by captioned images, and finally, patient photographs. The patient photographs were not arranged or described. They include Various patient photographs, labelled as being from "O. H." [Orthopedic Hospital] and "P. E. H." [Episcopal Hospital?], among others.
Astley Paston Cooper Ashhurst photograph collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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