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Records of the John B. Deaver Surgical Society

Identifier: MSS 4/002

Scope and Contents

This small collection of the corporate records of the John B. Deaver Surgical Society documents the society's membership and activities over a fifty year period. The minute books of the society (1915-1944) in Series 1 contain the cases and papers presented at each meeting, the results of the annual election of officers, and also records of membership in the society and attendance at each meeting.

The treasurer's books in Series 2 (1943-1966) list the society's income, generally through membership dues, and expenses from each meeting.

Series 3 contains two items related to John B. Deaver's service at Lankenau Hospital, Philadelphia. The first item is a manual of procedures (circa 1924?) written by an unknown author for interns working under Deaver in the surgical wards, clinic, and operating room at Lankenau. The manual is very candid and gives a vivid description of the character and methods of the "Boss", as Deaver was known to the interns. The second item is an illuminated copy of the hospital's Board of Trustees' resolution, dated 9 Novemberj1931, on the death and service of John B. Deaver.


  • 1915 - 1966


Biographical / Historical

The John B. Deaver Surgical Society of the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine was founded in November 1897 to encourage students in the study of surgery. Its membership was drawn from the Phi Chi and Phi Rho Sigma fraternities at the University. The society was under the care of patrons, first, John B. Deaver, then George P. Muller, and, finally, J. Montgomery Deaver.

At each meeting of the society, papers concerning either current or historical aspects of surgery were presented. Generally, each meeting had a paper delivered by a thirdyear student, presentation of a surgical case, and a main presentation. The society held its meetings at the houses of the two fraternities and Lankenau Hospital. In addition, each February, J. Montgomery Deaver hosted a banquet at the Racquet Club in Philadelphia; the society itself hosted the annual Lankenau Kneipe for departing graduates.

The John B. Deaver Surgical Society was probably disbanded circa 1967.


2 boxes (4 volumes and 2 folders)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

This collection of records of the John B. Deaver Surgical Society was part of a larger gift donated to the Mutter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia on 26 May 1987 by the former secretary of J. Montgomery Deaver, Katharine A. Stoll, through Robert H. Bradley, Jr. The material was probably in the possession of J. Montgomery Deaver at Lankenau Hospital. Most of this gift was transferred to the Historical Collections of the Library by Gretchen Worden on 5 June 1987.

The collection was processed and catalogued in 1990.
Records of the John B. Deaver Surgical Society
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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