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Society of Clinical Surgery photograph album

Identifier: MSS 3/017

Scope and Contents

This photograph album documents the 1925 European tour of the Society of Clinical Surgery. The Society visited clinics and surgeons in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and England. Included are photographs of scenic views, tourist attractions, and members of the Society. Of special interest, however, are the numerous photographs of clinics, hospitals, and famous European surgeons. Many of these photographs where taken while the surgeons were performing in the operating room.

The tour began on 20 June 1925, when sixteen Society members and twenty three family members departed from New York on the Italian ship, "Duillio". The ship landed in Naples; the group then travelled to Rome where they visited the clinics of Roberto Alessandri and Raffaele Bastianelli. The tour then moved to Florence, and then Bologna, where the Society visited the clinic of Vittorio Putti, the famous orthopedic surgeon. Many other clinics and surgeons were visited during the tour, including Davide Giordano in Venice, Paul Clairmont in Innsbruck, Fritz de Quervain in Lucerne, Emile Roux in Lausanne, Rene Leriche in Strassbourg, Jean Louis Faure and Pierre Duval in Paris, and Jan Schoemaker in the Hague. Present are numerous photographs of these surgeons at work in the operating room (see pages 28, 29, 75, 82-84, 92, 95, and 96). Also included are photographs of heliotherapy in Davide Giordano's clinic in Venice (see pages 52 and 53).

The collection also contains numerous photographs of members of the Society and their families, including Charles H. Peck (then President of the Society), John H. Gibbon, William D. Haggard, David B. Cheever, Daniel F. Jones, Edward S. Judd, James F. Mitchell, Allen O. Whipple, and George W. Crile.

The page captions are listed in the inventory list.


  • 1925


Biographical / Historical

The Society of Clinical Surgery was founded in 1903, but the idea for the Society began three years earlier, in August 1900, at the 13th International Medical Congress in Paris. At this time, Harvey Cushing, considered the Father of the Society of Clinical Surgery, began to formulate the idea for a "surgical travel club" that would provide physicians with the opportunity to travel to different clinics to observe other surgeons at work. The object of such a society would be active participation and direct observation of surgical procedures, rather than the presentation of scientific papers.

Cushing shared his ideas with his colleagues, George Brewer, George W. Crile, Charles H. Frazier, James G. Mumford, and John Munro. These physicians were enthusiastic about Cushing's ideas, yet nothing was done to foster the establishment of the Society until 11 July 1903, when James G. Mumford held a meeting in New York. The end result of this informal meeting was to plan an official meeting for 12 November 1903 in Baltimore, Maryland. On this date, the Society of Clinical Surgery was established; a provisional constitution was adopted, and officers were selected.

According to its constitution, the Society of Clinical Surgery was "directed toward the general advancement of surgery", and its object was to "encourage the presentation of subjects by objective methods rather than by the formal reading of papers". The Society met twice each year to take short trips to different clinics in the United States. The Society took its first trip abroad in 1910, when its members travelled to Great Britain. The next trip abroad was to Germany in 1912, and in the summer of 1925, the Society participated in a European tour.

As of 1978, the Society of Clinical Surgery remained an active organization.


1 volume (123 pages)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

The photograph album of the 1925 European tour of the Society of Clinical Surgery was donated to the Historical Collections of the Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia on 20 January 1981 by Mrs. Winthrop H. Battles.

The album was catalogued in 1992; during the course of cataloguing, it was disbound.
Society of Clinical Surgery photograph album
Language of description
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