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William N. Bradley papers

Identifier: MSS 2/008

Scope and Contents

This small collection of William N. Bradley's papers consists of several series. Series 1 contains manuscripts and typescripts of Bradley's radio broadcasts( 1923-1942); most of these broadcasts concern matters of child health and hygiene. Bradley's addresses (1918-1934), also concerned with child health, are preserved in Series 2. The texts of all of his radio broadcasts and a considerable portion of his unpublished addresses are preserved in these two series. The typescript of an unpublished article, "The fly menace" (1918) and research notes for an article on summer diarrhoea (circa 1941) are preserved in Series 3. Series 4 contains two miscellaneous items, a vaccination study sponsored by the Starr Center Association in 1917 and a 1946 report of the Committee on the Teaching of Child Hygiene of the Philadelphia Child Health Society.

Within each section, materials have been arranged chronologically. Conjectural dates for this series were derived from either the labels of the original folders which were discarded during processing or Bradley's bibliography.


  • 1917 - 1946


Biographical / Historical

William Nathaniel Bradley was born on 19 August 1871, in Felton, Delaware, and moved to Philadelphia at an early age. He married Marion Agnes Butsch (d.1937) in 1911. The Bradleys had two daughters, Marion Audrey Harvey and Jean Claire Anderson. Born a Methodist, Bradley later became a member of the Presbyterian Church. He died in Wilmington, Delaware, on 17 April 1962.

Bradley's professional career began in 1888 when he became an apprentice at a Philadelphia drugstore. In 1892, he graduated from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy; in 1894, he received an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

From 1894 to 1896, Bradley taught histology at Jefferson Medical College. In 1896, he became the chief of the Children's Clinic at the South Eastern Dispensary. In 1909, Bradley was appointed Medical Director of the Starr Center Association. He also worked as assistant physician in the outpatient departments at Pennsylvania Hospital and Philadelphia Orthopaedic Hospital (1909-1911).

From 1910 to 1912, Bradley taught pediatrics at Jefferson, and he served as Pediatrist at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia from 1912 to 1915. From 1915 to 1929, Bradley had charge of the pediatric department at Howard Hospital. He also was instrumental in the establishment of Babies' Hospital in 1911. In 1912, he began to teach pediatrics at the School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania; he continued in this position until 1926. From 1917 to 1946, he worked on the pediatric staff at Philadelphia General Hospital. Bradley also taught at the Graduate School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania (1921 to 1946). He served as consulting pediatrist to the Municipal Hospital for Contagious Diseases (1936-1946) and Wills Eye Hospital (1932-1945). Bradley retired from active practice in 1955.

William N. Bradley was active in many professional organizations. He served as a vice president of the Philadelphia County Medical Society and helped to establish its South Branch. In 1906, he was elected to the Philadelphia Pediatric Society and was president of the society from 1914 to 1917. He also effected the establishment of the child hygiene division of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

In 1907, William Bradley was elected to fellowship in the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. He was active on the Library Committee of the College. In addition to his professional concern for pediatrics, Bradley was also deeply interested in the history of medicine and presented his extensive collection of photographs of physicians to the College in 1941.


2 boxes

Language of Materials


Custodial History

This collection of Bradley's radio broadcasts and addresses was donated to the Historical Collections of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia on 23 July 1984 by Mrs. Burlingame Harvey and Mrs. Carl Anderson, the daughters of William N. Bradley. The collection was processed in 1989.
William N. Bradley papers
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