The 1920's and 30's

The First Seventy-Five Years, 1906-1981 (continued)

The 1920's and 30's

There is no record of an annual meeting in 1920 but a meeting was held in the Cleveland Medical Library on March 24, 1921.

The meetings during the twenties and thirties were frequently held in conjunction with the American Association of Pathologists and Bacteriologists (AAPB). Exhibits were a predominant part of each meeting, involving gross specimens and microphotographs. Dr. Harry Goldblatt was in charge of exhibits at the meeting in 1921 and Major George R. Callender was in charge of exhibits at the meeting in 1922 held at the Army Medical Museum in Washington, D.C. on May 1.

A pattern of naming a local pathologist to be in charge of exhibits prevailed during most of these two decades. The character of the meetings changed slowly from discussions of technical methods and museum preparations to symposia, demonstrations, and histopathological studies.

During this time the Bulletin of the IAMM was published regularly through the efforts of Maude Abbott. It was subsidized financially by the interest income from the Strathcona Fund.

Bulletins No. 1 through 3 were published courtesy of the Surgeon General of the U.S. Army, probably through Major F. F. Russell, who was Curator of the Army Medical Museum and listed as a member of the Editorial Board.

Bulletins 4 through 7 were published at Ann Arbor with Prof. A. S. Warthin (Ann Arbor) and Maude Abbott (Montreal) as co-editors. Paul Hoeber, Inc., New York was the original publisher, but this contract was terminated after a few years and transferred to the Murray Printing Company in Toronto by Maude Abbott.

On April 18, 1921, a circular letter was written indicating that Bulletin No. 8 of the IAMM would be issued in the form of an Osler Memorial. This Bulletin was issued in 1924.

An announcement was published by Major G. R. Callender in this Bulletin concerning the establishment of a bureau for the exchange of pathological specimens and for a depository for objective material resulting from original work in medical research. This announcement informed the members of the Association of the transfer of the "Exchange Bureau" from McGill University at Montreal to the Army Medical Museum in Washington, D.C. The Secretary of War, in 1922, had authorized the issue of a revocable lease to the IAMM and the Surgeon General had allowed the medical officers on duty at the Army Medical Museum to care for the administrative and pathological details of some exchange activities. The announcement stated: "Since the Bureau has been established the following societies have made the Army Medical Museum the depository of their results of original research: the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, the American Society of Dermatology and the Philadelphia Pathological Society. Several original manuscripts accompanied by histological slides on which some of their conclusions were based have been forwarded to the Army Medical Museum to be filed...." This article continues to describe accessions at the Army Medical Museum including 4,000 bacteriological type cultures and specimens of tropical diseases from the Philippines. The Army Medical Museum was stated to be in the process of reporting 19 cases to the Registry of Bone Tumors. This is the first mention in the Bulletin of the establishment of registries at the Army Medical Museum.

The seventeenth annual meeting of the IAMM was held in the library of the Buffalo Medical College on April 17, 1924 in conjunction with the meeting of the AAPB and the American Association of Anatomists. This was listed as the seventeenth annual meeting, but it was, in reality, a meeting held in the seventeenth year of the Association since no official meetings were recorded for 1918, 1920, 1923. This meeting was the last one recorded in Maude Abbott's Scrap Book.

Prof. F. B. Mallory presided as the President (1923-24) and Dr. James F. Coupal was elected President for 1924-25. In his opening remarks, Prof. Mallory stated that pathology was becoming a more desirable specialty than it had been in the past:

"Men of better training were getting as high as $7,500 and more and some college hospitals were paying as much as $12,000 for men who have had good laboratory training along pathological lines. In the past salaries were very poor, so that those interested in this field had often been obliged to leave for the better paying specialties."

There was a great deal of discussion about the classification of specimens by numerical coding systems. A resolution was passed giving "the unqualified approval" of depositories at the Army Medical Museum and urging support of all members.

Increasing costs of publishing the Bulletin, especially the William Osler Special Volume No. 9, had created serious financial problems. Major George R. Callender and Major James F. Coupal were constituted as a committee to try to obtain an endowment from the Carnegie Foundation of New York. (Six years later a grant of $5,000 was finally obtained.) Concern was expressed that a new journal, American Journal of Pathology, was about to be issued and that this may seriously affect subscriptions to the Bulletin. After discussion involving possible discontinuance of the Bulletin, a motion was passed to continue it and pledging support of all members present.

Reactivation of overseas sections of the IAMM was attempted after World War I with limited success. The following statement was made in an editorial in the Bulletin, Volume 10, 1924: "The Canadian and American Section, blessed above others in economic welfare of its members, must collectively and individually lend every encouragement to its fellow sections and by enthusiastic support of the Association so impress museum workers the world over that international cooperation will follow. Howard T. Karsner."

The eighteenth annual meeting of the Council was held at the home of the President, Major James F. Coupal, 16th Street Mansion, Washington, D.C. on May 3, 1925. Present were Drs. Karsner, Robertson, Klotz, Mills, Callender, Krumbhaar, Mallory, Warthin, Wiedman, Abbott and Mr. E. L. Judah. The regular meeting was held on May 4 in the Army Medical Museum. A symposium on the Problems of Securing Autopsies was presented.

The nineteenth meeting was held in the Central Laboratory of the Division of Laboratories and Research of the New York State Department of Health, Albany, New York on April 1, 1926. The Officers and Council of the preceding year were re-elected.

The twentieth annual meeting of the Council was held on April 13, 1927 at the Hotel Rochester in New York and the regular meeting was held on April 14 at the University of Rochester Medical School.

The twenty-first meeting was held at the Army Medical Museum in Washington, D.C., April 30, 1928. Major Coupal was re-elected President. The other officers were also re-elected.

The twenty-second meeting of the Council was held at the Hotel Windermere, Chicago, on March 26, 1929. "In the absence of the President, Major Coupal, the chair was occupied by Major Callender." The regular meeting was held at the University of Chicago Medical School on March 27, 1929.

The twenty-third meeting was held at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in New York, April 16, 1930. Three new Councillors were named at this meeting: Pierre Masson of Montreal, Alvin Pappenheimer of New York and Paul D. White of Boston.

In 1934, Robert A. Moore wrote an editorial for the Editorial Committee (Bulletin No. XVI) in which he recognized the competition with other journals and stated the editorial policy was to limit the Bulletin to one publication of papers on techniques, especially as applied to museum material and to make it an annual publication.

The Bulletin of the International Association of Medical Museums was an important thread holding the Association together from 1907 until 1952 when it was replaced by the new journal "Laboratory Investigation." Maude Abbott served as Editor or Co-Editor from 1907-1938. She was succeeded by Robert A. Moore in 1939.