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Brödel, Paul Heinrich Max (18 June 1870–26 October 1941), medical illustrator and anatomist, was born in Leipzig, Germany, the son of Paul Heinrich Louis Brödel, an employee of the Steinweg piano works, and Christiane Henriette Frenzel. As a child, Max Brödel showed talent in both music and the visual arts, and at age fifteen he enrolled in the Königliche Kunstakademie und Kunstgewerkeschule zu Leipzig. Required by the Leipzig art school to learn at least one graphic technique, Brödel always acknowledged the importance of his training in lithography. In 1888, he began working part-time as an illustrator for the renowned physiologist Carl Ludwig. At the time, the Leipzig medical school drew physicians and investigators from around the world for advanced training and research opportunities, and, while working for Ludwig, Brödel met the American anatomist ...

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Chovet, Abraham (25 May 1704–24 March 1790), anatomist and surgeon, was born in London, England, the son of David Chovet, a well-to-do wine merchant of Swiss Huguenot origin. His mother’s name is unknown. Chovet was apprenticed to Peter Gougoux Lamarque, a “foreign brother” of the Company of Barber-Surgeons of London. After the expiration of his seven-year indenture in 1727, Chovet went to France, where he attended the lectures and dissections of J. B. Winslow in Paris and learned to make anatomical preparations of wax. There is no record that he received the degree of doctor of medicine at this time, but he may have received that degree in 1759. His name appears in the “List of Promotions” in the ...

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Cobb, William Montague (12 October 1904–20 November 1990), physical anthropologist and anatomist, was born in Washington, D.C., the son of William Elmer Cobb, a printer, and Alexzine Montague. Experiencing racial segregation in education, he graduated in 1921 from Dunbar High School, an elite college-preparatory school for African Americans. Cobb attended Amherst College, where he pursued a classical education in arts and sciences, graduating in 1925. After graduation he received a Blodgett Scholarship to study biology at Woods Hole Marine Biology Laboratory in Massachusetts. There he met Howard University biologist ...

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Corner, George Washington (12 December 1889–28 September 1981), anatomist, endocrinologist, and medical historian, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of George Washington Corner II, a merchant, and Florence Evans. He attended the Boys Latin School, from which he graduated with honors in six subjects, and entered the Johns Hopkins University in 1906. His original intention was to study languages. Within a year, however, he discovered he was more inclined to biological studies. In 1909 he graduated with an A.B. and entered the Johns Hopkins Medical School. Corner’s years at Johns Hopkins were those of the great founders, ...

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Danforth, Charles Haskell (30 November 1883–10 January 1969), anatomist, was born near Norway, Maine, the son of James Danforth and Mary File Haskell, farmers. He studied biology at Tufts College with the intention of becoming a naturalist and received his A.B. in 1908. After graduating he accepted an unexpected offer to teach anatomy at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He soon entered that school’s graduate program and earned his A.M. in 1910 and his Ph.D. in anatomy in 1912 by making use of his skills as a naturalist. His dissertation on the anatomy of the Mississippi paddlefish occasioned many field trips to the muddy bottomlands of the Mississippi River and its tributaries in search of prime specimens for dissection....

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Detwiler, Samuel Randall (17 February 1890–02 May 1957), anatomist, was born in Ironbridge, Pennsylvania, the son of Isaiah H. Detwiler and Mary Hallman, farmers. After completing his secondary education he taught in the local public school for a year. From 1910 to 1912 he attended Ursinus College in nearby Collegeville as a day student; he then transferred to Yale University, where he planned to study medicine. However, he soon became more interested in anatomy and biology and devoted his academic career to these two subjects. After receiving his Ph.B. in 1914, he began teaching biology as an assistant instructor in the Department of Zoology while completing his graduate work. While working toward his A.M. degree, which he received in 1916, he became fascinated with the embryonic development of the nervous system and the function and structure of the optic organ, interests that he pursued simultaneously for the duration of his professional career. In 1917 he served briefly as a civilian physiologist for the U.S. Chemical Warfare Service and was also promoted to instructor of anatomy in the Yale Medical School. In 1918 he received his Ph.D. in zoology and anatomy....

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Paul Beck Goddard. Engraving by John Sartain. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B012918).

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Goddard, Paul Beck (26 January 1811–03 July 1866), pioneer in photography, physician, and anatomist, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of John Goddard and Mary Beck. He received an A.B. from Washington (later Trinity) College in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1828. The same year he entered the Medical School of the University of Pennsylvania, where in 1832 he completed his M.D. with a thesis titled “The Anatomy and Physiology of Mucous Membrane.” Goddard did not find the day-to-day practice of being a physician in Philadelphia particularly satisfying. After a few years in private practice, he became the assistant to ...

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Godman, John Davidson (20 December 1794–17 April 1830), anatomist and naturalist, was born in Annapolis, Maryland, the son of Samuel Godman and Anna Henderson. His mother died when he was two years old, and he was sent to Wilmington, Delaware, to live with an aunt who in 1798 moved with him to Chestertown, Maryland. She died in 1800, the year after his father died, and he was sent to Baltimore, Maryland, to live with a sister. In 1811 he became a printer’s apprentice, a position that was intellectually stifling and physically debilitating; within a year he contracted a tubercular infection that plagued him for the rest of his life. Perhaps as a result of this infection and the drudgery of his situation, he developed an interest in medicine and spent as much time as he could in the office of a local Baltimore physician. There he met William N. Luckey, a medical student at the University of Maryland, who inspired him to study chemistry in order to prepare for a medical career....

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Richard Harlan. Engraving after a painting by Jacob Eichholtz. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B013872).

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Harlan, Richard (19 September 1796–30 September 1843), physician, anatomist, and paleontologist, was born in Philadelphia, the son of Joshua Harlan, a farmer and merchant, and Sarah Hinchman. Harlan attended schools in Philadelphia, and then entered the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied and worked under ...

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Jameson, Horatio Gates (1778–24 August 1855), anatomist and surgeon, was born in York, Pennsylvania, the son of David Jameson, a physician, and Elizabeth Davis. Jameson began his medical studies at age fifteen with his father and practiced with him from 1795, as the family moved first to West Virginia and then to Pennsylvania. In 1797, at the age of nineteen, he married Catherine Shevell of Somerset County, Pennsylvania; they had nine children. After marriage, he resided successively in Somerset County, Pennsylvania; Wheeling, West Virginia; and Adamstown and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. In 1810 Jameson and his family moved to Baltimore. Shortly thereafter, he began to attend lectures at the University of Maryland at Baltimore, obtaining his medical degree in 1813. In addition to maintaining his medical practice he operated an apothecary....

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Leidy, Joseph (09 September 1823–30 April 1891), comparative anatomist, paleontologist, and microscopist, was born Joseph Mellick Leidy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Philip Leidy, a hatter, and Catherine Mellick, who died twenty months later in childbirth. Soon thereafter, Leidy’s father married Christiana Taliana Mellick, Catherine’s first cousin, a determined, intelligent woman who raised Leidy. German was spoken in the Leidy (Leydig) home. As a young boy, Joseph developed an intense interest in plants, animals, and minerals, and he showed an unusual talent for drawing. He was an indifferent student at a private, classical school, spending most of his time following his interest in nature, exploring the creeks and parks of Philadelphia....

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Lewis, Warren Harmon (17 June 1870–03 July 1964), anatomist, embryologist, and cell physiologist, was born in Suffield, Connecticut, the son of John Lewis, a lawyer, and Adelaide Harmon. Early in his life Lewis’s family moved to Chicago, where he began his education in the public schools of Oak Bank. From 1886 until 1889 he attended the Chicago Manual Training School. While Lewis was a teenager, his mother stimulated his interest in anatomy when she gave him a book by the famous anatomist Henry Gray....

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Franklin Paine Mall. Courtesy of the Clendening History of Medicine Library, University of Kansas Medical Center.

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Mall, Franklin Paine (28 September 1862–17 November 1917), embryologist and anatomist, was born near Belle Plaine, Iowa, the son of Franz Mall, a farmer, and Louise Christine Miller, both natives of Germany. Mall’s mother died when he was ten years old, and his father remarried a woman who was unaffectionate toward Franklin. As a consequence, Mall had a difficult, unhappy youth and could not find an outlet for his creative mind. Mall’s whole attitude was changed by his boarding school teacher, Jack McCarthy, who showed Mall that the source of his disdain for school was not the subjects themselves, but rather the method by which they were taught, which stressed memorization without comprehension. McCarthy’s strong influence on Mall was evident in Mall’s later attempts to reform university science teaching....

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McClellan, George (23 December 1796–08 May 1847), anatomist and surgeon, was born in Woodstock, Connecticut, the son of James McClellan, a respected farmer and schoolteacher, and Eunice Eldredge. His Scottish forebears were fighting Highlanders and American revolutionary patriots. McClellan received his preliminary education at Woodstock Academy, where his father was headmaster. He excelled academically, with a preference for mathematics and language. In 1812 he entered the sophomore class of Yale College, from which he graduated in 1816. During the latter part of his college course he placed himself under the preceptorship of Dr. Thomas Hubbard, a prominent Connecticut surgeon. In 1817 he went to Philadelphia, where he became a private student of Professor John Syng Dorsey and matriculated at the Medical School of the University of Pennsylvania....

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McDowell, Joseph Nash (01 April 1805–25 September 1868), anatomist and teacher, was born in Lexington, Kentucky, the son of John McDowell and Lucy LeGrand or Lagrand. McDowell began his medical studies at the medical department of Transylvania University in Lexington, the first medical school west of the Allegheny Mountains, and graduated in 1825. Following graduation, his connection with his uncle, ...

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McKinney, Roscoe Lewis (08 February 1900–30 September 1978), educator and anatomist, was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Lewis Bradner McKinney, an employee of the U.S. Printing Office, and Blanche Elaine Hunt. McKinney attended Dunbar High School, the all-black grammar school on M Street in Washington. Dunbar’s faculty, comprised of highly motivated African-American scholars, inspired generations of black youth to strive for academic excellence. McKinney himself recalled the atmosphere of “hopeful purpose and tremendous encouragement” that pervaded the school....

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Miller, William Snow (29 March 1858–26 December 1939), anatomist and medical historian, was born in Sterling, Massachusetts, the son of William Miller, a Congregational minister, and Harriet Emily Snow. He was schooled at home in the classics and later attended Williston Academy in Easthampton, Massachusetts. The family’s financial problems prevented him from attending college. Instead, in 1877 he began a preceptorship with a physician, C. H. Hubbard of Essex, Connecticut, primarily studying anatomy by dissecting animals. His high score on a competitive test secured his medical school tuition, and he entered Yale Medical School, where he received his medical degree in 1879. He married Carrie M. Bradley of Clinton, Connecticut, in 1881. She died in 1901, and in 1912 he married Alice L. Burdick of Madison, Wisconsin. He had no children from either marriage....