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Forbes, Alexander (14 May 1882–27 March 1965), neurophysiologist, physician, and explorer, was born in Milton, Massachusetts, the son of William Hathaway Forbes, the first president of the Bell Telephone Company, and Edith Emerson, the daughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Forbes received his early education at the Milton Academy and in 1900 matriculated at Harvard College, after a year of travel in the western United States and then in Europe. In 1904 he received an A.B. from Harvard and the following year an M.A. Before undertaking medical training at Harvard, Forbes spent another year in the western United States, living with his brother in a cabin in Wyoming. Forbes married Charlotte Irving Grinell in June 1910; the couple would have four children. That year Harvard awarded Forbes a medical doctorate, and he became a member of the American Physiological Society, which he later served as treasurer from 1927 to 1936. He did postgraduate studies in 1911–1912 with Charles S. Sherrington in Liverpool, England, investigating the reflexes of decerebrate animals. While in England, Forbes also visited Keith Lucas at Cambridge for several weeks. Returning to the United States, he worked with H. B. Williams, the Dalton Professor of Physiology at Columbia University, measuring reflex times with an Einthoven string galvanometer (a device invented by Willem Einthoven in 1902 to measure electrical currents in the heart)....

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Kane, Elisha Kent (03 February 1820–16 February 1857), physician and Arctic explorer, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of John Kintzing Kane, a federal judge, and Jane Duval Leiper. The Kane family was prominent in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., through Judge Kane’s association with President ...

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Elisha Kent Kane. Engraving by John Sartain, from a daguerreotype from the studio of Mathew B. Brady. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B015757).

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See Kern, Edward Meyer

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Kern, Edward Meyer (26 October 1823–23 November 1863), Richard Hovendon Kern (11 April 1821–26 October 1853), and Benjamin Jordan Kern (03 August 1818–14 March 1849), artists and explorers, were born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the sons of John Kern III, a customs house collector for the Port of Philadelphia, and Mary Elizabeth Bignell. The Kerns’ eight children were well educated and trained in the arts and sciences. Three of the boys (John IV, Edward, and Richard) were artists, and Benjamin earned an M.D. from the Pennsylvania Medical College....

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See Kern, Edward Meyer