Jefferson Medical College Professors c.
By Dr. Michael Echols
(The following are the personal edited research
notes of Michael Echols, the source of which may or
may not be completely documented)
This is a set of portraits mounted on a matte of the Professors of
the Jefferson Medical College made by Wm. Houseworth Studio Philadelphia
circa late 1850's. Jefferson Medical College was founded in 1824 in
Philadelphia and in 1969 became Thomas Jefferson University.
The set contains
9 smaller CDV photos in B&W on a brown matte. The center photo is the
famous Professor Samuel Gross. According the Thomas Jefferson University
-Samuel Gross was one of America’s most distinguished and influential
surgeons, physicians, anatomists, authors and teachers. As Jefferson
Medical College chair of surgery from 1856 to 1882, Dr. Gross inspired
thousands of Jefferson medical students and assistants with his articulate
lectures, calm judgment, mechanical dexterity, and contributions to surgical
technique. Gross was author and editor of hundreds of articles and many
books, including his acclaimed two-volume System of Surgery of 1859. Eakins
studied anatomy with Gross in 1874, which inspired him to paint his
uncomissioned masterpiece, The Gross Clinic, in 1875. Gross was 75 at the
time of Eakins portrait. This portrait shows Gross at about the age of
50-55. He is listed on the back as Professor of Surgery.
The back of the
portraits has the names of the professors in pencil with the subject they
taught and is signed by a graduate of the College who graduated sometime in
the mid to late 1860's. The professors signatures I can identify are,
Rodgers, Pancoast, Barthalow, Chapman, DaCosta.
Jefferson Medical College was founded
in 1824-1825 through the efforts of Dr. George McClellan. The
medical faculty consisted of six instructors who taught classes
by didactic lecture in the Old Tivoli Theater at 518-520 Prune
Street (now Locust Walk) .
By the time of Bigler's admission in 1863, only one new faculty
position had been added to the medical school, which had
relocated to 10th and Sansom streets. College clinics were
conducted for clinical instruction. Two class sessions, each 20
weeks long, were held every year.
The faculty at Jefferson in October
1863 consisted of Drs. Samuel H. Dickson, Samuel D. Gross,
Franklin Bache, Joseph and William Henry Pancoast, Ellerslie
Wallace, Thomas D. Mitchell, and Robley Dunglison. These
gentlemen were representative of America's finest, but aging,
medical minds. Only Wallace and William Pancoast were relatively
recent medical graduates (1843 and 1856, respectively). Mitchell
was 72 years old, and Bache died between sessions.
Samuel H. Dickson, MD (1798-1872),
assumed the chair in theory and practice of medicine on the death
of John Kearsley Mitchell, MD, in 1858. Dickson was 60 years of
age when he accepted this position. A graduate of Yale University
(1814) and University of Pennsylvania Medical Department (1819),
Dickson was eminently qualified to speak with authority on
fevers. The title of his dissertation was History of Yellow
Fever, and he authored several papers on the general topic of
fevers. He said of himself in 1860. (The Medical Education
of William Brooks Bigler (1863)
Suzanne M. Shultz,