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American Gynecological Club travels to Scandinavia (Summer 1926)

The American Gynecological Club on board the "Resolute"

Photograph of surgeons leaving hotel in Oslo

A beautifully preserved photo album has made its way to the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Archives; it had been stored for many years in another division of the College. ACS founder, Dr. Franklin Martin’s wife Isabelle inscribed it: “This volume is to be given to the Library of the American College of Surgeons. Isabelle H. Martin.” This inscription confirms that the photo album is now part of the Martins’ Papers. The Martins were among the thirty-five participants of this Scandinavian tour taken by all ACS Fellows and some of the most renowned gynecologists of the day, along with family members. Entitled, The American Gynecological Club: A Diary of its Journeyings to Scandinavia, Scotland and England, Summer of 1926, the photo album was most likely reproduced in additional copies for various participants.

The tour took place June 29–August 7, 1926. Its purpose was for Club members to observe, and compare with their own, surgical techniques and procedures being used in those countries at that time, and to consult with their northern European surgical colleagues. Participants visited hospitals and major medical centers throughout Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, with shorter visits to Germany and Scotland at the beginning and end of their tour.

Dr and Mrs Franklin Martin

George W. Kosmak, MD, FAC,S produced the volume and authored the 18-page diary/journal printed manuscript preceding the photos in the album. Dr. Kosmak had been a member of the General Medical Board over which Franklin H. Martin, MD, FACS presided during World War I, and was an editor of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Kosmak credited Dr. Richard R. Smith, close personal friend and colleague of Dr. Franklin Martin, and George W. Kosmak, Jr., with providing the photographs, while Dr. Robert L. Dickinson was acknowledged for the map and pen sketch of Bergen. The Doctors Smith, Howard Canning Taylor, and George Gray Ward served on the Committee of Arrangements with the representative of Cook’s Tours.

The photographs are well labeled, although not to the extent that all individuals photographed are identified. Anyone who is able to help identify individuals in the photos is welcome to contact the ACS Archivist.

Photograph of Professors Gammeltoft, Hauch and members of the American Gynecological Club

ACS Archives Highlights is a series showcasing the vibrant history of the American College of Surgeons, its members, and the history of surgery. For further information on our featured highlights, search the Archives Catalog or contact the ACS Archivist.