In 1934 Barnett Cohen of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine was appointed Archivist for the Society of American Bacteriologists. In addition to trying to acquire the corporate records of the Society, Cohen’s long-term project was to oversee the preparation of a history of American bacteriology, with regionally-focused chapters written by the individuals who had been on the scene in the early days. Some of these chapters did, indeed, get written and were published as individual papers elsewhere, but Cohen’s sudden death in 1952 delayed the larger project. In 1959, Paul F. Clark, using these chapters and materials gathered by Cohen, as well as other sources, published Pioneer Microbiologists of America.
Cohen’s interest in the local historical approach was also reflected in his initiation of a round-table or symposium at the Society’s Annual Meeting which would examine the history of bacteriology in the area where the meeting was being held, a practice which continued for a few years after Cohen’s death. In a number of cases, typed copies of the remarks by various speakers were deposited in the Society’s Archives. These documents are kept with other records of the individual meetings of which the round tables were a part, so they are not identified in the Regional History Collection or in the Records of the Branches. For the convenience of researchers interested in local bacteriological history, the holdings pertaining to all of these round tables are summarized below.
For additional information, contact the ASM Archivist.
1941: Baltimore, Maryland
1944: New York, New York
1946: Detroit, Michigan
p. 4 Bacteriology at the University of Michigan. Malcolm Soule
p. 17 Bacteriology at Michigan State College. Ward Giltner
p. 29 DIFCO. H. G. Dunham
p. 34 Parke, Davis and Company representative. A. S. Schlingman
p. 40 Bacteriology at Wayne University. Harry L. Clark
p. 49 Bacteriology in the City of Detroit Department of Health. Joseph A. Kasper
p. 55 Bacteriology in the Hospitals and Clinical Laboratories in the Detroit Area. William L. Brosius
p. 59 The History of Water Bacteriology in Detroit. Albert M. Shannon
p. 69 Bacteriology in the Dairy Industry in the Detroit Area. Russell R. Palmer
p. 81 Bacteriology in the Michigan Department of Health. George D. Cummings
1947: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
p. 1 History of Veterinary Bacteriology in Philadelphia. E. L. Stubbs (separate typescript only, 9 pp)
p. 1 History of Bacteriology of Tuberculosis in Philadelphia. Florence Seibert (separate typescript only, 7 pp)
p. 2 History of Freeze Drying of Biological Products in Philadelphia. Earl Flosdorf
p. 14 Ten Years' Work of the Laboratories for the Study of Airborne Infections. William Wells
p. 26 The Electron Microscope in Philadelphia Bacteriology. Thomas Anderson
p. 39 History of Bacteriology in Commercial Laboratories. Christopher Roos
1948: Minneapolis, Minnesota
1949: Cincinnati, Ohio
1951: Chicago, Illinois
1952: Boston, Massachusetts
1953: San Francisco, California
1954: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1955: New York, New York
In recognition of the American Society for Microbiology's designation of the location of the University of Pennsylvania's Laboratory of Hygiene as a Milestones in Microbiology site, the tradition of a local history symposium was revived in 2009.
2009: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania