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Series 7
Medicine and health, 1918-1938
Boxes 96-100

Scope and Content Note

From 1918 to 1931, Herty was actively involved in bringing to public attention the need for more fundamental and cooperative research in medicine and chemistry. He called in 1918 for the establishment of an institute, along the lines of the Mellon Institute, for the thorough testing of medicinals through cooperative work by chemists, pharmacologists, biologists, and other scientists. Such an institute would also be a means of improving the research capabilities of American drug manufacturers by providing fellowships for work on specific problems.

A symposium on chemistry and medicine sponsored by the New York Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS), November 8, 1918, led to the appointment in 1919 of an ACS committee to investigate the possibilities for an institute for drug research. Herty chaired the committee throughout its existence (1919-1931). In 1921 the name of the committee was changed from ACS Committee on an Institute for Drug Research to ACS Committee on an Institute for Chemo-Medical Research. The change reflected the now broader interest of the committee in an institute for cooperative research on problems of medicine and health.

A nationally syndicated interview in 1919 brought Herty's work to the attention of Francis P. Garvan, president of the Chemical Foundation, Inc. In 1920 the Chemical Foundation agreed to help finance the work of the committee. It published the 1921 committee report, The Future Independence and Progress of American Medicine in the Age of Chemistry, and provided mass distribution of this report and other related literature.

In 1926 Senator Joseph Ransdell (Louisiana) became interested in the work of the committee. Senator Ransdell introduced a bill (S.4540) on July 1, 1926, to establish a National Institute of Health. From 1926 through 1930 Herty and the Chemical Foundation, with the support of the ACS committee, carried on a public education campaign through speeches, articles and the distribution of literature. In 1930 the bill became law. The ACS committee was discharged in 1931.

In 1931 Herty was appointed a member of the Conference Board of the National Institute of Health (NIH). This board was set up in 1931 as an unofficial public relations organization for the NIH. Senator Ransdell was the executive director. In 1933 Herty became a trustee of the National Health Foundation, a short-lived venture intended to take over the work of the financially crippled Conference Board. Both organizations ended in 1933.

Herty had little involvement with the field of health and medicine after 1933. In 1937 and 1938 he served as a member of the honorary advisory board of the Women's Field Army of the American Society for the Control of Cancer in the State of Georgia.

The files in this series deal with the formation and activities of the ACS Committee on an Institute for Chemo-Medical Research. Most of the correspondence is with committee members: Dr. John J. Abel, Department of Pharmacology, Johns Hopkins University; Dr. Raymond F. Bacon, Director, Mellon Institute for Industrial Research; Dr. F. R. Eldred, Chief Chemist, Eli Lilly and Company; Dr. Reid Hunt, Harvard Medical School; Dr. Treat B. Johnson, Department of Chemistry, Yale University; Dr. P. A. Levene, Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research [resigned from committee in November, 1920]; Dr. F. 0. Taylor, Chief Chemist, Parke, Davis & Company; Dr. Carl L. Alsberg, Chief, U. S. Bureau of Chemistry [replaced Levene, 1921]; and Dr. Julius Steiglitz, Department of Chemistry, University of Chicago [member of committee beginning April, 1920]

Other less frequent correspondents include: Dr. H. V. Arny, Department of Chemistry, University of Chicago; H. A. B. Dunning, Director of Research, Hynson, Westcott and Dunning Pharmaceutical Laboratory; Dr. M. S. Fine, Calco Chemical Company; Dr. John M. Francis, Parke, Davis & Company; Dr. A. S. Loevenhart, Chief of Pharmacological and Toxicological Section of the Chemical Warfare Service; Dr. Atherton Seidell, U. S. Hygienic Laboratory; Harvey Watts, associate editor, Public Ledger; and Dr. E. R. Weidlein, Director, Mellon Institute of Industrial Research.

After 1919 there is some correspondence with Francis P. Garvan and other officers of the Chemical Foundation, Inc. Correspondence beginning in 1920, when the Chemical Foundation, Inc., agreed to help finance the committee's work, concerns the preparation and distribution of the report, funded by the Chemical Foundation, The Future Independence and Progress of Chemistry (1921). The Chemical Foundation also provided mass distribution for a later book edited by Dr. Steiglitz, Chemistry in Medicine.

The report stirred up some outside interest in a government-funded institute. The committee still favored a private endowment plan. However, in 1926, the committee threw its weight behind Senator Ransdell's legislation for a National Institute of Health, and from 1926 through 1930 it cooperated with the Senator. The NIH was established in 1930 when the Ransdell bill (S. 1171) was signed into law.

Other folders concern Herty's efforts from 1926 through 1930 to ensure the passage of Senator Joseph Ransdell's legislation to create a National Institute of Health. There is correspondence about the U. S. Public Health Service administrative reform bills introduced by Representative James S. Parker during these four years, as they bear on Ransdell's legislation.

Most of the correspondence is with Senator Ransdell (approximately 450 items). There is very little correspondence with Representative Parker (5 items, 1929-1930). From 1928 through 1930, Herty was in frequent contact with Miss Mildred E. Reeves, secretary to Representative Nicholas Longworth (Ohio), about the progress of legislation in the House. There is sore correspondence with Surgeon General Hugh S. Cumming and other officers of the U. S. Public Health Service: Dr. H. W. Kerr, Dr. C. C. Pierce, Dr. Thomas Parren, Jr.., and Dr. Claude S. Hudson.

Other correspondents include: Mrs. Florence Fabre-Rajotte; Dr. John H. Finley of the New York Times; Franklin W. Hobbs; Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (1928); Dr. W. W. Kerr (1928); and David Wesson (1928). There is scattered correspondence with: Dr. John J. Abel; Dr. H. E. Barnard; Senator Royal S. Copeland (1928-1929); Dr. Simon Flexner, Director, Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (1928); Chester Gray, American Farm Bureau (1928); Dr. Reid Hunt; Dr. Treat B. Johnson; August Merz (1928); Dr. Robert Millikan (1928); and Dr. Julius Steiglitz.

Related material can be found in the following series: Series 3: American Chemical Society; Series 6: Industrial Progress and National Defense; Series 10: Educational Work; and Series 11: Associations and Organizations.

American Chemical Society Committee on Institute for Chemo-Medical Research
Box Folder Content
96 1 Proposed National Institute for Drug Research. Correspondence: 1918
96 2 ACS Committee on Institute for Drug Research. Correspondence: January-February, 1919
96 3 ACS Committee on Institute for Drug Research. Correspondence: March-December, 1919
96 4 ACS Committee on Institute for Drug Research. Correspondence: 1920
96 5 ACS Committee on Institute for Chemo-Medical Research. Correspondence: January-April, 1921
96 6 ACS Committee on Institute for Chemo-Medical Research. Correspondence: May-December, 1921
96 7 ACS Committee on Institute for Chemo-Medical Research. Correspondence: 1922
96 8 ACS Committee on Institute for Chemo-Medical Research. Correspondence: 1923-1924
96 9 ACS Committee on Institute for Chemo-Medical Research. Correspondence: 1925-1926
96 10 ACS Committee on Institute for Chemo-Medical Research. Correspondence: 1927-1931
96 1 Preliminary Reports of ACS Committee on Institute for Chemo-Medical Research: 1920 -1921
96 2 Report of ACS Committee on Institute for Chemo-Medical Research: July, 1921
National Institute of Health
97 3 Correspondence: 1926
97 4 Correspondence: January-April, 1927
97 5 Correspondence: May-December, 1927
97 6 Correspondence: January-February, 1928
97 7 Correspondence: March-April, 1928
97 8 Correspondence: May-August, 1928
97 9 Correspondence: September-December, undated, 1928
98 1 Correspondence: JanuaryFebruary, 1929
98 2 Correspondence: March-April, 1929
98 3 Correspondence: May-December, undated, 1929
98 4 Correspondence: 1930
98 5 Conference Board of the National Institute of Health. Correspondence: 1931
98 6 Conference Board of the National Institute of Health. Correspondence: 1932-1933
98 7 National Institute of Health. Correspondence: 1934-1935, 1938
98 8 U. S. Public Health Service and National Institute of Health. Miscellaneous Papers: 1918, 1925-1927
98 9 U. S. Public Health Service and National Institute of Health. Miscellaneous Papers: 1928
98 10 U. S. Public Health Service and National Institute of Health. Miscellaneous Papers: 1929-1932
Miscellaneous Medicine and Health papers
99 1 General Correspondence: 1919, 1922-1926
99 2 General Correspondence: 1927-1928
99 3 General Correspondence: 1929-1931, 1935-1936
99 4 Albany Medical College. Correspondence: 1929-1930; Includes correspondence with Dr. W. R. Whitney, director, research lab, General Electric Co., who was trying to interest Herty and the Chemical Foundation, Inc. in funding a central medical research institute in Albany.
99 5 Howard W. Ambruster. Correspondence and Other Papers: 1929, 1932, 1937; Correspondence about suit filed by Ambruster against U. S. Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary of Treasury for illegal importation in the U. S. of adulterated ergot; concerns Ambruster's unsuccessful efforts to secure backing from F. P. Garvan and Chemical Foundation.
99 6 American Association for Medical Progress, Inc. Correspondence: 1925-1928
99 7 American Medical Association. Correspondence: 1918, 1922-1923, 1927-1928. Includes correspondence (1922) with Dr. Wendell C. Phillips about ACS committee report; also, correspondence (1927-1928) with Dr. William C. Woodward, executive secretary, Bureau of Legal Medicine and Legislation and with Dr. Morris Fishbein, editor of Journal of the American Medical Association, about AMA support for Ransdell bill (S.5835)
99 8 American Mission to Lepers. Correspondence: 1932; Correspondence with mission officers about luncheon for Senator Ransdell.
99 9 American Pharmaceutical Association. Correspondence: 1927-1929; Correspondence about support for Ransdell bill (S.5835).
99 10 American Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Association. Correspondence: 1927-1929, 1938; From 1927-1928, Herty served on the Prior Rights Board of the Association, a committee to screen new ideas in pharmacy.
99 11 American Public Health Association. Correspondence: 1927-1928; Correspondence with Dr. Homer N. Calver, executive secretary, and Dr. W. W. Peter, associate secretary, about proposed National Institute of Health and support for Ransdell Bill.
99 12 Athens (Ga.) Child Health Demonstration. Correspondence: 1928
99 13 Cancer. Correspondence: 1927-1928, 1930-1931
99 14 Cancer Research Laboratory of the Graduate School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. Correspondence: 1926-1929; Correspondence with Dr. Ellice McDonald about the effectiveness of cooperative research on medical problems, and (1929) concerning her interest in obtaining funds from the Chemical Foundation for promotion of cancer research.
99 15 Cigarette Smoking; Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. Correspondence: 1927
99 16 Commission on Standardization of Biological Stains. Correspondence: 1921-1922, 1926-1928; Concerns interest of Herty and Chemical Foundation in biological stain research; correspondence with chairman, Dr. H. H. Conn.
99 17 Committee of One Hundred of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, On National Health. Correspondence: 1908, 1910
99 18 Common Cold. Correspondence: 1926-1927
99 19 Cornell University Medical College. Laboratory of Experimental Therapeutics. Correspondence: 1928-1930, 1932; Correspondence with Dr. John W. Churchman, director, about his laboratory work; about the Ransdell legislation for National Institute of Health; and about the book Churchman was preparing for the Chemical Foundation on the use of aniline dyes in medicine.
99 20 Cornell University Medical College. Laboratory of Experimental Therapeutics. Reports: 1929
100 1 Friends of Medical Progress, Inc. Correspondence: 1924
100 2 Gorgas Memorial Institute of Tropical and Preventive Medicine. Correspondence: 1925
100 3 Insurance Companies. Correspondence: 1922, 1925-1928; Correspondence about support of Ransdell bill for a National Institute of Health.
100 4 Dr. William J. Mayo. Correspondence: 1918, 1925, 1928-1929, 1933.
100 5 New York Academy of Medicine. Correspondence: 1925, 1930; Includes correspondence (1930) with Dr. E. H. L. Corwin, executive secretary, about supporting Ransdell legislation.
100 6 Public Health Reserve Corps. Correspondence: 1925
100 7 Thomas Henry Simpson Memorial Institute. Correspondence: 1921, 1927.
100 8 Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine. Correspondence; 1927-1928; Correspondence with Dr. A. J. Goldfarb, secretary, about support for Ransdell legislation.
100 9 Dr. William Thalhimer. Correspondence: 1926-1927, 1929; Correspondence with Thalhimer about application of scientific research to clinical problems; about Thalhimer's pathology laboratory at Columbia Hospital, Milwaukee.
100 10 Tuberculosis Research. Correspondence: 1925-1926, 1928-1930, undated; Correspondence with Dr. Treat B. Johnson about his research at Yale University on carbohydrate chemistry of tubercle bacilli, and about endowments by H. A. Metz and Chemical Foundation for this work.
100 11 United States Civil Service Commission. Correspondence: 1927-1928; Herty was member of Commission's committee to act in matter of selection of a professor of chemistry in the Hygienic Laboratory of the U. S. Public Health Service.
100 12 Women's Field Army of the American Society for the Control of Cancer in the State of Georgia. Correspondence: 1937-1938
100 13 Miscellaneous Health Legislation. Hearings and Reports: 1918, 1924-1925
100 14 Miscellaneous Papers: 1921-1922, 1926-1930, 1938
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