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UNIVERSITY HISTORY

Philadelphia Medical History and the University of Pennsylvania
Schools and Hospitals Absorbed by Penn Medicine

CONTENTS

 

Schools:

 

Hospitals:

 

Patient Records:

 

 

SCHOOLS

 

Medico-Chirurgical College of Philadelphia

Founded:

1881

Merged with:

Departments of Medicine and Dentistry with the University of Pennsylvania in 1916; Department of Pharmacy and Chemistry with Philadelphia College of Pharmacy in 1916

Brief History:

 

The Medico-Chirurgical College had its origins in 1848 as the Medico-Chirurgical Society, which received a charter from Pennsylvania similar to the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. The charter was amended in 1867 to transform the society into a medical college authorized to confer degrees. It would not be until 1881 that Dr. George P. Oliver, who had been a member of the old society and held title to the new charter, organized a faculty to hold classes. Space for the new school was secured in the second floor of a bank on the south west corner of Broad and Market Streets. Around 1886 Medico-Chirurgical College absorbed the Philadelphia Dental College and the Philadelphia School of Anatomy and moved to new accommodations on the north side of Cherry Street between 17th and 18th Streets. In 1891 the College opened a hospital in the same location. In 1916 Medico-Chirurgical College’s Department of Medicine and the Department of Dentistry merged with the University of Pennsylvania. The Department of Medicine became part of a new graduate school known officially until 1958 as Medico-Chirurgical College and Hospital Graduate School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. The Department of Dentistry was absorbed into the University’s School of Dentistry. The College’s buildings were demolished in 1918 to make way for the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Related Collections:

Medico-Chirurgical College and Hospital of Philadelphia Records, 1881-1954

 

 

Philadelphia School for Occupational Therapy

Founded:

1918

Merged with:

University of Pennsylvania Hospital’s Division of Physical Therapy to become the School of Auxiliary Medical Services at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960

Brief History:

 

The Philadelphia School for Occupational Therapy was organized in the spring of 1918 under the auspices of the Central Branch of the National League for Women’s Service. It was incorporated in 1923 with its own Board of Directors and at that time began to receive grants from the Philadelphia Community Chest as a Red Feather agency. In 1950, the Philadelphia School for Occupational Therapy merged with the University Hospital’s Division of Physical Therapy to create the School of Auxiliary Medical Services at the University of Pennsylvania. It was renamed the School of Allied Medical Professions (SAMP) in 1960. SAMP graduated its last class in May 1981, and the school was closed on June 30, 1981. SAMP awarded 1,263 degrees between 1950 and 1981.

Related Collections:

School of Allied Medical Professions Records

 

 

Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery

Founded:

1852

Merged with:

School of Dental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 1909

Brief History:

 

The Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery was organized in 1852 as Philadelphia College of Dental Surgery. It was the first dental school in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As part of an effort to firmly establish the faculty’s control over the granting of degrees, a new charter was issued to the school in 1856 which resulted in the new name of the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery. The school began at 528 Arch Street and moved to Twelfth and Filbert Streets in 1878 and Eleventh and Clinton Streets in 1892. In 1909, the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery, short of funds to modernize its equipment and enlarge its teaching staff, merged with the Dental School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Related Collections:

School of Dental Medicine Records

 

 

Philadelphia Polyclinic and College for Graduates in Medicine

Founded:

1882

Merged with:

University of Pennsylvania to become part of Graduate Hospital in 1917

Brief History:

 

The Philadelphia Polyclinic and College for Graduates in Medicine was organized in December 1882 by a group of physicians who wanted to offer advanced instruction in medicine and surgery to students who had graduated from established medical schools. The following year a charter was obtained from the state for a school and a hospital which would offer free medical services to the poor. The first dispensary was established at the southeast corner of 13th and Locust Streets. In 1890, the Polyclinic moved to a new building it constructed on the 1800 block of Lombard Street. A nurses’ training program was established at the school early on. The Polyclinic became part of the merger process between Medico-Chirurgical College and Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania in 1917 to form the Graduate School of Medicine. The Polyclinic site on Lombard Street became the location of the new school and associated hospital known as the Hospital of the Graduate School of Medicine.

Related Collections:

Annual Reports, 1889 to 1912 (UPI 496.2)

 

 

HOSPITALS

 

Howard Hospital

Founded:

1853

Merged with:

Hospital of the Graduate School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania in 1929

Brief History:

 

Howard Hospital was organized in 1853 as a charity hospital to provide medical care for factory workers who lived in the western part of Philadelphia. Initially called the Western Clinical Infirmary and Hospital for Incurables, the hospital was located in two rooms over a store at the northwest corner of Seventeenth and Pine Streets before moving to its next home in a house at the corner of 15th and Christian Streets. By 1886 the hospital had moved to Broad and Catherine Streets where Howard Hospital continued to provide charity medical assistance to the community. The Hospital had long been associated with medical education by providing students from the University of Pennsylvania’s Medical School with clinical instruction. In 1929 the Board of Managers agreed to a merger with the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.

Related Collections:

Howard Hospital Records, 1859-1930

 

 

Graduate Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Founded:

1918

Merged with:

Became an independent hospital in 1977; merged with the University of Pennsylvania Health System in 2007

Brief History:

 

Graduate Hospital was founded as the Hospital of the Graduate School of Medicine in 1917 and 1918 as a result of the merger of Medico-Chirurgical College and Hospital of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Polyclinic and College for Graduates of Medicine with the University of Pennsylvania to form the Graduate School of Medicine. Initially operating out of the former Polyclinic Hospital at 1818 Lombard Street, a new building was constructed in 1926-27, using funds from the sale of the Medico-Chirurgical Hospital buildings. In 1977 the University established Graduate Hospital as an independent non-profit medical facility. The Hospital became part of Allegheny Health Systems in 1996 and was later purchased by Tenet Healthcare in 1998. In 2007 the facility was reacquired by the University of Pennsylvania Health System which closed it as a full-service hospital and turned it into a long term rehabilitation facility now known as Penn Medicine at Rittenhouse.

Related Collections:

Graduate Hospital Records, 1930-1971

 

 

Philadelphia Polyclinic Hospital

Founded:

1889

Merged with:

University of Pennsylvania in 1918

Brief History:

 

Philadelphia Polyclinic Hospital was founded in 1889 in connection with the College for Graduates in Medicine. Initially located at 20th and South Streets, new facilities were constructed on Lombard Street between Eighteenth and Nineteenth Streets. When the College for Graduates in Medicine merged with the University of Pennsylvania to form the Graduate School of Medicine, Polyclinic Hospital became Graduate Hospital.

Related Collections:

Polyclinic Hospital Records, 1907-1924

 

 

Medico-Chirurgical Hospital of Philadelphia

Founded:

1891

Merged with:

University of Pennsylvania in 1916

Brief History:

 

Medico-Chirurgical Hospital opened in 1891 as part of Medico-Chirurgical College of Philadelphia, and was located on the north side of Cherry Street between Seventeenth and Eighteenth Streets. When the College merged with the University of Pennsylvania in 1916 the Hospital was closed and later demolished to make way for the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Related Collections:

Medico-Chirurgical College and Hospital of Philadelphia Records, 1881-1954

 

 

Diagnostic Hospital of Philadelphia

Founded:

1861

Merged with:

Hospital of the Graduate School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania in 1926

Brief History:

 

The Diagnostic Hospital of Philadelphia was incorporated as the Charity Hospital of the City of Philadelphia in 1861, with the goal of providing medical assistance to the industrial and manufacturing workers of Philadelphia. Charity Hospital's first location was in rented space on Buttonwood Street, east of Broad Street; it subsequently moved to 1832 Hamilton Street, until finally purchasing 1731 Vine Street. In 1920 the Board of Trustees petitioned the state to amend the hospital’s charter by changing the name to Diagnostic Hospital of Philadelphia. It was under the name of Diagnostic Hospital that it merged with the Hospital of the Graduate School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania in 1926.

Related Collections:

Diagnostic Hospital of Philadelphia Records, 1861 – 1920

 

 

Woman’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Founded:

1861

Merged with:

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in 1964

Brief History:

 

Woman’s Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1861 at North College Avenue and 22nd Street to provide clinical facilities to students from Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania. Initially the Hospital occupied part of the College building, but after new facilities were erected in 1874 for Woman’s Medical College, the Hospital took over exclusive use of the building. The Hospital had a training school for nurses.

Related Collections:

Records for the Woman’s Hospital of Philadelphia are held at the Drexel University, College of Medicine, Legacy Center and the Barbara Bates Center for the History of Nursing

 

 

West Philadelphia Hospital for Women

Founded:

1889

Merged with:

Woman’s Hospital of Philadelphia in 1929

Brief History:

 

The West Philadelphia Hospital for Women was founded in 1889 by Dr. Elizabeth Comly-Howell as a place where women could be treated by women in West Philadelphia. Originally, the Hospital was located at the corner of 41st and Ogden Streets, however, needing additional space, a house at 4035 Parrish Street was purchased in 1891. The Hospital remained in existence until 1929 when it merged with Woman’s Hospital of Philadelphia. As part of the agreement, maternity cases were sent to the West Philadelphia facility, while surgical cases remained at Woman’s Hospital of Philadelphia. When Woman’s Hospital merged with the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in 1964 the West Philadelphia site was closed.

Related Collections:

Records for the Woman’s Hospital of Philadelphia are held at the Drexel University, College of Medicine, Legacy Center

 

 

Philadelphia Orthopaedic Hospital

Founded:

1867

Merged with:

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in 1938

Brief History:

 

The Philadelphia Orthopaedic Hospital was founded by Dr. Thomas G. Morton on October 1, 1867, and was incorporated on December 2 of the same year, its purpose to care for all classes of patients suffering from bodily deformities. An infirmary for nervous diseases was added in 1870, changing the Hospital’s name to the Philadelphia Orthopaedic Hospital and Infirmary for Nervous Diseases. Originally located at 15 South Ninth Street, it later moved to Seventeenth and Summer Streets. A training school for nurses was established in 1888. The Philadelphia Orthopaedic Hospital and Infirmary for Nervous Diseases merged with the University of Pennsylvania, becoming part of the University Hospital, on July 1, 1938.

Related Collections:

Philadelphia Orthopaedic Hospital and Infirmary for Nervous Diseases School of Nursing Records, 1889-1915

 

 

Gynecean Hospital

Founded:

1888

Merged with:

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in 1925

Brief History:

 

The Gynecean Hospital was incorporated on January 10, 1888, as an outgrowth of the Philadelphia Dispensary in response to the need for a special institution for the medical and surgical treatment of diseases of women. It originally operated from a private house at Seventeenth and Cherry Streets and later moved to a larger house at 247 North Eighteenth Street. By 1925 the Gynecean Hospital decided to close and agreed to merge with the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania by the establishment of the special fund called Gynecean Hospital Institute of Gynecological Research to continue the original work of the Hospital. The final corporate merger with the University occurred in 1939.

Related Collections:

Gynecean Hospital Records, 1887-1939

Gynecean Hospital School of Nursing Candidates, 1914-1918 (via Penn Nursing Science)

 

 

Henry Phipps Institute

Founded:

1903

Merged with:

University of Pennsylvania in 1910

Brief History:

 

The Henry Phipps Institute was founded on February 1, 1903, and incorporated on September 1 of the same year, by Henry Phipps of New York for the study, treatment, and prevention of tuberculosis. From the time of its opening, the Institute operated out of temporary quarters at Third and Pine Streets. In 1910, Henry Phipps selected the University of Pennsylvania to carry on the Institute’s work on a broader scale, constructing a new building at Seventh and Lombard Streets which was dedicated to the University in June 1913, along with a large endowment. Beginning in 1956 the Institute became part of the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine of the School of Medicine. The Phipps Institute was moved to West Philadelphia in 1960 upon completion of a new Medical Research Building at 43rd Street and Chester Avenue, undertaking field studies of diseases among large population groups. A reorganization in 1965 resulted in a new name, The Henry Phipps Institute of Medical Genetics, and a new affiliation with the Department of Medical Genetics of the School of Medicine.

Related Collections:

Phipps Institute related material can be found in the General Administration Files and the Medical Buildings Dedication Collection

 

 

North American Children’s Sanitarium for the Treatment of Surgical Tuberculosis

Founded:

1910

Merged with:

Hospital of the Graduate School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania in 1930

Brief History:

 

The North American Children’s Sanitarium for the Treatment of Surgical Tuberculosis was founded in 1910 by E.A. Van Valkenburg, publisher of the Philadelphia newspaper The North American. It was the successor to another charitable venture of the newspaper known as the North American Sanitarium for Convalescent Children. The purpose of the institution was to provide poor children, mostly from Philadelphia, with treatment for tuberculosis at the Atlantic seashore. The first sanitarium was located in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and the second in Ventnor. After the newspaper folded in 1925, the dedicated source of funding for the Sanitariums ceased. Under the direction of its director, James Patrick Considine, an agreement was reached with the University of Pennsylvania in 1930 to sell the property in Ventnor and turn over the proceeds and any other assets to the University for the creation of a new children’s ward at the Graduate Hospital known as the North American Children’s Ward along with an endowment to fund its operations.

 

 

Presbyterian Hospital

Founded:

1871

Merged with:

University of Pennsylvania Health System in 1995, becoming the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center

Brief History:

 

The Presbyterian Hospital originated in 1871 as a charitable institution in Philadelphia. The property for the Hospital, at 39th Street and Powelton Avenue was donated by Ephraim D. Saunders, a Presbyterian minister, to the Philadelphia Presbyterian Alliance for use as a hospital, with the stipulation that the future hospital must “provide for the needs of the sick and disabled regardless of race, color, or creed.” The hospital charter was approved by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania on March 25, 1871, and its first patient was admitted on July 1, 1872. The Presbyterian Hospital became formally affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania in 1965, changing its name to Presbyterian-University of Pennsylvania Medical Center on July 1 of that year. On January 1, 1989, the Center was renamed the Presbyterian Medical Center of Philadelphia. The Presbyterian Medical Center fully merged with the University of Pennsylvania Health System, becoming the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, on June 30, 1995.

Related Collections:

Presbyterian Medical Center Records, 1799-1997

 

 

Pennsylvania Hospital

Founded:

1751

Merged with:

University of Pennsylvania Health System in 1997, still in operation

Brief History:

 

The charter for Pennsylvania Hospital, founded by Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Thomas Bond, was granted by the Pennsylvania legislature on May 11, 1751. A temporary location for the hospital was opened in a house on High (now Market) Street in 1752, and the current location, at Eighth and Spruce Streets, began admitting patients in 1756. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries many faculty members from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School were on staff at Pennsylvania Hospital. Additionally, from 1765 through to 1859 students from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School were required to spend one year practicing at Pennsylvania Hospital as part of the degree requirement. In 1997 Pennsylvania Hospital merged with the University of Pennsylvania Health System and it continues to operate at its original location at Eighth and Spruce Streets.

Related Collections:

Pennsylvania Hospital Archives

 

 

PATIENT RECORDS

 

The University Archives and Records Center does not hold patient records. Those seeking patient records for Penn Medicine facilities need to contact them directly:

 

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Medical Records Department
1st Floor Founders
3400 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
215-633-8950

 

Penn Presbyterian Medical Center:
Medical Records Department
Myrin Basement
39th and Market Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19104
215-662-8959

 

Pennsylvania Hospital:
Medical Records Department
2 Cathcart Bldg.
800 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215-829-3931