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The Book Forum |

The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. Its First Century: 1862-1962

Arthur C. Allen, MD
JAMA. 1964;190(5):476. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070180074032.
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The author, a historian, has achieved a remarkably good and painstaking result in compiling and evaluating the facts about the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, and its triumphs and frustrations. The organization began on May 21, 1862, during the trying days of the Civil War, when the monetary allotment for the collection of specimens was equivalent to the salary of a typist nowadays. The story thereafter is important not merely for the intrinsic accomplishments of the Institute over the years, but especially for the many basic lessons to be learned concerning the mode of its growth, the obstacles to progress, and the leaders responsible for its periodic climbs and advances.

The first curator was Dr. John H. Brinton, who visited the battlefields where he dug out of the trenches, in which they had been buried, "many and many a putrid heap of legs and arms on which he went to


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