George S. Huntington, first full-time professor of anatomy in America and collector of specimens and books, preferred the laboratory to the lecture hall for instruction of medical students. He effected a change in the medical curriculum, based on the premise that anatomy could be taught best in small groups in the laboratory, exploiting embryology, comparative morphology, and comparative physiology of vertebrates.
Huntington descended from prominent New England stock; several of his ancestors served in state legislatures or the national Congress. His father, a successful businessman who rose to the presidency of the Hartford Fire Insurance Company, was 66 at the time of George's birth, while his mother, a Sumner descendant and a second wife, was only 30. The family of the Sumners included deacons, soldiers, and at least one physician, George Sumner, who received the MD degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1817.1
George Sumner Huntington was left