George J. Hermann daybooks and diaries
Held at: Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia [Contact Us]19 S. 22nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
George Joseph Hermann was born on July 10, 1873 in Newport, Kentucky, to Caroline (nee Blesch) and Joseph Strobel Hermann. He graduated from the Medical College of Ohio in 1894, served as an intern at the Cincinnati City Hospital, and set up his own practice in Newport, Kentucky, in April 1895. Hermann married Elizabeth Grace Theisz on September 25, 1895, and their first child, Edith Barbara, was born March 21, 1897. Their second child, Georgia June, was born December 7, 1899. The couples' third child, George Joseph, Junior, was born June 18, 1911.
Hermann operated as the general physician for Newport, treating patients for illnesses including fevers, diphtheria, "ovarian pain," pneumonia, influenza, bronchitis, and chicken pox. Later, he served on the Board of Trustees for Speers Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, and taught anatomy at the Nurses' Training School of Speers Hospital. Hermann was also a member of the Newport Masonic Lodge and the Licking Valley Medical Society. He purchased the first fluoroscopic x-ray machine in northern Kentucky in 1914.
Grace died on October 17, 1916. Hermann got remarried in 1919 to Katheryn Rebolz, who survived him. He died on June 8, 1933, after a two-months long illness.
"George Joseph Hermann." Ancestry.com. https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/70435326/person/42220941271/facts (Sign-in required).
"Newport Physician Dies." The Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, Ohio: Kentucky Edition), Friday, 09 Jun 1933: 13, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/18161279/the_cincinnati_enquirer/.
This collection consists of two bound volumes. The first volume includes lecture notes from courses at Medical College of Ohio, beginning in 1892 and ending in 1894; and several pages of prescriptions for ointments, medicines, and other concoctions. The remainder of the volume contains diary entries about George Hermann's professional and personal activities, often in great detail, and dating from April 10, 1895 to October 12, 1895. The diary begins the day Hermann began setting up his office, and includes an entry for September 25, 1895, when he married Grace. Of special note in the diary entries are the several newspaper clippings referring to his successful treatment of diphtheria with anti-toxine, as he was the first physician to do so in Newport. The lecture notes from the Medical College of Ohio continue throughout the book; however, the diary entries are intermittent and not in chronological order. See below for the order of the diary entries.
April 10 – June 24, 1895: pgs. 390-470
June 24 – August 3: pgs. 197-240
August 4 – August 29: pgs. 113-140
August 30 – September 19: pgs. 343-380
September 20 – September 28: 291-300
October 12: tipped in between pgs. 300 and 301
The second volume is a diary and register and dates from 1897 to 1898. The diary entries discuss patients and their treatments, as well as Hermann's daily activities. Of note is the entry for March 21, 1897, when his daughter, Edith, was born. The diary entries cover only January through March 21 of 1897 and January through February 17, 1898.
The patient ledger dates from January 1897-December 1898, and has a total amount earned for each year. The entries for each patient includes date of treatment, name, address, whether it was an office or home visit, cash or charge and if paid, and diagnosis. Further details regarding some patients can be found in the diary entries.
Researchers interested in the daily life a small-town physician in the late 19th century will find these volumes especially interesting. While the lecture notes provide a glimpse into late 19th-century medical education, details about Hermann's day-to-day activities, his interactions with the community, and the listing of patients and their diagnoses provide rich information. It is interesting to note that once married, Hermann stops referring to his wife by her name (previously she was "Miss Grace") and simply calls her "wife." Other family members are sometimes named, as are colleagues and friends.
Please be aware that many pages are loose and unattached to the spine. Use extra care when handling the volumes.
- Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
- Finding Aid Author
- Revised by Chrissie Perella
- Finding Aid Date
- 2012; March 2019
- This collection-level EAD record is a product of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL) Consortial Survey Initiative, which was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.