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Samuel R. Natelson Collection


Held at: Science History Institute Archives [Contact Us]315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Science History Institute Archives. 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

Samuel R. Natelson was an American clinical chemist. He was born in Brooklyn, New York on February 28, 1909, to a Jewish family. He attended City College of New York and received his B.S. in 1928. Upon receiving his Ph.D. from New York University in 1931, he did a variety of consulting work while also teaching at Girls Commercial High School in Brooklyn, New York. His consultation work included working with several pediatricians at the Jewish Hospital in Brooklyn on determining the causes of newborn infant mortality rates. This marked his introduction to clinical chemistry, and he became a founding member of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, known as the AACC.

In 1949, Natelson was recruited to set up a Pediatric Research Laboratory at the Rockford Memorial Hospital in Rockford, Illinois. Natelson's title was Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry. The work Natelson and his colleagues did at Rockford resulted in The Immature Infant published in 1953, which was ill received by his contemporaries in neonatology. Only later would the findings put forth in The Immature Infant be accepted and Natelson and his colleagues vindicated. In the 1960s, Natelson served as a consultant to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, helping analyze the effects of weightlessness on astronauts' blood. Natelson was later director of laboratories at the Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago.

Upon his retirement in 1979, Natelson moved to Knoxville, Tennessee where he taught as Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at the University of Tennessee School of Veterinary Medicine. He died in Houston, Texas on March 31, 2001 and, before his death, he was the last surviving founding member of the AACC.


Samuel R. Natelson Collection, Science History Institute Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Oral History Interview with Samuel R. Natelson, Science History Institute Oral Histories, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Pesce, Amadeo J. Samuel Natelson: Genius, Heretic, Savior. 2003

Arranged in its original order, the Samuel R. Natelson Collection contains the papers, photographs, audio recordings and a video recording of Samuel R. Natelson. The collection consists of publications relating to neo-natal and pediatric medicine and biographical information, related to a biography of Natelson written by Amadeo J. Pesce. Biographical materials include two transcripts of an oral history by Natelson (with accompanying CD-ROMs), tributes to Natelson written after his death, and the typescript of an informal biography written by Pesce. Also of interest is a copy of "The Learned Aged and the Young", a collection of stories and poems written by Natelson for his children. A VHS videotape "Dr. Natelson's Tape Copy" is preserved in this collection as well.

Selected materials from this collection have been digitized and are available online in our Digital Collections:

The Samuel R. Natelson Collection was donated to the Science History Institute (formerly known as the Chemical Heritage Foundation) in 2004 by Amadeo J. Pesce.

The Samuel R. Natelson Collection was processed by Andrew Mangravite in February 2017. This finding aid was revised by Birch Mezzaroba in February 2022.

Science History Institute Archives
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid created by Andrew Mangravite and encoded into EAD by Birch Mezzaroba.
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions on the materials and the collection is open to the public.

Use Restrictions

The Science History Institute holds copyright to the Samuel R. Natelson Collection. The researcher assumes full responsibility for all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Collection Inventory

Clifford, Stuart, M.D. — five papers, re: neo-natal care (Natelson was at loggerheads with Clifford.), 1947-1953.
Box 1 Folder 1
Natelson, S.R., W.L. Crawford and F.A. Munsey. Correlation of Clinical and Chemical Observations in the Immature Infant, (Rockford, Illinois Rockford Health Department and Illinois Department of Public Health, 126 pages.), 1952.
Box 1 Folder 2
Forum: Does the Premature Infant Need Adrenal Cortical (DOC) Support? (Twelve pediatricians weigh in on the Rockford study listed above; most in the negative.) Quarterly Review of Pediatrics, Volume 8, No. 2, 1953 May, 1953 May.
Box 1 Folder 3
Natelson, S.R. and T.C. Puckett. "Contract for the Analysis of Components in Biological Fluids in a Gravity Free Environment Emphasizing Procedures Suitable for Use in an Orbiting Laboratory," (Analysis of blood in a weightless environment.) Final Progress Report, Contract Number NAS-9-7934, NASA, 1968.
Box 1 Folder 4
Photographs from Dr. Forman — photocopies of some photographs used by A.J. Pesce in his biography of Natelson, taken at a 1972 meeting of the Chicago Section of AACC., 1972.
Box 1 Folder 5
Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center, Department of Biochemistry, Triennium Report, (Natelson was Director of Biochemistry.), 1973 January 1-1975 December 31.
Box 1 Folder 6
Transcript of Natelson Oral History (Tape of the Awards Lectureship of the Ohio Section of the AACC), 1972.
Box 1 Folder 7
Natelson, S.R. "The Learned Aged and the Young" Stories and poems by Natelson), 1992.
Box 1 Folder 8
Natelson, S.R. "Biosynthesis of the Guanidine Compounds in Health and Disease," paper presented at the 4th International Symposium on Guanadino Compounds in Biology and Medicine, Montreal, Canada, 1994 September 22. Natelson, S.R., P. Pantazis and E.A. Natelson. "L-Homoserine Hydroxamic Acid as an Antitumor Agent," Clinica Chimica Acta 229, 133-145., 1994 September 22.
Box 1 Folder 9
Chicago AACC, "Samuel R. Natelson, Ph.D., D.A.B.C.C., F.A.B.C.," — a memorial tribute (Natelson was the last surviving founding member of the AACC.), 2001.
Box 1 Folder 10
Pesce, A.J. Samuel Natelson: Genius, Heretic, Savior — typescript of an informal Natelson biography by a former student, 2003.
Box 1 Folder 11a
Hardbound copy with CD-ROM (2 copies.), 2003.
Box 1 Folder 11b
Reminiscences of Natelson by family and friends (Of special interest are the notes contributed by his son, Ethan A. Natelson, M.D.) , 1975-2001.
Box 1 Folder 12
VHS Videotape – Ohio Valley Section of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry – "Dr. Natelson's Copy", 1992.
Box 1 Folder 13

Stored in the Audio – Visual Archives

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