A Chronology of the Eastern Pennsylvania Branch of the American Society for Microbiology, 1920 to 2014
The Branch was founded in 1920, and the official name at formation was the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Society of American Bacteriologists (SAB). The SAB was not in favor of using the term “Chapter” for Branches. However, the name was not officially changed to the Eastern Pennsylvania Branch until 1961. In December of 1960 the name of the parent organization was changed from the Society of American Bacteriologists to the American Society for Microbiology and in 1961 the name of the Chapter was officially changed to the Eastern Pennsylvania Branch of the American Society for Microbiology.
Therefore, in this chronology the term Chapter will be used from 1920 through 1960. Also the abbreviation SAB will be used for the Society of American Bacteriologists; and the abbreviation ASM willbe used for the American Society for Microbiology.
For additional information of items outlined in this bibliography see: Poupard, James A., A History of Microbiology in Philadelphia 1880 to 2010 – Including a Detailed History of the Eastern Pennsylvania Branch of the ASM from 1920 to 2010. Xlibris Corp., Bloomington, IN, 2010.
1920 – 1929
1920 On 24 February, David Bergey called on several members of the earlier formed Philadelphia Microbiological Club, and some new recruits, to his office in the Laboratory of Hygiene at the University of Pennsylvania, for the purpose of forming the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Society of American Bacteriologists (SAB).
1920 David H. Bergey, University of Pennsylvania, become the first president of the newly formed Chapter.
1920 At the second Chapter meeting, held in March, Claude. P. Brown presented the first constitution and a set of by-laws. Meetings were set for the second Tuesday of each month from October to May.
1921 Annual Meeting of SAB was held in Philadelphia for the fourth time.
1923 Claude P. Brown became Secretary-Treasurer of the Chapter and held that position until 1936.
1923 A. Parker Hitchens is listed as the first Chapter guest speaker; his topic was “Emergency Production of Potable Water.”
1923 Randle C. Rosenberger, Jefferson Medical College, became the second Chapter President.
1924 Chapter member, A. Parker Hitchens became President of SAB.
1925 A. C. Abbott, University of Pennsylvania, became the third Chapter President.
1925 Chapter dues were set at $1.50/year, and regular scheduled dinners were not to exceed $1.50, except for special occasions which could not exceed $3.00.
1926 The Annual Meeting of SAB was held in Philadelphia for the fifth time.
1927 Eugene L. Opie, Henry Phipps Institute, became the fourth Chapter President.
1928 Joseph L. T. Appleton, Jr., Univ. of Pennsylvania Dental School, became the fifth Chapter President.
1930 – 1939
1930 Joseph D. Aronson, Henry Phipps Institute, became the sixth Chapter President.
1931 Jefferson H. Clark, Philadelphia General Hospital, became the seventh Chapter President.
1933 The Annual Meeting of SAB was held in Philadelphia for the sixth time.
1934 A provision is approved to have SAB Branches represented on the SAB Council.
1934 Evan L. Stubbs, University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School, became the eighth Chapter President.
1935 Dr. Randle Rosenberger, of Jefferson Medical College, became the first Branch Councilor.
1936 The first publication of the Proceedings of the Local Branches in the Journal of Bacteriology was authorized in 1935. The first publication of the Proceedings of the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter was in a 1936 issue of the Journal of Bacteriology (31: 439). This was a report on the 28 January 1936 Chapter meeting at Temple University School of Medicine.
1936 Credit is given to David Berge, Randle Rosenberger and Claude Brown for keeping the Chapter going during “these precarious times” prior to 1936. In 1936, two people did much to rejuvenate the Branch, Carl Bucher of Jefferson, and Harry Morton at Penn, were determined to bring about significant changes. Dr. Bucher took on the role of President and Dr. Morton became Secretary-Treasurer in 1937. This ushered in a period of re-growth for the Chapter.
1936 Chapter membership became open to anyone who was interested in bacteriology, immunology or the allied sciences, and a permanent location for the Chapter meetings was arranged at the Philadelphia County Medical Society Building at the Southeast corner of 21st and Spruce Streets.
1936 Carl J. Bucher, Thomas Jefferson Hospital, became the ninth Chapter President.
1936 The first significant material is deposited in the Chapter Archives Collection.
1937 In September, Harry Morton started what he referred to as an Annual Newsletter which he designated Volume I, No. 1. Between 1937 and 1946, eight issues were published.
1937 The first recorded time that the designation “symposium” was used for a Chapter meeting that was for a meeting held in March.
1937 Dr. Morton initiated the practice of assigning a number to each meeting. By searching the past records he determined that the 25 May meeting was the 125thChapter meeting and was the first meeting to be listed by title and number, a practice that continues to the present time.
1937 Dr. Bergey, who is credited with forming the Branch, died at the age of 77.
1937 A publication by Joseph McFarland, entitled “The Beginning of Bacteriology in Philadelphia,” was the first significant Chapter history to be published.
1938 Mr. Christopher G. Roos, Sharp and Dohme Laboratories, became the tenth Chapter President. He was the first non-doctoral president and the first president from a pharmaceutical company.
1938 The names and addresses of all individuals on the Chapter mailing list were put on address-o-graph plates for more efficient mailing. The programs were printed on U.S. penny postal cards and then run through the address-o-graph.
1938 Mr. Roos made the announcement to the Chapter that the original minutes of the first meetings of SAB had been located at Sharp & Dohme Laboratories. It was known that some records were left at the laboratories in Glenolden in 1917 by the SAB’s Secretary, Dr. Hitchens, but searches for the documents had been fruitless. In the spring of 1938 laboratories in the main building were remodeled, and the documents were discovered. This resulted in the discovery of the minutes of the early SAB first meeting; a record book contained the original transcript of the Society’s Constitution; minutes of the meeting of organization; names of the Society’s organizers and Charter members; the first to the eleventh programs presented at the annual meetings and the minutes of transactions at those meetings. The records covered the period from 16 October 1899 to 30 December
1909. These records were deposited in the SAB Archives.
1940 – 1949
1940 Stuart Mudd, University of Pennsylvania, became the eleventh Chapter President.
1940 The officers of the Chapter consisted of a president, secretary/treasurer, councilor and a councilor-alternate. The only standing committee was a Program Committee.
1940 The Chapter was asked by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to demonstrate laboratory methods at the Pennsylvania Medical Society meetings held at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel from 30 September to 3 October. Dr. Morton arranged the demonstrations.
1941 In preparation for the events of WWII, Dr. Morton noted in the Chapter Newsletter: “It is also felt that in view of emergencies which will arise from the unsettled condition of the world that it would be well to consider procedures which would be very important in such emergencies.”
1942 William A. Kreidler, Jefferson Medical College, became the twelfth Chapter President.
1942 Many Chapter members served in the armed forces of World War II. Many were in positions where they had to train personnel in microbiology, and they had very little material to work with. Dr. Morton urged Dr. Selman A. Waksman, then President of SAB, to appoint a committee to fulfill these needs. Waksman appointed the Committee on Materials for Visual Instruction in Microbiology with Dr. Morton as Chairman, a position he held until 1971. The Committee collected materials for lantern slides, photographic prints and motion picture films. Several years later, when the Committee was disbanded, its activities were placed under the SAB Board of Education and Training (B.E.T.). The name for this Board was proposed by Chapter member, Dr. Earle H. Spaulding.
1944 Dr. Morton noted the following: “In spite of the severe restrictions being placed upon the release of certain research data, the Program Committee has already arranged excellent programs for the first two meetings in 1944. As results of confidential research projects become available throughout the year, the Committee plans to have them reported promptly to the Chapter. Because so many of our active members are serving in the Armed Forces at the present time, it will be difficult to obtain the full quota of papers by our own local members. The fields of Bacteriology and Parasitology are more important today than they ever were before. Therefore, it is appropriate, if not essential, that the Chapter’s activities in no way be reduced, even though individually the accelerated pace of our routine duties may leave us little time.”
1944 Earle H. Spaulding, Temple University School of Medicine, became the 13thChapter President.
1945 Stuart Mudd, University of Pennsylvania, became President of the SAB.
1946 Harry E. Morton, University of Pennsylvania, became the 14thChapter President.
1947 The Annual Meeting of SAB was held in Philadelphia for the seventh time. Several innovations were introduced at this meeting by the Local Organizing Committee. Television became a feature in the exhibit hall for the first time and a daily newsletter, the “Incubator” was introduces for the first time.
1947 There was a “History of Bacteriology in the Philadelphia Area” session at the Annual Meeting, organized by Dr. Bucher, with seven presentations. These talks were transcribed, and a copy placed in the Chapter Archives.
1947 It is noted that The Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter is one of the most careful in regard to the collection and publication of abstracts in the Journal of Bacteriology, and the Chapter periodically reprinted these abstracts as bound collections.
1947 A membership list was prepared as of January. Of the 300 names on the list, 90 were starred to indicate that they were also members of SAB.
1948 William Verwey, Sharp and Dohme Laboratories, became the 15thChapter President.
1950 – 1959
1950 Amedeo Bondi, Temple University School of Medicine, became the 16th Chapter President.
1952 James Harrison, Department of Biology, Temple University, became the 17thChapter President.
1954 Ruth Miller, Women’s Medical College, became the 18th Chapter President. She was the first female Chapter President.
1955 Starting in October, the regular monthly meetings were moved from the Philadelphia County Medical Society building to Medical Alumni Hall in the Maloney Building of the University of Pennsylvania, at 36thand Spruce Streets.
1956 Kenneth Goodner, Jefferson Medical College, became the 19thChapter President.
1958 Morton Kline, Temple University School of Medicine, became the 20thChapter President.
1960 – 1969
1960 Joseph S. Gots, University of Pennsylvania, became the 21stChapter President.
1960 In May, the Branch was host for the Annual Meeting of SAB for the eighth time. The meeting was quite successful and, once again, the Local Organizing Committee, chaired by Harry Morton, was innovative in creating events for teachers and high school students. A successful session was held on the History of Bacteriology in the Philadelphia Area that covered the period 1947 to 1960. This encouraged Dr. Morton to prepare a document that identified the institutions in Philadelphia associated with microbiology. This included detailed information on microbiology in Philadelphia at 17 educational institutions and departments, twelve clinical and research institutions, and two pharmaceutical companies. A copy of this report was deposit in the Chapter Archive Collection.
1960 In December, the Society of American Bacteriologists name was changed to the American Society for Microbiology.
1961 In October, the name of the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Society of American Bacteriologists was officially changed to the Eastern Pennsylvania Branchof the American Society for Microbiology. Until this time, it was the only Branch that was called a Chapter, and this was looked upon with disfavor by the National Society.
1962 L. Joe Berry, Bryn Mawr College, became the 22ndBranch President.
1962 Funding was received from seven industrial sponsors, each contributing $50.00, to initiate a guest lecturer series, the first to be held in November, and was designated the Annual Industry Sponsored Lecture Series. These lectures were held each year through 1971.
1964 Harold S. Ginsberg, University of Pennsylvania, became the 23rdBranch President.
1966 Albert G. Moat, Hahnemann Medical College, became the 24thBranch President.
1967 A decision was made by several Branch members to bring microbiologists who were interested in Clinical Microbiology together to discuss how the Branch could better serve the needs of Clinical Microbiologists. On 25 September, approximately 70 people attended a special meeting. The meeting resulted in the formation of a splinter group within the Branch, which was designated as the Clinical Microbiology Section.
1967 In December, the Clinical Microbiology Section started to hold their series of meetings on Monday evenings. The regular Branch meetings continued to be scheduled on Tuesday evenings. The Clinical Microbiology Section was run by a Steering Committee, that initiated several new programs. There was also a joint committee formed to plan Branch symposia.
1968 George Warren, Wyeth Laboratories, became the 25thBranch President.
1968 The Branch initiated a program to attract Sustaining Members.
1969 The Clinical Microbiology Section started its program of workshops that continued on a regular basis until 2008 when staffing and other issues resulted in termination of the routine scheduling of workshops. The initial goal to hold two clinical oriented workshops each year served the needs of bench level workers for almost 40 years. The first workshop entitled “Fluorescent Antibody Techniques in the Clinical Laboratory” was held at the Pennsylvania Department of Health Laboratories.
1969 The first Branch Clinical Symposium was held in November. The Branch symposia series continues to the present time. Almost all the symposia for the first 15 years resulted in a book published by various national publishers. The first symposium was entitled the “Northeast Regional Conference on Rubella” and was held at the City Line Holiday Inn.
1969 A office of Vice President was initiated. The name of this position was changed to President-Elect in 1979. Dr. James Prier was the first member to hold the position of Vice President.
1970 – 1979
1970 Herman Friedman, Albert Einstein Medical Center, became the 26thBranch President.
1970 The Secretary/Treasurer position was split into two separate positions.
1972 James Prier, Pennsylvania Department of Health Laboratories, became the 27thBranch President.
1972 Topics In Clinical Microbiology was described as “A Major Audio-Visual Publishing Event” that occurred with the release of the program by Williams & Wilkins Publishing Company. This was a joint project between the Eastern Pennsylvania Branch and Williams & Wilkins. The “Topics” were described as a complete course in Clinical Microbiology and an official publication of the Eastern Pennsylvania Branch of ASM. This was the culmination of a project that was started in late 1970 by members of the Clinical Microbiology Section of the Branch. Publicity on the topics describe it as a set of “…24 compact C-30 cassettes with eight cassettes in each of three color-coded volumes, a complete explanatory manual with references above and beyond the taped material, and a set of colored slides.” This project supplied significant revenue from royalties for use on several innovative Branch projects.
1972 In April, the Annual ASM Meeting was held in Philadelphia for the ninth time. The “Topics in Clinical Microbiology” tape series was introduced to national members at this meeting. Also, the Branch set a precedent for future National ASM meetings by sponsoring a pre-convention workshop, organized by Branch member Richard Clark, Pennsylvania Hospital, on computerization for clinical microbiology laboratories. Also, Dr. Morton prepared a “History of Microbiology in the Philadelphia Area, 1960-1972” document for the Annual Meeting which was deposited in the Branch Archives.
1972 In addition to the annual November Clinical Symposium series, the first in a series of Basic Science Symposia was initiated by Herman Friedman. The first symposium in the new Basic Science series was on the subject of “Virus Tumorigenesis and Immunogenesis.” These symposia were held in the spring and were developed independently of the November Clinical Symposia.
1973 The need to merge the regular Branch with the Clinical Microbiology Section became apparent due to a substantial decrease in attendance at the regular meetings and a significant increase in attendance at the Clinical Microbiology meetings. To accomplish this merger, there was need to restructure the governance of the Branch and to take on the various functions of the Clinical Microbiology Section, which had committees for workshops, educational tapes, program, education and a number of specialized committees to address such issues as new legislation and regulations. To serve this need, a new official Executive Committee was formed to assist in unifying the Branch. The merger became official in August.
1974 Richard L. Crowell, Hahnemann Medical College, became the 28thBranch President.
1975 Norman P. Willett, Temple University School of Dentistry, became the 29thBranch President.
1976 The First Stuart Mudd Lecture was initiated. This lecture series was held every year through 1995. This became a focal point for the Branch each spring with a prominent speaker, the awarding of the Stuart Mudd plaque, and the presence of Stuart Mudd family members.
1977 Robert J. Mandle, Thomas Jefferson Medical College, became the 30thBranch President.
1977 A new series of newsletters began in November (Volume 18 Number 1) that continued, with various change in editors, until 2009.
1978 In November, a “Branch Past Presidents Night” was celebrated. Seventeen past presidents were invited, and nine were able to attend. Each was given a Silver Reserve Bowl inscribed with their names and dates of service.
1978 A competition was held to design an appropriate logo for the Branch. From many submissions, a design by Dr. Harry Stempin was chosen.
1979 Joseph F. Pagano, Smith Kline and French Laboratories, became the 31stBranch President.
1980 – 1989
1980 Branch standing committees included the following: academic affairs, archives, education, finance, industrial affairs, newsletter, placement, program, publications, publicity, membership, legislative, legal, scholarship/awards, public and scientific affairs, symposium, industrial affairs and workshop. There were also several ad hoc committees that handled annual events like the Stuart Mudd lectures and special Poster Session meetings.
1981 John C. McKitrick, University of Pennsylvania, became the 32ndBranch President in July and served until October when he resigned to move out of state.
1981 Henry R. Beilstein, Philadelphia Public Health Department, became the 33rdBranch President in November and served through June 1983.
1983 Toby K. Eisenstein, Temple University, became the 34thBranch President.
1985 The first Annual Poster Session night was initiated in February. The poster session was organized by an ad hoc committee headed by Rick Rest. The focus for this first meeting was on graduate student presentations, but it was open to all Branch members. This replaced the tradition of having one regular meeting each year for graduate student oral presentations.
1985 Donald D. Stieritz, Hahnemann Medical College, became the 35thBranch President.
1987 James A. Poupard, Medical College of Pennsylvania, became the 36thBranch President.
1987 On 15 December, the Branch took the occasion of the 500thBranch Meetingto celebrate 67 years of continuous activity. The celebration, at the University of Pennsylvania, started with an afternoon of presentations on the history of the Branch, microbiology in general and historical events that occurred during the past seven decades. The presentations were followed by a reception and a dinner attended by 164 guests at the Faculty Club of the University of Pennsylvania.
1988 Harry Morton died 22 November. He was not only a past-President (1946-47) of the Branch, but one of the most active and valuable Branch members. He dedicated his last years to documenting the history of the Branch, as well as the history of ASM. His presence was greatly missed since he was an active member since his arrival in Philadelphia in the 1930’s and guided the Branch through many critical changes.
1989 Paul Actor, Smith Kline and French Laboratories, became the 37thBranch President.
1990 – 1999
1990 Branch member Richard Crowell was elected President of the National ASM.
1990 In April, the Branch was co-sponsor of a special afternoon meeting at the Albin O. Kuhn Library (where the ASM Archives are held). The topic was “The Biological Weapons Convention Under Siege: Disarmament Issues for the 1990’s.” It was one of the first open discussions within the ASM on biological weapons after several years of silence on this subject.
1990 Dr. Eileen Randall died in December. She organized the first Branch Clinical workshop and was responsible for initiating the M.S. Clinical Microbiology Program at Jefferson that supplied many new Philadelphia microbiology positions for Branch members and served the Branch for many years before leaving Philadelphia.
1991 Two long time Branch members died: Dr. Evan L. Stubbs, one of the oldest Branch members, and the eighth Branch President (1934-35); and Thomas Anderson who produced pioneering work in electron microscopy that was often first reported at the Branch meetings and whose work made Philadelphia a leading center for these studies.
1991 Alan Evangelista, Cooper Medical Center, became the 38thBranch President.
1992 In March, there was an event in honor of both Smith Hall (the former Laboratory of Hygiene) and for Dr. Harry E. Morton. A group at the University of Pennsylvania mounted an effort to save the building from demolition due to its historical significance, and the Branch decided to hold a meeting there to support the University group. It was also decided to use this meeting to honor long time Branch member and University of Pennsylvania Professor, Dr. Harry Morton. There was an afternoon photo session, followed by presentations at the University of Pennsylvania Faculty Club. There was time allotted for everyone to tour Smith Hall and absorb the essence and history that unfolded within its hallowed walls. A special dinner and additional lectures were then held at the Faculty Club.
1992 In April, a new tradition was initiated, the Philadelphia Infection and Immunity Forum. This marked the start of a new annual series designed to get graduate students, post- doctoral fellows and faculty involved with the Branch. It was presented as an interdisciplinary forum for clinical and basic research scientists in the Philadelphia and Delaware Valley areas interested in microbial pathogenesis and host response. The series continues to the present time.
1993 Linda A. Miller, Holy Redeemer Hospital, became the 39thBranch President.
1995 Paul Cerwinka, MetPath Laboratories, became the 40thBranch President.
1995 The Branch lost two former past presidents: Dr. Earl Spaulding, the 13thBranch President (1944-45), died on 2 February at age 88. He came to Temple University in 1936 and mentored many of our Branch members over the years. Also, Dr. Robert Mandle, 30th Branch President (1977-79), died on 3 April. He directed the Clinical Microbiology Master’s Degree Program at Thomas Jefferson University and was a significant influence in keeping the Clinical Microbiology Section part of the Branch.
1996 The Distinguished Branch Member Lecture Series was initiated, to replace the twenty year series of Stuart Mudd Lectures. Dr. Morton was the first honoree, and each honoree who followed was chosen for their various contributions to the Branch. The lecturers associated with these events were chosen to reflect some aspect of the work or interests of the honorees. Like the Stuart Mudd Lecture Series, the Distinguished Branch Lectures became one of the social, as well as a scientific highlight of each Branch academic year until it was discontinued in 2006.
1997 Richard Rest, MCP-Hahnemann Medical School, became the 41stBranch President.
1997 The Branch website was initiated.
1997 The Branch Student Chapter was officially recognized by the National ASM.
1998 The Branch celebrated the 600thmeeting with an afternoon session at Thomas Jefferson University entitled: A Reason to Celebrate Our 600thMeeting. This involved five Philadelphia Microbiologists “looking back” at the last 600 meetings and the microbiology represented at these meetings. The meeting was followed by a celebration dinner.
1999 Irving Nachamkin, University of Pennsylvania, became the 42ndBranch President.
2000 – 2009
2001 Donald Jungkind, Thomas Jefferson University, became the 43rdBranch President.
2002 Dr. Ruth Emma Miller, the 18thBranch President (1954-55), died on 7 April at the age of 96. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1934 and was the first female president of the Branch. She was a long time faculty member, Professor and Chairperson of the Microbiology Department of the Medical College of Pennsylvania and a long time active Branch member.
2002 In September, the Branch newsletter publication was switched from an all print version to both a printed and electronic version. This was an effort to eventually go completely electronic to reduce expenses.
2003 Olarae Giger, Main Line Clinical Laboratories, became the 44thBranch President.
2004 Dr. Henry R. Beilstein, the 33rdBranch President (1981-83), died after a long illness on 10 July. He was a Distinguished Branch Honoree, served on the Executive Committee for many years and was a 50 year member of the National ASM. He was influential in keeping all elements within the Branch together and would always have a calming effect in heated discussions.
2005 David A. Axler, Temple University, became the 45thBranch President.
2006 Bettina Buttaro, Temple University, became the 46thBranch President.
2009 In May, the ASM General Meeting was held in Philadelphia for the tenth time. Each attendee was provided with a tour guide and walking map prepared by the Branch Education Committee. There was a special full-afternoon session dedicated to the history of microbiology in Philadelphia.
2009 The Laboratory of Hygiene of the University of Pennsylvania was selected by ASM as the third location to receive the designation of Milestones in Microbiology. A dedication ceremony was held in May prior to the start of the ASM General Meeting at the University of Pennsylvania to unveil a plague commemorating the site of the former Laboratory of Hygiene. ASM President, Alison O’Brien, welcomed the assembled guests and explained the Milestones Program. Arthur Rubenstein, Dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, spoke on the history of the building and its significance to the University. William B. Whitman, representing the Beregy Trust, discussed David Bergey and his continuing influence on microbiology. The meeting was attended by several Branch members, University of Pennsylvania and ASM staff, ASM Archive chair, Patricia Charache, and other ASM Archive Committee members. A reception, jointly sponsored by the Bergey Trust, followed the plaque dedication ceremony.
2009 Laura Chandler, Philadelphia V.A. Medical Center, became the 47thBranch President.
2009 The Executive Committee decided to eliminate the Branch newsletter in its current form and replace it with a type of web based communication method. A sub-committee was formed to design a new website to replace the newsletter.
2011 Patrick J. Piggot, Temple University, became the 48thBranch President.
2013 John Reyne, USDA-ARS-NAA-ERRC, became the 49thBranch President.
2014 The Branch Archives, after negotiation with Thomas Jefferson University, especially with F. Michael Angelo,University Archivist, Academic and Institutional Support and Resources, resulted in the acceptance by Jefferson to includ the Branch Archives in its Collection. This resulted in the acceptance of our Branch Archives being deposite at the Jefferson Archive Collection at the Scott Memorial Library. A special Branch meeting, held to rccognise this event, consisted of a reception and dinner, a History of Microbiology oriented lecture attended by Jefferson Archive and ASM Staff as well as Branch members in recognition of this accomplishment by the Branch and Jefferson.