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SERIES Identifier: WAM001, c20081

Green, Samuel Abbott, 1830-1919. Historical instrumentation collection, 1854-1914

Content Description

Various historical medical instrumentation


  • 1854-1914


Language of Materials

Object labels, inscriptions, etc. are primarily in English.

Physical Description

4-7 objects

Conditions Governing Access

Warren Anatomical Museum objects are available for research access. Access is premised on the availability of space and staff to facilitate use. Contact Public Services for the Warren Anatomical Museum for more information.


15,000 objects

Biographical / Historical

Samuel Abbott Green (1830-1918), B.A., 1851, Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts; M.D., 1854, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, was a surgeon in the military from 1858 to 1865, superintendent of the Boston dispensary from 1865 to 1872, City Physician of Boston from 1871 to 1880, and was elected Mayor of Boston in 1882.

Samuel Abbott Green was born in Groton, Massachusetts, on March 16, 1830. His father, Joshua Green, was a physician. His mother, Eliza Lawrence Green, was a descendant of the Lawrence family, who were early settlers to the Boston area and benefactors of Lawrence Academy, where Green attended school. He graduated from Harvard in 1851. He then spent two years attending medical lectures at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Green then returned to Boston and graduated with a Medical Degree from Harvard Medical School in 1854. Green began his medical business shortly after graduating. In 1858, Governor Banks appointed Green to surgeon of the 3rd Massachusetts Militia Regiment. Green became the first Massachusetts physician to enter the Army medical service when he was commissioned assistant surgeon of the 1st Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment in 1861. Later that year he was promoted to surgeon of the 24th Massachusetts Regiment. When his Army career ended in 1865, Green returned to Boston, where he became superintendent of the Boston Dispensary until 1872. He served as City Physician of Boston from 1871 to 1880. He was elected Mayor of Boston in 1882, and served one term, after which he campaigned again but was not reelected.

Green served as a trustee for many local societies, including the Peabody Education Fund and the Boston Public Library, where he spent one year as a librarian in 1877. He also served on the Boston School Board. In 1878, Congress appointed him to a board of experts researching yellow fever. Green was a fellow of the Massachusetts Medical Society and delivered their centennial address in 1881. Green received an honorary LL.D. degree from the University of Nashville and the Decoration of Merit from Venezuela.

Medicine was not Green's only interest. From 1868 until his death, Green served as the librarian for the Massachusetts Historical Society. During this time their collection grew from 8,000 volumes to 50,000. He wrote frequently on the subject of local history. His publications about his hometown of Groton include "The Early Records of Groton, Mass., 1662-1677" (1880), "Groton During the Witchcraft Times" (1883), and "The Boundary-Lines of Old Groton" (1885).

Samuel Abbott Green died on December 5, 1918.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Samuel Green on April 2, 1914 (M0029).

Processing Information

These objects were processed as part of the Warren Anatomical Museum's 2019 LEAN project "Maximizing Cataloging Output for the Warren Anatomical Museum Instrumentation Backlog Through Minimal Processing."

Repository Details

Part of the Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine) Repository

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