Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 791

Horace Fletcher papers


Correspondence and papers of American businessman, Horace Fletcher, who promoted his theory of nutrition called "Fletcherism."


  • 1898-1915

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


.5 linear feet (1 box)

Collection consists primarily of letters by Fletcher, mostly carbon copies, concerning his studies and writings in nutrition, exercise, and health. Includes letters to (and a few from) various professors, doctors, and publishers. Also contains a few lectures, and a scattering of questionnaires, printed circulars, and other material on nutrition, health and efficiency.

Biographical / Historical

Horace Fletcher (1849-1919), an American businessman from Lawrence, Massachusetts, was best known for his writing and lectures on popular nutrition. His major innovation in eating habits, called Fletcherism, prescribed eating in small amounts only when hungry and chewing food thoroughly. Numerous celebrities of the time, such as John D. Rockefeller, Upton Sinclair, and Henry James, followed Fletcher's advice.

Fletcher was president of the Health and Efficiency League of America, subsidized research on nutrition, and worked in Belgium during World War I teaching refugees his system of vital economics: how to make the most of their scant rations.


Organized into the following two series:

  1. I. Correspondence
  2. II. Other materials

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of W. D. Orcutt; received: 1921 January 11.

Existence and Location of Copies

Collection was microfilmed in 1992, but it was recataloged in 2003. The order of the materials in the microfilm version is not the same as current order of collection.

Processing Information

Processed by: Charlotte Gray with the assistance of Bonnie B. Salt

Fletcher, Horace, 1849-1919. Horace Fletcher papers: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

Harvard Yard
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2440