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Sept 2, 1968

Goethe Borne From the Waters

JAMA. 1968;205(10):690. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140360050011

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), despite his versatility—writer and scientist (coiner of "morphology," discoverer of the intermaxillary bone)—was not "born in -Main, Prussia," as reported in The Journal recently. Numerous readers have hastened to send notices that Main is a river, that Goethe was in fact born in Frankfurt am Main, and that Prussia in this case should properly read "Germany." In the filler on p 1099 of the March 25 issue—one of a series of fillers by J.A. Mirt titled "Medical Pathfinders on Postage Stamps"—the locus "Frankfurt am" was omitted, the fact of Goethe's birth thus being wrongly diluted as a Main event only.