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Article
June 27, 1953

Erwin Frink Smith: A Story of North American Plant Pathology.

JAMA. 1953;152(9):879. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.03690090103043

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Abstract

This volume presents a detailed and well-documented account of the scientific accomplishments of Erwin Frink Smith, who developed the laboratory of plant pathology of the United States Department of Agriculture and directed its activities from 1886 to 1927. Dr. Smith can truly be considered the dean of American plant pathologists. Under his leadership, many plant diseases of great economic importance were brought under control, and his fame as a research pathologist was widely acknowledged in this country and abroad. Dr. Smith was a strong believer in the essential similarity of pathological processes in plant and animal tissues. His viewpoint that the plant cancers, which he believed were caused by parasitic organisms, were similar in behavior to malignant lesions in animals attracted the attention of many prominent contemporary clinicians and students of cancer. Thus, while this extensive biography is of interest primarily to students of the botanical sciences, it is also

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