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November 29, 1958


Author Affiliations

New Haven, Conn.

Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yale University, and Curator, Yale Medical Memorabilia, Yale Medical Library.

JAMA. 1958;168(13):1804-1805. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.63000130014021

Philatelists who collect stamps bearing a relation to medical history should interest themselves in the 4 cent Noah Webster bicentennial stamp in the "Famous American" series placed on sale Oct. 16, 1958, in West Hartford, Conn., Webster's birthplace. Noah Webster's great contribution to medicine was his study of epidemiology, particularly that of yellow fever. It was the terrible epidemic of this disease in 1793 in Philadelphia that chiefly stimulated his interest in the problem. He had observed epidemics in New England before this, influenza in 1789 and in 1790 and scarlet fever in 1793. Webster collected a large part of his data by means of circular letters sent to physicians in all parts of the United States and by extensive correspondence with leading teachers of medicine. By January, 1798, he had collected the literature on epidemics throughout the world by visiting libraries in New York and Philadelphia and at Harvard