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January 15, 1968


JAMA. 1968;203(3):221-222. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140030053014

John Call Dalton, Jr., the first professor of physiology in America, was born in Chelmsford, Mass, into a family claiming a number of physicians in its lineage including his father. Young Dalton entered Harvard College at the age of 15, demonstrated outstanding scholastic leadership, and graduated AB in 1844.1 In his second year at Harvard Medical School, he served as house-pupil at the Massachusetts General Hospital where he witnessed the administration of ether by Morton. Hinckley's retrospective painting of the historic event shows the red-headed medical student among the distinguished gathering of senior physicians and surgeons, which included H. J. Bigelow and J. C. Warren. Dalton received the MD degree in 1847 and remained in Boston for three years, apportioning his time in the cholera hospital and investigating the clinical and pathologic aspects of the malady during a severe epidemic. In the report to the city of Boston on the