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January 17, 1966


JAMA. 1966;195(3):215. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100030109034

In his review of American Health Museums, Bruno Gebhard, MD,1 bases the philosophy of these institutions on the premise that "diseases are the doctor's business, but that health—its care and improvement—is everybody's business." While quacks, faddists, and vendors of popular remedies may disagree with the first part of the premise, none will dispute the second. Health is, indeed, everybody's business, and the concern with knowledge of health is everybody's concern.

Important sources of health knowledge are the rapidly growing and increasingly popular health museums. The first health museum in the United States was incorporated in 1936 and opened to the public four years later in Cleveland. It was the only institution of its kind operating in this country during World War II. Since 1946, however, several more came into existence—some as independent establishments on the Cleveland model, others as permanent exhibits in science museums or in association with hospitals

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