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October 1972

Dermatology Collection of the American Academy of Dermatology

Author Affiliations

Historian American Academy of Dermatology 1930 Chestnut St Philadelphia 19103; Associate Curator of Historical Material Library of the College of Physicians 19 S 22nd St Philadelphia 19103

Arch Dermatol. 1972;106(4):473. doi:10.1001/archderm.1972.01620130005001

Nearly four decades ago, the first editor of the Archives, William Allen Pusey, prepared an essay entitled "The Importance of Being Historically Minded," in which he pointed out:

I venture to call attention to these things [referring to the accomplishments of scientists of a century before], not to be hypercritical of our present time or for the purpose of indulging in ancestor worship, but because it is highly important for our present and future usefulness that we should see ourselves in proper relations.1

Dermatology, as a part of the whole of medicine, is based upon history. Not only are our concepts of disease and our methods of treatment developed and modified from the past, but they are a reflection of the various approaches to patient care. Much of this material can be found in published media. Textbooks and journals of an earlier era often revealed the tenets of current