Most of Ruth Landes's papers relate directly or indirectly to Landes's American Indian research, her work in Brazil, and her study of bilingualism. There is also a considerable amount of material that relates to her experiences (sometimes fictionalized) at Fisk University. There is only small amount of material related to her other interests. Her collection also has material of and relating to the Brazilian folklorist and journalist Edison Carneiro. There is also noteworthy material concerning Herbert Baldus, Ruth Benedict, Elmer C. Imes, Charles S. Johnson, and Robert E. Park. There is a large amount of printed and processed materials in the collection, mainly in the form of newspaper clippings and a collection of scholarly papers.
Scope and Contents:
This collection is mainly comprised of the professional papers of Ruth Schlossberg Landes. Included are correspondence, journals, published and unpublished manuscripts of writings, research materials including field notes and reading notes, photographs, drawings, scholarly papers and publications by other scholars, and clippings from newspapers and periodicals.
Landes's field research on Candomblé in Brazil is well-represented in this collection, consisting of her field journals, writings, and photographs. Also present are Maggie Wilson's stories that were the basis for Landes's The Ojibwa Woman. Unfortunately, Landes was unable to locate her journals for her early research with the Ojibwa/Chippewa, Potawatomi, and Dakota. There are, however, field photographs of the Ojibwa/Chippewa and Potawatomi in the collection. There is also a great deal of her research on groups, especially minorities, in multilingual states with particular focus on the French of Quebec, Basques of Spain and the United States, Boers and Blacks of South Africa, the several socio-linguistic groups of Switzerland, and Acadians (Cajuns) of Louisiana. In the collection are several drafts of her unpublished manuscript on bilingualism, "Tongues that Defy the State." There is also a small amount of material about Black Jews of New York and considerable material about Landes's experience among African Americans when she taught briefly at Fisk University, including her unpublished manuscript "Now, at Athens," containing fictional and autobiographical accounts of her time at Fisk.
Reflections of other facets of Landes's professional activities are also included. Some materials concern her teaching activities, and there is also documentation of her work with the Fair Employment Practices Commission (a federal government agency during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt) and a similar private organization which immediately succeeded the FEPA; Gunnar Myrdal's research into the plight of African Americans ("The Negro in America"); the Research in Contemporary Cultures project at Columbia University; and the American Jewish Congress.
Among Landes's correspondents are Ruth Benedict, Franz Boas, Margaret Mead, Ralph Bunche, Herbert Baldus, Edison Carneiro, Sally Chilver, Frances Densmore, Sol Tax, Elmer S. Imes, Charles S. Johnson, Robert E. Park, and Hendrik W. van der Merwe.
The collection is organized into 6 series: (1) Correspondence, 1931-1991; (2) Research Materials, circa 1930s-1990; (3) Writings, circa 1930s-1990; (4) Teaching Materials, 1935-1975, undated; (5) Biographical and Personal Files, 1928-1988; (6) Graphic Materials, 1933-1978, undated
Ruth Schlossberg Landes was born on October 8, 1908 in New York City. Her father was Joseph Schlossberg, an activist in the Yiddish labor socialist community and one of the founders of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. She studied sociology at New York University (B.A. 1928) and social work at the New York School of Social Work, Columbia University (M.S.W. 1929). While in graduate school, Landes studied Black Jews in Harlem for her master's thesis, a topic that developed her interests in anthropology.
After graduating in 1929, she worked as a social worker in Harlem and married Victor Landes, a medical student and son of family friends. Their marriage ended after two years when she enrolled in the doctoral program in anthropology at Columbia against her husband's wishes. She kept his surname due to the stigma of being a divorced woman.
At Columbia, Landes studied under Franz Boas and Ruth Benedict, her main advisor. Under the guidance of Benedict, Landes moved away from further study of African Americans to focus on Native American communities. Upon Benedict's suggestion, Landes studied the social organization of the Ojibwa in Manitou Rapids in Ontario from 1932 to 1936 for her Ph.D. fieldwork. Her dissertation, Ojibwa Sociology, was published in 1937. Landes also contributed "The Ojibwa of Canada" in Cooperation and Competition among Primitive Peoples (1937), a volume edited by Margaret Mead. In 1938, Landes published Ojibwa Women (1938), a book written in collaboration with Maggie Wilson, an Ojibwa interpreter and informant.
In addition to studying the Ojibwa in Ontario, Landes also conducted fieldwork with the Chippewa of Red Lake, Minnesota in 1933, working closely with shaman or midé Will Rogers. Her book, Ojibwa Religion and the Midéwiwin (1968) was based largely on her research with Rogers and Maggie Wilson. In 1935 and 1936, she undertook fieldwork with the Santee Dakota in Minnesota and the Potawatomi in Kansas. Like Ojibwa Religion and the Midéwiwin, her books on the Santee Dakota and Potawatomi were not published until several years later—The Mystic Lake Sioux: Sociology of the Mdewakantonwan Sioux was published in 1968 while The Prairie Potawatomi was published in 1970. In between her field research in the 1930s and the publication of The Prairie Potawatomi, Landes returned to Kansas to study the Potawatomi in the 1950s and 1960s.
Landes's plan to continue her studies with the Potawatomi in 1937 changed when Benedict invited her to join a team of researchers from Columbia University in Brazil. Landes was to conduct research on Afro-Brazilians in Bahia, Brazil, while Walter Lipkind, Buell Quain, and Charles Wagley studied indigenous people in the Amazons. To prepare for her research, Landes was at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee in 1937 and 1938 to consult with Robert Park and Donald Pierson and to use the university's library collections of African and African American materials. During that time, Landes also held a teaching position at Fisk and lived in the non-segregated women's residence on campus. Landes later wrote "Now, at Athens," an unpublished memoir containing fictional and true accounts of her experiences at Fisk.
From 1938 to 1939, Landes conducted fieldwork on the role of Afro-Brazilian women and homosexuals in the Candomblé religion in Bahia, Brazil. Unable to move freely by herself in Brazil as a single woman, Landes was accompanied by Edison Carneiro, a Bahian journalist and folklorist. With Carneiro as her companion, Landes was allowed access to rituals and people that would have been closed off to her otherwise. Due to her association with Carneiro, a member of the Brazilian Communist Party, Landes was suspected of being a communist and was forced to leave Bahia early. Publications from her research in Brazil include "A Cult Matriarchate and Male Homosexuality" (1940) and City of Women (1947). She returned to Brazil in 1966 to study the effects of urban development in Rio de Janeiro. In 1967, a Portuguese translation of City of Women was published, a project that Carneiro had commissioned as the first director of the Ministry of Education and Culture's Special National Agency for the Protection of Folklore.
Landes returned to New York in 1939, working briefly as a researcher for Gunnar Myrdal's study of African Americans. Unable to obtain a permanent position at a university, she worked in several other short term positions throughout most of her career. During World War II, Landes was a research director for the Office of the Coordinator for Inter-American Affairs (1941) and consultant for President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Fair Employment Practices Committee on African American and Mexican American cases (1941-44). In 1945, Landes directed a program created by Pearl S. Buck and a group of interdenominational clergy to analyze pending New York anti-discrimination legislation. She moved to California the following year to work for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Welfare Council on a study of race and youth gangs. After her contract ended, she moved back to New York and was hired as a contract researcher for the American Jewish Congress (1948-50). She also participated in Columbia University's Research in Contemporary Cultures (1949-51), studying Jewish families. She coauthored with Mark Zborowski, "Hypothesis concerning the Eastern European Jewish Family." From 1951 to 1952, Landes spent a year in London, funded by a Fulbright fellowship to study colored colonial immigrants and race relations in Great Britain.
After her fellowship ended, Landes returned to the United States and held short term appointments at several universities. She taught at the William Alanson White Psychiatric Institution in New York (1953-54), the New School for Social Research in New York (1953-55), University of Kansas (1957, 1964), University of Southern California (1957-62), Columbia University (1963), Los Angeles State College (1963), and Tulane University (1964). At Claremont Graduate School, Landes helped to develop and direct the Claremont Anthropology and Education Program (1959-62).
It was not until 1965 that Landes obtained a permanent faculty position at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario; she was recruited for the position by Richard Slobodin. Due to Ontario's age retirement law, Landes was forced to retire in 1973 at the age of 65. She continued to teach part-time until 1977, when she became professor emerita.
Landes passed away at the age of 82 on February 11, 1991.
Cole, Sally. 2003. Ruth Landes: A Life in Anthropology. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press.
1908 October 8 -- Born Ruth Schlossberg in New York City
1928 -- B.A. in sociology, New York University
1929 -- M.S.W., New York School of Social Work, Columbia University
1929-1931 -- Social worker in Harlem Married to Victor Landes
1929-1934 -- Studied Black Jews in Harlem
1931 -- Began graduate work in anthropology at Columbia University
1932-1936 -- Studied the Ojibwa in Ontario and Minnesota (in field periodically)
1933-1940 -- Research Fellow, Columbia University
1935 Summer-Fall -- Studied the Santee Sioux (Dakota) in Minnesota
1935-1936 -- Studied the Potawatomi in Kansas
1935 -- Ph.D., Columbia University
1937 -- Instructor, Brooklyn College
1937-1938 -- Instructor, Fisk University
1938-1939 -- Studied Afro-Brazilians and Candomblé in Brazil, especially at Bahia
1939 -- Researcher on Gunnar Myrdal's study, "The Negro in America"
1941 -- Research Director, Office of Inter American Affairs, Washington, D.C.
1941-1945 -- Representative for Negro and Mexican American Affairs, Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC), President Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration
1944 -- Interim Director, Committee Against Racial Discrimination, New York
1946-1947 -- Researcher, study of Mexican American youth, gangs, and families, Los Angeles Metropolitan Council
1948-1951 -- Researcher, American Jewish Congress, New York
1949-1951 -- Research consultant, study on Jewish families in New York for Research in Contemporary Cultures Project, Columbia University
1951-1952 -- Fulbright Scholar, to study colored colonial immigration into Great Britain
1953-1954 -- Lecturer, William Alanson White Psychiatric Institution, New York
1953-1955 -- Lecturer, New School for Social Research, New York
1956-1957 -- Married to Ignacio Lutero Lopez
1957 Summer -- Visiting Professor, University of Kansas
1957-1958 -- Visiting Professor, University of Southern California
1957-1965 -- Consultant, California agencies (Department of Social Work, Bureau of Mental Hygiene, Department of Education, Public Health Department) and San Francisco Police Department
1958-1959 -- Director, Geriatrics Program, Los Angeles City Health Department
1959-1962 -- Visiting Professor and Director of Anthropology and Education Program, Claremont Graduate School
1962 -- Extension Lecturer, University of California, Los Angeles and University of California, Berkeley
1963 -- Extension Lecturer, Columbia University Extension Lecturer, Los Angeles State College
1963-1965 -- Consultant, International Business Machines (IBM)
1964 January-June -- Visiting Professor, Tulane University
1964 Summer -- Field work with Potawatomi in Kansas Professor, University of Kansas
1965-1975 -- Professor at McMaster University
1966 -- Studied urban development in Rio de Janeiro
1968-1975 -- Studied bilingualism and biculturalism in Spain, Switzerland, South Africa, United States, and Canada (in Spain and the United States concentrated on Basques)
1975 -- Became part-time faculty member at McMaster University
1977 -- Professor Emerita, McMaster University
1978 -- Award of Merit from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay
1991 February 11 -- Died in Hamilton, Ontario
1991 -- Establishment of the Ruth Landes Memorial Research Fund at Research Institute for the Study of Man (RISM)
Correspondence from Ruth Landes can be found in the William Duncan Strong Papers, the Leonard Bloomfield Papers, and MS 7369. The Ruth Bunzel Papers contains a copy of a grant application by Landes.
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Ruth Landes in 1991.
The Ruth Landes papers are open for research. The nitrate negatives in this collection have been separated from the collection and stored offsite. Access to nitrate negatives is restricted due to preservation concerns.
Access to the Ruth Landes papers requires an appointment.
UNMICROFILMED: Letters, most are which are from Ruotolo's son Lucio who writes while serving in WWII and while attending Oxford University, and five letters from writer Frances Winwar; 1 poem and a book of poetry by Ruotolo; a biography of Augusto Bellanca and a book of Bellanca's poetry; a manuscript "Quando Canta Il Gallo" by A. Giovannitti; and 26 photographs, including photos of Ruotolo, Ruotolo's work, and of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America conventions.
REEL 2526: Two scrapbooks of clippings, 1917-1954.
Biographical / Historical:
Sculptor; New York, N.Y. Director of the Leonardo da Vinci Art School.
The donor, Marilyn Dorato, found the papers in the basement of 20 Bank St., N.Y., N.Y. when she purchased the home. The two scrapbooks were discarded after microfilming due to their poor condition.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Search this
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Costume Search this
6 Cubic feet (17 boxes)
Chicago (Illinois) -- 1900-1960
Illinois -- 1900-1960
Records from the firm of Hart, Schaffner, and Marx men's clothiers.
Scope and Contents note:
The collection falls roughly into 4 parts. Series 1 is primarily composed of the company's history and its advertising, including a number of style books. The historical materials highlight the firm's importance in the men's clothing industry; the style books are a valuable record of styles in men's clothing during the first half of the 20th century. The Warshaw Collection of Americana contains a number of Hart, Schaffner and Marx style books from 1903 1928 that duplicate a number in this collection. The miscellaneous records in Box 3 relate primarily to a failed retail store that was placed under new management and reports on naval uniforms and government shipments in the first half of the 1940's. Though obviously incomplete, these records illustrate that the company manufactured military uniforms during World War II as well as civilian clothing.
The Trade Board decisions in Series 2 (February 1921 Febuary 1934) provide a colorful picture of early labor management relations and the everyday incidents in the work place that came before the Trade Board. They are also illustrative of good labor management relations that were developed very early in the history of organized labor.
The company's records, kept in minute detail, in notebooks, by hand, comprise Series 3, the largest part of the collection. They are testimony to the many operations involved in the profitable production of a suit, coat, vest, knickers, or trousers that are part of men's clothing. Large books record items such as tailoring specifications for various articles of clothing, hours worked and earnings for specific operations, piece work lists by article and operation for various shops. There are also account books, cash books, and a voucher register. These appear to be illustrative rather than complete records.
Series 4 consists of 2 boxes of materials of the kind used in the manufacture of men's clothing. They have been kept with the records because Hart, Schaffner and Marx was the first manufacturer to have its salesmen work from swatches of material instead of trunk loads of clothing, an innovation soon followed by other manufacturers.
All of the actual company records are prior to 1955. There are a few pieces of descriptive material of a later date.
The arrangement is chronological where appropriate; otherwise, it is alphabetical. Many of the records in Series 3 are handwritten.
Divided into 4 series.
Series 1: Company History, Advertising and Style Books
Series 2: Trade Board Decisions, 1921-34
Series 4: Company Records, 1903-1946
Series 4: Material Swatches, undated
In 1872, twenty-one year old Harry Hart and his 18-year-old brother Max opened a retail store for men's clothing on State St. in Chicago, Illinois. In 1879 two brothers in law Levi Abt and Marcus Marx joined them. Eight years later Levi Abt left and Joseph Schaffner, a cousin of the Harts, took his place. Thus in 1887 Hart, Schaffner and Marx was born.
The transition from retailing only to manufacturing evolved from clothing that was made to sell in their own store. There was an apparent need for facilities to supply ready made men's clothing to interested retailers and the business prospered.
High quality workmanship and improved employee management relationships were among early goals of the company. A labor agreement of 1911, initiated by Joseph Schaffner, was developed in cooperation with Sidney Hillman, then a cutter in a Hart, Schaffner and Marx factory. As a result Joseph Schaffner emerged as a leader and humanitarian and Sidney Hillman led the way for workers to cooperate with management wherever possible. The 1911 agreement became the model for the men's clothing industry and later for women's clothing. It was the foundation on which the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America was built and helped to rid the United States of sweatshops in the clothing industry. Sidney Hillman in later years won world acclaim as a labor leader and became an advisor on labor relations to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Hart, Schaffner and Marx became known for a number of "firsts" in the clothing industry in addition to its peaceful labor relations. The firm introduced a one price policy permitting no cut rates or better prices for any one; it advertised nationally; it introduced the tropical weight suit for summer wear. The company conceived and carried out selling with swatches of materials thus doing away with the practice of salesmen using trunk loads of clothing to demonstrate their line. It was the first manufacturer to offer proportional fit clothing made for men of different build as well as different size. Hart, Schaffner and Marx was also among the first to develop and expand its own retail division. By the firm's 75th anniversary in 1962 it had 78 stores in 37 metropolitan areas inspite of being thought of primarily as a manufacturer. Based in Chicago it did business throughout the United States.
Collection donated by Hart, Schaffner and Marx, 1973.
Goldschmidt, Ernst F. (Ernst Friedrich), b. 1892 Search this
0.25 Cubic feet (2 boxes)
The papers document Dr. Ernst P. Boas and his work with Benjamin Liebowitz and Dr. Ernst F. Goldschmidt to develop the cardiotachometer (US Patent 1,816,465), a device to measure patients' heart rates for long periods of time. Materials include Dr. Boas's correspondence, patient experiment data, articles, and reprints of journal articles authored by Dr. Boas and with others that relate to the development of the cardiotachometer.
Scope and Contents:
The papers document Dr. Ernst P. Boas and his work with Benjamin Liebowitz and Dr. Ernst F. Goldschmidt to develop the cardiotachometer (US Patent 1,816,465), a device to measure patients' heart rates for long periods of time. Boas and Liebowitz were also assisted in their work by by Dr. Alfred N. Goldsmith, Julius Weinberger, Theodore A. Amith, and George Rodwin of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA). The RCA team was able to work out the theoretical and practical solutions for the amplifier, an important aspect for the device.
The papers include Dr. Boas's correspondence, patient experiment data, articles, and reprints of journal articles authored by Dr. Boas and with others that relate to the development of the cardiotachometer.
Series 1, Cardiotachometer Materials, 1926-1948, consist of the US patent issued to Boas, correspondence and writings that relate to the development of the cardiotachometer
Subseries 1, Correspondence, 1926-1934, consists of correspondence, invoices, receipts, and business cards, that relate to the development of the cardiotachometer and responses from physicians about its use. The majority of the correspondence relates to the development of the cardiotachometer and documents Boas's communications with companies who supplied parts (relays, wiring, contact devices, counters) such as the Weston Electrical Instrument Corporation, Veeder Manufacturing Company, A. Wittnauer Company (watchmakers), C.H. Stoelting Company, and Radio Corporation of America.
Subseries 2, Writings, 1928-1935, consists of articles written by Boas and with others related to the cardiotachometer and heart issues. Most of the articles are reprints from medical journals such as American Journal of the Medical Sciences, Archives of Internal Medicine, American Medicial Association, Journal of Clinical Investigation, The American Heart Journal, and the Journal of Mount Sinai Hospital.
Series 2, Patient Experiment Files, 1928-1929, consists of cardiotachometer experiments Dr. Boas conducted at Montefiore Home and Hospital in New York. The documentation consists of data for 48 patients, but the experiment numbers which were assigned to each patient in the study indicate more patients participated. The majority of patients are male, and the series is arranged by experiment number.
The files contain an overall health history (name, occupation, education, marital status, hobbies, sex, birth date, family history, habits and hygiene (sleep, diet, bowels, and menstruation), and past illnesses; physical examination (addressing teeth, tonsils, heart, joints, liver, spleen, lungs, etc.); diet sheet (types of foods eaten along with average pulse rates); measurements (height, arm length, leg length), cardiotachometer data (time, counter reading, rate, body position, room temperature, and remarks), cardiotachometer tape readings, and in some instances correspondence. A follow-up survey form was sent to patients by Dr. Boas, who participated in the experiment. The survey questions included issues such as mental work, dreaming, morning wake time, and preferences for staying in bed.
Ernst Philip Boas was born on February 4, 1891 in Worcester, Massachusetts where his father, Franz Boas, held a docentship in anthropology at Clark University. Later, the family (including Ernst Boas's mother, Marie Krackowizer Boas; his three sisters, Helene, Gertrude, and Franziska; and his brother, Henry, moved to the New York City area.
Boas attended the Ethical Culture School through high school and then went on to receive his B.S. from Columbia University in 1910. He remained at Columbia to receive his M.A. in 1912 and his M.D. in 1914, the latter from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he graduated first in his class.
After some trouble finding an internship, apparently because of anti-Semitism, Boas became an intern at The Mount Sinai Hospital from 1914 to 1916. In 1917, he was appointed Instructor in Pathology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. On August 6, 1917, he was drafted into the Army as First Lieutenant in the Medical Section of the Officers' Reserve Corps and was appointed Captain on April 20, 1918. While in the Army (including some duty in France), he served as a cardiovascular specialist.
When Boas was honorably discharged from the Army on 24 May 1919, he began his first private practice from an office in his home on West 96th Street in New York City. He practiced there until 1921 when he joined the staff of the Montefiore Hospital for Chronic Diseases as Medical Director. From 1920 to 1921, Boas was Instructor in Physiology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. Later, from 1926 to 1951, he taught post-graduate courses in diseases of the heart at the College of Physicians and Surgeons.
In 1929, Boas left the medical directorship of Montefiore Hospital but retained the position of Attending Physician there for one year, from 1929 to 1930. Also in 1929, Boas moved to The Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was Associate Physician until 1951, at which time he became a consultant to the hospital.
Meanwhile, Boas resumed his private practice in 1929 (he was certified as a cardiovascular disease specialist by the American Board of Internal Medicine in 1941), opening an office at 41 West 83rd Street. He later established a permanent office at 1185 Park Avenue, where he entered into a partnership with Hyman Levy in 1949. One of Boas's sons, Norman F. Boas (also a physician), was his assistant from 1949 to 1951. Some of Boas's famous patients included William Laurence, science editor of the New York Times; Charles C. Burlingham, New York lawyer and politician; Sidney Hillman, President of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America; Henry A. Wallace, a United States cabinet official and presidential candidate; Karl Menninger, founder of the Menninger Clinic; and Dr. Felix Adler, founder of the Ethical Culture Society.
From 1937 to 1943, Boas was a Special Lecturer at the Teacher's College of Columbia University where he specialized in the education of the handicapped. From 1938 to 1951, he was Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Boas was a prolific writer of articles and books on scientific topics (such as cardiology), as well as on topics in the popular media, such as geriatrics and chronic illness. Many of his publications advocate compulsory national health insurance. He served as Associate Editor of Modern Hospital from 1923 to 1929. Some of his books include Treatment of the Patient Past Fifty, The Unseen Plague--Chronic Disease, and The Heart Rate. This latter book grew out of Boas's research with Ernst F. Goldschmidt in developing the cardiotachometer, an electronic device that measures the heart rate continuously over many hours. Other research included his discovery of the calcification of the pineal gland; studies of neurocirculatory asthenia in soldiers in World War I; studies of the physiology of capillaries; and studies on cholesterol and its role in the pathogenesis of arteriosclerosis.
Boas also served as a medical consultant to numerous organizations and health care institutions, including Beth Israel Hospital of Passaic, New Jersey; the Group Health Cooperative, Inc.; the New York Guild for the Jewish Blind; the Sidney Hillman Health Center (where he directed a large research program on atherosclerosis); Irvington House; Lexington Hospital; Long Beach Hospital; Moosehaven; the New York Metal Trades Council and Hotel Association; and the Workmen's Circle.
Boas was involved with city, state, and federal organizations that dealt with health care. He was Chairman of the Committee on Chronic Illness of the Welfare Council of the City of New York. His work with this committee encouraged the construction of the Municipal Hospital for Chronic Diseases (now called Goldwater Memorial Hospital) on Welfare Island, as well as the elimination of many of the almshouses there. He also served on the Advisory Council of the New York City Department of Health and on the General Advisory Committee for the Cardiac Program of the New York State Department of Health. He was a consultant to the Social Security Board of the United States Federal Security Agency. He also testified in compensation hearings to show that heart attacks may result from unusual effort or trauma.
Besides his purely medical work, Boas was deeply involved in social causes. He worked with such agencies as the China Aid Council, Inc.; the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Medical Scientists (serving as Secretary in 1945); the Committee of Physicians for the Improvement of Medical Care, Inc.; the National Committee for Resettlement of Foreign Physicians; the Physicians Committee of the National Refugee Service (serving as Chairman in 1943), and the United Service for New Americans, Inc. He founded The Physicians Forum, Inc., in 1939, to study and discuss health care issues, resist McCarthyism, and counter the American Medical Association's opposition to national health insurance. He also continued to work against discrimination in any form and was instrumental in the appointment of African-American physicians and nurses to hospital staffs.
He was a member of the American Heart Association, the American Medical Association, the American Society for the Study of Arteriosclerosis (founding member), the Authors' Guild, the Child Study Association of America, the Committee for the Nation's Health, the Committee of Citizens Against the Feinberg Law (a law to eliminate subversives from the New York state public school system), the Harvey Society, the Medical Society of the County of New York, the National Medical Committee of the NAACP, the New York Academy of Medicine, the New York Heart Association, Inc. (founding member and Chairman), the New York Tuberculosis and Health Association (Chairman of the Heart Committee), and the United States Committee, Inc. (founding member), an organization created in support of the World Medical Association. He also belonged to the honorary societies of Alpha Omega Alpha, Phi Beta Kappa, and Pi Gamma Mu.
Boas died on March 9, 1955 in New York City of pancreatic cancer. He was survived by his wife, Helene Tuthill Sisson Boas, and his children, Donald P. Boas, Norman F. Boas, and Barbara G. Crutchley.
Biographical note courtesy of the Ernst Boas Papers, American Philsophical Society.
Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Del Mar Avionics Holter Monitor Records (AC1249)
Materials in the Division of Medicine and Science, National Museum of American History
The Division of Medicine and Science holds artifacts related to this collection. See accession #1984.0638.04.
Materials in Other Organizations
American Philosophical Society, Ernst P. Boas Papers, circa 1907-1955
The collection was donated by Norman F. Boas on December 14, 1974.
Collection is open for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.