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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Edwin Oakes Jordan Papers 1888-1936

© 2006 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

Jordan, Edwin Oakes. Papers

Dates:

1888-1936

Size:

2.5 linear ft. (5 boxes)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

Edwin Oakes Jordan, bacteriologist. The papers contain correspondence, manuscripts, minutes, research reports, and student notes. The Papers document Jordan's career as a bacteriologist at the University of Chicago, contacts with professional colleagues and organizations, consulting work with public health boards and private companies. Major correspondents include Henry H. Donaldson, Isidore S. Falk, Ludvig Hektoen, William H. Welch, and W.M. Wheeler. Topics covered include food poisoning, milk-borne diseases, the American Red Cross and public health issues.

Information on Use

Access

No restrictions.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Jordan, Edwin Oakes. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

Edwin Oakes Jordan was born July 28, 1866, in Thomaston, Maine. His interest in bacteriology grew from his studies with William Thompson Sedgwick at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received a B.S. degree in 1888. Although the work of Pasteur and Koch was well known in America by the time Jordan entered college, he was still among the first generation of students trained in the new science. Sedgwick, who became one of the foremost trainers of public health workers in the nation, had himself begun teaching the subject only a few years earlier. Jordan worked as chief assistant biologist for the Massachusetts State Board of Health from 1888 until 1890, when he received a fellowship at Clark University. Jordan studied zoology with Charles O. Whitman, and received a Ph.D. degree in 1892.

When Whitman left Clark for a professorship at the newly founded University of Chicago several of his students followed him there, including Jordan. Jordan began as an Instructor in Zoology. The courses he taught included general zoology as well as more specialized offerings such as "Sanitary Biology." As the department grew he was able to concentrate on his field of bacteriology. He was made an Assistant Professor in 1895, Associate Professor in 1900, and Professor of Bacteriology in 1907.

The increasing importance of the work of Jordan and others in his field is evidenced by the rapid growth of the department. In 1900, the Department of Pathology and Bacteriology was separated from Zoology, and in 1912 these two disciplines also split, Jordan becoming chairman of the new Department of Hygiene and Bacteriology. Jordan's department received its own quarters in Ricketts Laboratory in 1915. Much of Jordan's work in the 1890s and early 1900s focused on sewage and water treatment systems. His testimony in support of the Chicago drainage canal figured heavily in the lawsuits and controversy that surrounded its construction. He completed reports for several mid-western cities on related problems such as typhoid and milk-borne diseases. His studies in these areas extended beyond public health issues to "pure" bacteriological research. During World War I, he directed the American Red Cross railroad laboratory car "Lister," which traveled to various army camps in order to train technicians and control epidemics. Later Jordan became interested in food poisoning, and was hired as a consultant by several companies such as Swift and H. J. Heinz.

Jordan served as an editor of the Journal of Infectious Diseases and the Journal of Preventive Medicine. He wrote many books and articles, although he was probably most widely known for his textbook, General Bacteriology. First printed in 1908, it went through many editions in his lifetime, and after being updated by William Burrows continued to be published, reaching its 20th edition in 1973.

International health issues also received Jordan's attention. He was a member of the International Health Board of the Rockefeller Foundation from 1920 to 1927, and traveled abroad to study conditions in several countries including Argentina, Puerto Rico, Panama, and Jamaica.

Jordan married Elsie Fay Pratt in 1893, and they had three children.

Jordan retired from active teaching at the University of Chicago in 1933. He died September 2, 1936, in Lewiston, Maine.

Scope Note

The Edwin Oakes Jordan Papers contain correspondence, manuscripts, minutes, research reports, and student notes. The materials in the collection document Jordan's career as a bacteriologist at the University of Chicago, contacts with professional colleagues and organizations, consulting work with public health boards and private companies. Major correspondents include Henry H. Donaldson, Isidore S. Falk, Ludvig Hektoen, William H. Welch, and W.M. Wheeler. Topics covered include food poisoning, milk-borne diseases, the American Red Cross and public health issues.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:

http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/select.html

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Box 1   Folder 1

General correspondence, A-B

Box 1   Folder 2

General correspondence, C-D

Box 1   Folder 3

General correspondence, E-F

Box 1   Folder 4

General correspondence, G

Box 1   Folder 5

General correspondence, H

Box 1   Folder 6

General correspondence, I-K

Box 1   Folder 7

General correspondence, L-M

Box 1   Folder 8

General correspondence, N-O

Box 1   Folder 9

General correspondence, P-R

Box 1   Folder 10

General correspondence, S

Box 1   Folder 11

General correspondence, T-V

Box 1   Folder 12

General correspondence, W-Z

Box 1   Folder 13

General correspondence, unidentified

Box 2    Folder 1

American Epidemiological Society

Box 2    Folder 2

American Public Health Association, general

Box 2    Folder 3

American Public Health Association, Committee on Standard Methods

Box 2    Folder 4

American Red Cross, general

Box 2    Folder 5

American Red Cross, Commission to Russia

Box 2    Folder 6

American Red Cross, log of laboratory car "Lister"

Box 2    Folder 7

American Telephone and Telegraph Company

Box 2    Folder 8

Bacteriology, history

Box 2    Folder 9

Board on Excreta Disposal

Box 2    Folder 10

Canal Zone

Box 2    Folder 11

Chicago Board of Health (Herman R. Bundesen)

Box 2    Folder 12

Chicago Drainage Canal

Box 2    Folder 13

City Club of Chicago, Public Health Committee, report of 1936

Box 2    Folder 14

Conference of Epidemiologists, Johns Hopkins University, 1927

Box 3    Folder 1

Food poisoning

Box 3    Folder 2

General Bacteriology, notices, reviews, correspondence

Box 3    Folder 3

Heinz, H. J., Company

Box 3    Folder 4

Influenza

Box 3    Folder 5

Influenza Commission, 1919-1921

Box 3    Folder 6

Jamaica

Box 3    Folder 7

Journal of Preventive Medicine

Box 3    Folder 8

Laboratory notes from class by Dr. Prudden, 1888

Box 3    Folder 9

Lecture notices

Box 3    Folder 10

McCormick Institute for Infectious Diseases

Box 3    Folder 11

Milk pasteurization

Box 3    Folder 12-13

Milk-sickness

Box 3    Folder 14-15

National Canners Association, correspondence

Box 4    Folder 1

National Canners Association, food poisoning cases

Box 4    Folder 2

The Newer Knowledge of Bacteriology and Immunology

Box 4    Folder 3

Writings, 1889-1894

  • "A Glass of Water" (with A. L. Kean), 1889
  • "The Numbers of Bacteria in Certain City Tap-Waters," 1889
  • "Recent Theories on the Function of the White Blood-Cell," 1890
  • "The Spermatophores of Diemyctylus," 1891
  • "The Cleavage of the Amphibian Ovum" (with Albert C. Eydeshymer), 1892
  • "The Habits and Development of the Newt," Ph.D. dissertation, 1893
  • "On the Cleavage of Amphibian Ova" (with A. C. Eycleshymer), 1894
Box 4    Folder 4

Writings, 1912-1925

  • "The Case for Pasteurization," 1912
  • "The Differentiation of the Paratyphoid-Enteritidis Group, I," 1916
  • "The Differentiation of the Paratyphoid-Enteritidis Group, II. Lead Acetate Agar" (with Ruth Victorson), 1917
  • "The Differentiation of the Paratyphoid-Enteritidis Group, III. The Uncommonness of B. Suipestifer in the Intestines of Normal Swine," 1918
  • "The Differentiation of the Paratyphoid-Enteritidis Group, IV. The Behavior of B. Paratyphosus A. and B. Paratyphosus B in Milk," 1918
  • "The Differentiation and Distribution of the Paratyphoid-Enteritidis Group, V. Occurrence in the Human Intestine" (with Ernest E. Irons), 191
  • "Influenza in Three Chicago Groups" (with Dudley B. Reed and E. B. Fink), 1919
  • "The Differentiation of the Paratyphoid-Enteritidis Group, VII. Irregular and Variable Strains," 1920
  • "The Differentiation of the Paratyphoid-Enteritidis Group, VIII Bacilli of the Paratyphosus B. Group," 1923
  • "The Differentiation of the Paratyphoid-Enteritidis Group, IX. Strains from Various Mammalian Hosts," 1925
Box 4    Folder 5

Ozone

Box 4    Folder 6

Pioneer in Public Health, notices, correspondence with Mary Sedgwick

Box 4    Folder 7

Puerto Rico

Box 4    Folder 8

Rockefeller Foundation, International Health Board

Box 4    Folder 9

Rush Medical College

Box 4    Folder 10

School diseases

Box 4    Folder 11

School of Public Health (proposed)

Box 4    Folder 12

Sedgwick, William T., biographical materials

Box 4    Folder 13

Sedgwick, correspondence

Box 5    Folder 1-3

Sedgwick, offprints

Box 5    Folder 4

Sedgwick Memorial Lectures, correspondence, 1926-1928

Box 5    Folder 5

Sedgwick Memorial Lectures, printed copies, 1924-1928

Box 5    Folder 6

Sedgwick Memorial Medal

Box 5    Folder 7

Society of American Bacteriologists

Box 5    Folder 8

Swift and Company

Box 5    Folder 9

University Club food poisoning, 1916

Box 5    Folder 10

University of Chicago, Committee on Hygiene and Sanitation

Box 5    Folder 11

University of Chicago, Department of Hygiene and Bacteriology, correspondence

Box 5    Folder 12

University of Chicago, Department of Hygiene and Bacteriology, history

Box 5    Folder 13

University of Chicago, Department of Hygiene and Bacteriology, proposal for establishment

Box 5    Folder 14

University of Chicago, miscellaneous

Box 5    Folder 15

Water purification, lecture notes

Box 5    Folder 16

Water supply, articles and notes

Box 5    Folder 17

Waterworks in Europe, notes on visits, 1896

Box 5    Folder 18

Winter cholera