University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Anton Julius Carlson Papers 1938-1952

© 2009 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


Carlson, Anton Julius. Papers




0.25 linear feet (1 box)


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


Anton Julius Carlson, professor and physiologist. The Anton Julius Carlson Papers consist of articles and a bound volume of letters.

Information on Use


The collection is open for research.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Carlson, Anton Julius. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

Anton Julius Carlson was born on January 29, 1875 in Bohuslan, Sweden to Carl Jacobson and Hedvig Andersdotter. He came to the United States in 1891, settling in Chicago. Carlson received an A.B. (1897) and an A.M. (1898) from Augustana College and received a Ph.D. in biology (1903) from Stanford University. He also held honorary degrees from 8 colleges and universities.

From 1903 to 1940 Carlson was a research associate at the Carnegie Institute. In 1904 he came to the University of Chicago, teaching there as an assistant professor, an associate professor, a professor, and the chairman of the department of physiology. In 1935 Carlson was a lecturer in China for the Rockefeller Fund. In 1940 Carlson became the Frank P. Hixon Professor emeritus of physiology at the University of Chicago.

During WWI Carlson served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Food Division of the U.S. Army. He was a delegate to the American Relief Expedition in Europe (1918-1919), and also served as a delegate to the International Congress of Physicians in Vienna (1909), Groningen (1913), Edinburgh (1923), Stockholm (1927), Boston (1930), Leningrad and Moscow (1950) and in Montreal (1953).

In 1944 Carlson was elected president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He served as President for the National Society for Medical Research, the American Biological Society, the American Physiological Society, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, the Institute of Medicine, the American Association of University Professors, and the American Gerontological Society. In 1946 the American Medical Association gave him its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. Carlson received the Distinguished Service Citation from the Minnesota Medical Association. In 1953 he was named Humanist of the Year.

Carlson published three books (including The Control of Hunger in Health and Disease, 1919 and Machinery of the Body, 1948) and more than 200 scientific and philosophical papers. His professional membership included the Research Council on the Problem of Alcohol, the Medical and Research Committee of the National Fund for Infantile Paralysis, the Chicago Commission on Alcoholism, the National Academy of Scientists, the National Research Chemists, the American Institute of Nutrition, the American Medical Association, the American Institute of Chemists, and other biological and medical societies in France, Germany, Sweden, China, and Argentina. He was a consultant to the United Stated Food and Drug Administration and the United States Public Health Service.

Carlson married Esther Sjogren on September 26, 1905. They had three children: Robert Bernard, Alice Esther, and Alvin Julius.

Anton Julius Carlson died on September 2, 1956 in Chicago.

Scope Note

The Anton Julius Carlson Papers consist of one box containing articles and a bound volume of letters from 1938 to 1952. The articles are “So This is the University?” (1938), “The Offerings and Facilities in the Natural Sciences in the Liberal Arts Colleges” (1943), and “The Science Core in Liberal Education” (1952). The bound volume of letters is titled “Letters Written to Dr. A.J. Carlson by Students and Friends on the Occasion of His Seventy-Fifth Birthday” and is dated January 29, 1950.

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Subject Headings


Box 1   Folder 1


  • "Letters Written to Dr. A. J. Carlson by Students and Friends on the Occasion of His Seventy-Fifth Birthday," January 29, 1950, bound volume
Box 1   Folder 2


  • "So This Is the University?" reprint, 1938
  • "The Offerings and Facilities in the Natural Sciences in the Liberal Arts Colleges," reprint, 1943
  • "The Science Core in Liberal Education," reprint, 1945
  • (with Edward J. Stieglitz) "Physiological Changes in Aging," reprint, 1952