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John Ballard Blake, PhD banner featuring three images and captions for the different sections of the website. John Blake, historian, librarian, and tree farmer.
A head and shoulders full face black and white photograph of John Blake. Below his picture is the word Historian in black lettering. A three-quarters black and white photograph of John Blake sitting on a table in the National Library of Medicine's Incunabula room. Below his picture is the word Librarian in black lettering. John Blake and his wife Jean standing in a stewardship forest. Below their picture is the word Tree Farmer in black lettering.

John Ballard Blake, Ph.D.

1922-2006

Historian

Head and shoulders, full face view of John Blake early in his career.

John Blake made significant contributions to the field of medical history. He was educated at Yale, BA, 1943, with Honors in History, Harvard, MA, 1947, and Ph.D., 1954, in American history. He was among the first generation of historians of medicine to come out of history departments, rather than clinical medicine, and he helped integrate the subject into the broader field of social history. His interests were primarily the history of public health in America and women’s history. His books and articles dealt with public health in 18th and early 19th century Boston, medicine in colonial America, and women and medicine in 19th century America.

He was active in the American Association for the History of Medicine, the chief professional organization for historians of medicine. He served as Secretary-Treasurer, Vice-President, and President. For his many contributions to the Association and to the field of medical history, he received the organization’s William Welch Medal, “for scholarly contributions,” and its Lifetime Achievement Award for “longtime members of the Association ... who have distinguished records of support of the history of medicine over many years.”


Color photograph of John B. Blake's Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association for the History of Medicine. The award is a silver bowl with the information engraved on the side.
John B. Blake's Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association for the History of Medicine
The William H. Welch Medal 'for scholarly contributions' awarded to John Blake. The medal is a circular bronze medal with a raised engraving with the words American Association for the History of Medicine at the top, John Blake's name in the center surrounded by a rod of Asclepius and a medicinal plant.
The William H. Welch Medal 'for scholarly contributions' awarded to John Blake

Color photograph of the title page from John Ballard Blake's article 'Mary Gove Nichols, Prophetess of Health.'
Title page from John Blake's article 'Mary Gove Nichols, Prophetess of Health.'
See the LocatorPlus catalog record.
Title page from John Ballard Blake's article 'Benjamin Waterhouse and the introduction of vaccination; a reappraisal.'
Title page from John Blake's article 'Benjamin Waterhouse and the introduction of vaccination; a reappraisal.'
See the LocatorPlus catalog record.

Title page from John Ballard Blake's article 'Public Health in the town of Boston, 1630-1822.'
Title page from John Blake's article
'Public Health in the town of Boston,
1630-1822.'
See the LocatorPlus catalog record.