William T. Bovie Papers Open to Research

By , December 8, 2017

William T. Bovie

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce the opening of the William T. Bovie papers, 1890-1953 (inclusive). Bovie earned a Ph.D. in plant physiology from Harvard University in 1914, moved to the Harvard Cancer Commission as a research fellow, and in 1920 became Assistant Professor of Biophysics. While at Harvard, Bovie developed his electrosurgical device, a scalpel that could cut and seal using the effects of high frequency current, which minimized blood loss, infection, and tissue damage. This work was done in collaboration with Harvey Cushing, Surgeon-in-Chief at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. Bovie later taught at Northwestern University and Colby College, and worked in the Roscoe B. Jackson Memorial Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1920.

William T. Bovie Bookplate

The papers are the product of Bovie’s activities as biophysicist, researcher and author, and professor. The papers contain records from Bovie’s research activities, lecture notes from courses in biophysics and social technology given by him at Harvard University and Northwestern University, and speeches on a variety of topics given to public audiences and professional societies. The collection also contains collected films, drafts and notes related to his professional writings, and personal correspondence and biographical records.

The finding aid for the Bovie papers can be found here.

For information regarding access to this collection, please contact the Public Services staff.

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