The Journal of the American College of Surgeons (JACS) had its beginnings in July 1905 when Franklin H. Martin, MD, FACS, enlisted the support of family and friends to launch a surgical journal entitled Surgery Gynecology and Obstetrics (SG&O). The ACS Archives has a collection of records and correspondence from the journal's earliest days. It includes material on the transition after Dr. Martin's death to the Surgical Publishing Company and the Franklin H. Martin Memorial Foundation as the publisher of the journal, and includes the minutes and account books of that body. It traces the birth, history and development of the journal which was itself the "midwife" to the Clinical Congresses of North America in 1910 and the American College of Surgeons in 1913 with documents detailing policy making correspondence, advertising issues and editorial decision making.
Moreover, the records show how SG&O became JACS and the official scientific publication of the American College of Surgeons. Its editors have been some of the great leaders in 20th century surgery: Franklin H. Martin, MD, FACS (1905-35); Allen B. Kanavel, MD, FACS (1936-38); Loyal Davis, MD, FACS (1938-82); G. Tom Shires, MD, FACS (1982-93); Samuel A. Wells, MD, FACS (1994-96); Seymour I. Schwartz, MD, FACS (1997-2004); and now Timothy J. Eberlein, MD, FACS. The correspondence of these men surrounding the policies, philosophy and editing of SG&O not only gives insight to the personality of the men themselves, but offers insight into the successful production of such a professional journal which has been a model to many such scholarly publications over the past one hundred years.
ACS Archives Highlights is a series showcasing the vibrant history of the American College of Surgeons, its members, and the history of surgery. For further information on our featured highlights, search the Archives Catalog or contact the ACS Archivist.