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Gage, Susanna Phelps

A Three Weeks' Human Embryo, with Especial Reference to the Brain and the Nephric System

  • Offprint from the American Journal of Anatomy, presentation copy inscribed by Gage on the upper cover, "Compliments of the Author", and with the typed ownership signature of fellow scientist Mary A. Bowers.

    Author Susanna Phelps Gage (1857-1915) was a prominent American embryologist and comparative anatomist who did fundamental work on the development of the human brain and nervous system. Gage studied at Cornell, where she was the first woman to take a laboratory physics course, and she earned her PhD there in 1880. Though her career was sometimes overshadowed by that of her husband, the embryologist Simon Henry Gage, she published a number of important papers and was widely respected, earning election to the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, the American Anatomical Association (the publishers of the present paper), and the American Microscopical Society, among others.

    This paper, on the human embryo, is one of her most significant contributions to the literature, and the five detailed anatomical plates were apparently done by Gage herself, who also illustrated works for her husband and the anatomist Burt G. Wilder. This copy is particularly interesting in that the owner, Mary A. Bowers, was also a female scientist and the instructor of zoology at Wellesley College. An excellent presentation offering a tantalizing glimpse of the connections between female scientists in early-20th century America.

  • [Washington D.C.:] The American Journal of Anatomy, 1905. Offprint from the American Journal of Anatomy, Volume IV, No. 4, pages 409-443, September 15, 1905. Original blue-grey wrappers printed in black. 5 plates at the back, one with a printed tissue overlay. A little rubbing and some mild creases at the extremities, head of spine bumped, contents very fresh. An excellent copy.

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