Cannon, Bradford papers, 1923-2003. H MS c240

Dublin Core


Cannon, Bradford papers, 1923-2003. H MS c240


Bradford Cannon (b. 1907) SB, 1929, Harvard College; MD, 1933, Harvard Medical School, was a plastic surgeon and Clinical Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, whose contributions to plastic surgery include improvements to burn treatments and reconstructive techniques. Cannon was instrumental in making plastic surgery a respected discipline within the Boston medical community and established a formal plastic surgery residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital. His research and publications include original work on wound healing, soft tissue and bony reconstruction, tissue transplantation, and radiation injuries.

Contains correspondence, notes, reports, memoranda, scrapbooks, and photographs from Cannon's educational and administrative activities, professional relationships, and clinical experiences as a plastic surgeon at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass. Includes correspondence, class notes, photographs from Cannon's activities as a student, faculty member, and clinician at Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital; correspondence, annotated meeting programs, notes, drafts, and photographs from Cannon's membership in professional organizations, including the American Association of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons; correspondence, scrapbooks, reports, memoranda, operating notes, brochures, photographs, and slides from Cannon's surgical and administrative activities while at Valley Forge General Hospital; and Cannon family correspondence including his father physiologist Walter Bradford Cannon (1871-1945). Accession 2010-063 (unprocessed) contains photographs of reconstructive surgery performed for war wounded soldiers at Valley Forge General Hospital, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, as well as: notes and manuscripts related to surgical procedures; charcoal and pencil sketches of doctors, operating rooms, and patients; histiology drawings; correspondence and associated research files for Cannon's 1956 trip to the Marshall Islands regarding atomic bomb fallout on Rongelap and Rongerik; and miscellaneous monographs and publications.

Collection Items

Bradford Cannon
Dr. Bradford Cannon was one of the early plastic surgeons recognized as such to practice in Boston. Dr. Cannon is well known for his important contributions toward the advancement of the treatment of burns; he also worked hard to ensure that plastic…

Cocoanut Grove injuries
On November 28, 1942 the Cocoanut Grove, a nightclub in Boston's South End caught on fire. There were nearly one thousand people crammed inside and over five hundred of them died. Though Dr. Cannon was drafted earlier in 1942, his induction was…

Burn Study
In the early 1940's, Dr. Cannon and Dr. Oliver Cope (1902-1994) became concerned about the effectiveness of tannic acid, then the most common treatment of burns used in Boston. In a study conducted at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Drs. Cannon…

Arm flap rhinoplasty
In 1943, Dr. Cannon joined the Medical Corps of the United States Army. He served in the plastic surgery unit at the Valley Forge General Hospital in Pennsylvania, as assistant chief and then chief. This unit performed over 15,000 operations without…

Legion of Merit
Awarded to Dr. Cannon by the War Department in 1946. The citation reads, "By his professional skill, sound judgement, and conscientious devotion to duty, he was instrumental in making it possible for young men who might otherwise have been maimed for…
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