Gamble, Sarah Merry Bradley, 1898-1984

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Sarah Merry (Bradley) Gamble was born on March 9, 1898, in Brookline, Massachusetts, one of five daughters of Amy (Aldis) Bradley and Richards Merry Bradley; a son died in childhood. Many of the Aldis family resided in St. Albans, Vermont, while the Bradleys originally settled in Westminster and later moved to Brattleboro.

Gamble grew up in Boston. During her childhood the family summered at Manchester-by-the-Sea on the North Shore, in York Harbor, Maine, with her mother's family, and in later years at the Bradley Home Place in Brattleboro. She was educated at the Winsor School, and later attended Radcliffe College and Simmons School of Social Work. She served as a volunteer driver during World World I, and in 1917 helped found Green Mountain Camp, intended to provide rural Vermont girls with a healthy educational and recreational summer.

In 1924, she married Clarence James Gamble (1894-1966) of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Pasadena, California, one of four children of Mary (Huggins) Gamble and David Berry Gamble and grandson of the co-founder of Procter & Gamble. Clarence had graduated from Princeton in 1914 and from Harvard Medical School in 1920. Sarah and Clarence had five children: Sarah Louise (Sally); Richard Bradley; Walter James; Mary Julia (Judy); and Robert David. The family lived near Philadelphia while Clarence held a post in the University of Pennsylvania Department of Pharmacology. In 1937 they moved to Milton, Massachusetts; Clarence taught at Harvard Medical School and was a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Clarence's independent income allowed him to devote himself to the controversial field of birth control, and in 1929 he helped found a Maternal Health Clinic in Cincinnati. Such "maternal health associations," which provided contraceptive services, were eventually established in forty cities in fourteen states. In 1952, Clarence and Sarah attended the Bombay International Birth Control Conference organized by Margaret Sanger. The Gambles made four around-the-world trips, working with doctors and social workers to set up family planning clinics in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Burma, Singapore, East and West Pakistan, India, Ceylon, the United Arab Republic, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Greece, Italy, Nigeria, France, Sweden, and England. They also sent field workers overseas to undertake birth control work in developing countries. After Clarence's death, Sarh made a solo world tour.

The Pathfinder Fund was incorporated in 1957. As described in the 1978 annual report, it is a non-political, non-profit organization that "promotes and supports population and family planning activities in less developed countries." The organization has offices in Boston and in several foreign cities, and has conducted projects in more than eighty countries. The Gambles' five children (and some of their spouses) have been active in the organization. For more information about the Gambles' work in birth control, see Every Child a Wanted Child, by Doone and Greer Williams (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1978).

Gamble and her family were also active in a number of community service organizations, including the Northfield League, Inc. (originally the Northfield Religious Conference for Girls), St. Michael's Sunday School, the Experiment in International Living, the Boston Center for Adult Education, and the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross; Gamble served on the boards of a number of these organizations. The Gamble family also housed British foster children during World War II and was active in the civil rights movement. She was a prolific poet and wrote many children's stories with religious messages.

From the guide to the Papers, 1810-1984, (Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Papers, 1893-1978 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Papers, 1873-1990 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Papers, 1813-1957 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Bradley family. Papers, 1813-1957 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Mudd, Emily Hartshorne, 1898-. Papers: Series IV-VI, 1927-1990 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn McKinnon, Edna Rankin, b. 1893. Papers, 1893-1978 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Papers, 1810-1984 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Gamble, Sarah Merry Bradley, 1898-1984. Papers, 1810-1984 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Advisory Council corporateBody
correspondedWith Alice Forbes person
associatedWith American Public Health Association corporateBody
correspondedWith Andrew F. West person
associatedWith Anne Ruggles Richards person
correspondedWith Armour, Minnie person
correspondedWith Art Institute of Chicago corporateBody
associatedWith Boston Board of Health corporateBody
associatedWith Boston Center for Adult Education. corporateBody
correspondedWith Bradley, Edith person
associatedWith Bradley family family
associatedWith Bradley family. family
associatedWith Bradley family. family
associatedWith BRADLEY FAMILY family
associatedWith Bradley Home Place corporateBody
associatedWith Bradley, Richards Merry, 1861-1943. person
associatedWith Brattleboro Mutual Aid Association. corporateBody
correspondedWith Brattleboro Mutual Aid Society corporateBody
associatedWith Breed, Lorena M person
associatedWith Breed, Lorena M. person
correspondedWith Bricourt, Louis person
correspondedWith Brown, Marion person
associatedWith Burnham, Henry person
associatedWith Case, Louise person
associatedWith Churchill, Janet person
associatedWith Church Women of Vermont. corporateBody
associatedWith Commission of Immigration and Housing of California corporateBody
associatedWith Cornelia Aldis person
associatedWith Countway Library, Harvard Medical School corporateBody
associatedWith Daniels, Jonathan person
associatedWith David Berry Gamble person
associatedWith Department of Sanitation and Public Improvements corporateBody
associatedWith Doone Williams person
correspondedWith Dora Chaplin person
associatedWith Douglas Deane person
associatedWith Dr. Fran Burke person
correspondedWith Dr. Lorena Breed person
associatedWith Dummer family family
associatedWith Dummer family. family
associatedWith Edith Gates person
associatedWith Edna Bertha (Rankin) McKinnon, 1893-1978 person
associatedWith Emily Borie (Hartshorne) Mudd person
associatedWith Episcopal Divinity School corporateBody
associatedWith Episcopal Theological School corporateBody
associatedWith Epstein, Sally person
associatedWith Esther M. Swift person
associatedWith Ethel Dummer Mintzer person
correspondedWith Ethel Sturges Dummer Mintzer person
associatedWith Experiment in International Living. corporateBody
correspondedWith Felix D. Perkins person
associatedWith Fisher, Dorothy Canfield., 1879-1958 person
associatedWith Fisher, Welthy person
associatedWith Fisher, Welthy Honsinger, 1879-1980. person
correspondedWith Fleming, Marjorie person
correspondedWith Francis B. Foster person
associatedWith Frederick H. Whitin person
correspondedWith F. Walton Brown person
associatedWith Gamble, Clarence James, 1896-1966 person
associatedWith Gamble, Elizabeth person
correspondedWith Gamble family family
associatedWith Gamble family. family
associatedWith Gamble, James person
associatedWith Gates, Edith person
associatedWith General Stephen Rowe Bradley person
correspondedWith George B. McClellan person
associatedWith Georgianna Sibley person
associatedWith Germantown Friends School corporateBody
correspondedWith Graham Aldis person
associatedWith Green Mountain Camp corporateBody
associatedWith Green Mountain Camp for Girls. corporateBody
associatedWith Greer Williams. person
associatedWith Hancock School corporateBody
correspondedWith Hannah Weld Merry person
associatedWith Hansom, Isabel person
associatedWith Harper Sibley person
correspondedWith Harvard College corporateBody
correspondedWith Harvard Divinity School corporateBody
associatedWith Harvard Medical School corporateBody
associatedWith Harvard School of Public Health corporateBody
correspondedWith Helen B. Holmes person
associatedWith Huggins family; family
correspondedWith Huggins, Julia person
associatedWith Huggins, William person
correspondedWith Hughes, Gladys person
associatedWith Human Betterment League of Iowa corporateBody
associatedWith Huxley, Julian Sorrell, 1887-1975 person
correspondedWith Jack Starr person
associatedWith James Norris Gamble person
correspondedWith James Perry Thurber person
associatedWith John Davis Williams person
correspondedWith John Stanbury person
correspondedWith John William Lavalle person
correspondedWith Kellogg, Sarah person
correspondedWith King's College corporateBody
associatedWith Landerman, Peter person
associatedWith Lay School of Theology corporateBody
associatedWith Leonard Abram Bradley person
associatedWith Lionel C. Epstein person
associatedWith Madame Marie Pupin Burel person
correspondedWith Margaret L. Daniel person
associatedWith Mary R. Cabot person
associatedWith Mary (Taylor) Aldis person
correspondedWith Massachusetts General Hospital corporateBody
associatedWith Massachusetts Society of Colonial Dames corporateBody
associatedWith McKinnon, Edna Bertha (Rankin), 1893-1978 person
associatedWith McKinnon, Edna Rankin, b. 1893. person
correspondedWith Medical colleagues corporateBody
associatedWith Melinda Willard Bradley person
associatedWith Miranda M. Kellogg person
associatedWith M. O. Kobbé person
associatedWith Mona Beach person
associatedWith Mudd, Emily (Hartshorne), 1898- person
associatedWith Mudd, Emily Hartshorne, 1898- person
associatedWith Mudd, Stuart, 1893-1975 person
associatedWith Mutual Aid and Children's Repair Fund corporateBody
associatedWith Mypsy person
associatedWith National League for Woman's Service corporateBody
associatedWith Norris, Alexander person
associatedWith Northfield Conference for Girls corporateBody
associatedWith Northfield League, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Northfield League, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Occidental Academy corporateBody
correspondedWith Occidental College corporateBody
associatedWith Pathfinder Fund. corporateBody
correspondedWith Phelps, Almira person
associatedWith Princeton University. corporateBody
associatedWith Procter & Gamble corporateBody
associatedWith Procter & Gamble Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Radcliffe College corporateBody
associatedWith Rev. Vivian T. Pomeroy person
correspondedWith Richard Bradley Grinnell person
associatedWith Richard Clarke Cabot person
correspondedWith Richards, Mark person
associatedWith Robert David Gamble person
associatedWith Robert D. C. Merry. person
associatedWith Roland Ziegal person
correspondedWith Roosevelt, Theodore person
associatedWith Roots, Margaret F, 1895-1971 person
associatedWith Sanger, Margaret, 1879-1966. person
associatedWith Sapieha family family
associatedWith Sarah B. Gamble person
associatedWith Sarah (Gamble) Epstein person
associatedWith SARAH MERRY (BRADLEY) GAMBLE, 1898-1984 person
correspondedWith Sarah Williams (Merry) Bradley person
associatedWith Selwyn, Lucy person
associatedWith Sibley Georgianna person
associatedWith Snyder, Dr. John person
associatedWith Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross corporateBody
associatedWith Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross. corporateBody
associatedWith Special Aid Society for American Preparedness corporateBody
associatedWith Stanley Kahrl person
correspondedWith Stephen Rowe Bradley III person
associatedWith St. Michael's Episcopal Church corporateBody
correspondedWith Stuart, Hal person
correspondedWith Susan (Bradley) Grinnell person
correspondedWith Susan (Crossman) Bradley person
correspondedWith Susan (Richards) Bradley person
associatedWith Thomas Thompson Trust. corporateBody
correspondedWith Thompson Trust corporateBody
associatedWith Valerie Knapp. person
associatedWith Wesselhoeft, Margetta person
correspondedWith William Czar Bradley II person
correspondedWith William L. Dorr person
correspondedWith William S. Huggins person
associatedWith Wilson, Amy Suter person
associatedWith Wilson, Susan E. person
correspondedWith Windham County Agricultural Society corporateBody
associatedWith Winsor School corporateBody
associatedWith Winsor School. corporateBody
associatedWith Women in Massachusetts Public Higher Education corporateBody
associatedWith Women's Christian League corporateBody
associatedWith Women's Municipal League of Boston corporateBody
associatedWith Women's Municipal League of Boston. corporateBody
associatedWith Women's Travel Club corporateBody
associatedWith Women's Travel Club. corporateBody
associatedWith Women's Travel Club, Boston corporateBody
correspondedWith Yale College corporateBody
correspondedWith Zachary Taylor person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Boston MA US
Boston (Mass.)
Developing countries
Brookline MA US
Birth control clinics
Medical education
World War, 1939-1945
Family records
World War, 1914-1918--Women
Birth control
Voyages around the world
International cooperation
Civil rights
Maternal health services
Women in community organization
Social Activist


Birth 1898-03-09

Death 1984-04-27




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Ark ID: w6bm23vb

SNAC ID: 85554628