Krumbhaar, E. B. (Edward Bell), 1882-1966

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Edward Bell Krumbhaar (1882-1966) was a distinguished pathologist and cardiac physician, as well as one of Philadelphia’s leading historians of medicine. A founder of both the Section on Medical History of the College of Physicians and the American Association of the History of Medicine (AAHM), Krumbhaar also served as president of the College and of the AAHM.

Krumbhaar was born on August 1, 1882 in Philadelphia. He graduated from the Groton School in Massachusetts; from Harvard University in 1904; and the School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, earning his MD in 1908 and his PhD in 1916. Immediately after obtaining his medical degree, Krumbhaar served as the resident pathologist at the Pennsylvania Hospital where he learned from Winfield T. Longscope, the Director of the Ayer Clinical Laboratory at Pennsylvania Hospital. It was because of Longscope that Krumbhaar began studying “the physiology and pathology of the heart, for which Krumbhaar became famous” (Long, page 121).

When the United States entered World War I, Krumbhaar served in the American Expeditionary Forces in France as a medical officer conducting autopsies on victims of mustard gas. His wife, Helen Dixon Krumbhaar, also served in World War I, and together they wrote Blood and Bone Marrow in Mustard Gas Poisoning .

From 1920 to 1927, he served as Director of Laboratories at the Philadelphia General Hospital. In 1927, Krumbhaar became a professor of pathology at the University of Pennsylvania and served in that capacity for twenty years, when he retired as emeritus professor. Krumbhaar was a member of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia for 42 years, founded the Section on Medical History of the College of Physicians, and served as its president from 1940 to 1943. He also served as editor of the American Journal of Medical Sciences . He founded the American Association for the History of Medicine and served as its president.

Krumbhaar’s “talent as a pathologist, editor and medical historian was equaled by his skill as an administrator [and he] published voluminously in the field of medical history,” (Long, page 123). Throughout his career he published English translations of works originally in French, German and Italian. He edited Clio’s Short History of Medicine . Beside his own work, he is best remembered by historians for his revised translation of Arturo Castiglioni’s History of Medicine (1941).

Krumbhaar died on March 6, 1966 at the age of eighty-four years. He was survived by his wife Helen and their two sons, Peter and David.


Long, Esmund R., MD. “Memoir of Edward Bell Krumbhaar, 1882-1996,” College of Physicians.

From the guide to the E. B. Krumbhaar papers, Bulk, 1899-1992, 1825-1992, (College of Physicians Historical Medical Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf KRUMBHAAR, EDWARD. Artist file : miscellaneous uncataloged material. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library
referencedIn Peyton Rous Papers, Circa 1917-1970 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Gregory I, Pope, ca. 540-604. Letters : manuscript, [11--]. Houghton Library
referencedIn Rous, Peyton, 1879-1970. Papers, ca. 1917-1970. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf Augustine, Saint, Bishop of Hippo. Epistolae : manuscript, [11--]. Houghton Library
referencedIn Osler, William, Sir, 1849-1919. Letters, 1885-1919. College of Physicians of Philadelphia
creatorOf Warthin, Aldred Scott, 1866-1931. Aldred Scott Warthin papers, 1893-1947 (bulk 1923-1931). University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Krumbhaar, E. B. (Edward Bell), 1882-1966. Correspondence with Carl Zigrosser, n.d. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf E. B. Krumbhaar papers, Bulk, 1899-1992, 1825-1992 College of Physicians Historical Medical Library
referencedIn Krumbhaar family. Papers, 1732-1951. Historical Society of Pennsylvania
referencedIn Robinson, Victor, 1886-1947. Papers, 1910-1947 and undated. Duke University, Medical Center Library & Archives
creatorOf Musser, John Herr, 1856-1912. [Notes on clinical medicine lectures], 1907-1908. College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Association for the History of Medicine. corporateBody
associatedWith Augustine, Saint, Bishop of Hippo. person
associatedWith College of Physicians of Philadelphia. corporateBody
associatedWith Gregory I, Pope, ca. 540-604. person
associatedWith Krumbhaar family. family
associatedWith Musser, John Herr, 1856-1912. person
associatedWith Osler, William, Sir, 1849-1919. person
associatedWith Pennsylvania Hospital (Philadelphia, Pa). corporateBody
associatedWith Philadelphia General Hospital. corporateBody
associatedWith Robinson, Victor, 1886-1947. person
associatedWith Rous, Peyton, 1879-1970. person
associatedWith University of Pennsylvania. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Pennsylvania. Dept. of Medicine. corporateBody
associatedWith Warthin, Aldred Scott, 1866-1931. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Philadelphia (Pa.)
Mustard gas
World War I


Birth 1882

Death 1966



Ark ID: w69z97b2

SNAC ID: 37973371