THE HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN OTOLOGICAL SOCIETY

 Volumes Commemorating the American Otological Society’s 100th, 125th, and 150th Anniversaries

The American Otological Society (founded 1868), the second oldest medical society in America, has a rich and well documented history.  We owe a debt of gratitude to our forbearers who, from the Society’s inception, annually reported not only its scientific proceedings but also recorded a trove of supplemental material which provides invaluable insight into the personalities, priorities, biases, organizational politics, and controversies facing otologists during their time. These AOS Transactions were published annually between 1868 and 2006 with the exception of the war years of 1943 and 1945.  The Transactions include many the seminal works in otology and represent a time capsule of the state-of-the-art during the latter half of the 19th and throughout the 20th centuries.  

Three historical monographs have appeared to celebrate the Society’s 100th, 125th, and 150th anniversaries.   The 147 page centennial edition, which was published in 1968,  provided synopses of each year’s AOS Transactions.  It included a few pages each of historical commentary and musings on the future or otology, both authored by Edmund Prince Fowler.  The 130 page quasquicentennial, published in 1993, reprinted in full the centennial volume and added synopses of the AOS Transaction from the 1969-1993 period.  It includes 7 pages of “informal” photographs of leading AOS members from the preceding quarter century. 

The 106 page sesquicentennial volume, published in 2018, took a different approach from its predecessors.  By utilizing a variety of historical resources in addition to the AOS Transactions, historians of otology contributed a series of 9 academic papers comprehensively analyzing the history of the Society.  Rather than a small run of bound volumes distributed to the AOS membership, the 150th volume was published as a supplement to the Society’s journal Otology & Neurotology.   This made it available to a broad audience via indexing on MEDLINE.

The AOS, whose seal is based on an antiquarian Greek theme, greatly values traditions.

One illustration of this esteem are the subtitles of the 100th “five score years of progress” and the 125th  “six score and five year of progress.”  These appear to be an homage to the iconic first line of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address (1863) - “four score and seven years ago.” The 21st century editors of the sesquicentennial volume could not bring themselves to use the “seven score and ten years of progress” subtitle, but perhaps editors of the bicentennial volume in 2068 will choose the “ten score years of progress” designation.

As part of our longstanding traditions, the membership of the AOS takes pride in our Society’s illustrious history.

Submitted by our esteemed "historian", AOS member, Dr. Robert Jackler.

Centennial History of AOS (1).pdf

History of the AOS 125.pdf

COMING SOON - the sesquicentennial edition