History In Ink®  Historical Autographs




Charles H. Mayo

William J. Mayo

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Very scarce composite photo of the co-founders of the world-famous Mayo Clinic

Charles Horace Mayo, 1865-1939, and William James Mayo, 1861-1939.  Renowned American physicians; co-founders of the world-famous Mayo Clinic.  Extra fine 10¾ x 13¾ composite photograph of the brothers boldly signed C. H. Mayo and W. J. Mayo beneath their respective images and inscribed by William To Mr. W. T. Middlebrook with personal regards Oct. 12 / 37. 

This magnificent signed photograph of the Mayo brothers is a very scarce and desirable piece.  We have found only five other dual-signed composite photographs such as this one in auction and dealer records over the last 32 years.

This photograph also has an outstanding association.  It is inscribed and signed to William T. Middlebrook, who served as Comptroller and secretary of the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota from 1925 to 1943 and  then as Vice President for Business Administration until he retired in 1959. Middlebrook Hall, the largest residence hall at the University of Minnesota, is named in his honor.

The Mayo brothers were pioneers in the group practice of medicine.  Their father, physician William Worrall Mayo, came to the United States from England in 1845 and settled in Rochester, Minnesota.  The brothers, two of five children, frequently accompanied him on professional visits, observed his diagnoses and methods of treatment, and helped with operations.  Both, then, naturally went into medicine.  William graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1883, and Charles graduated from Chicago Medical School, later Northwestern University, in 1888. 

The three Mayos formed the Mayo Clinic, a surgical clinic, as part of St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester in 1903.  They began attracting physicians from all over the world, and the clinic became a full medical center, staffed with specialists, in 1915.  Two years later, the brothers gave the University of Minnesota securities worth some $1,650,000, representing the bulk of their personal fortunes, to establish and maintain the Mayo Foundation For Medical Education and Research.  Today the Mayo Clinic has more than 3,000 staff physicians, medical scientists, and clinical and research associates, and it has facilities in Rochester, Phoenix, Arizona, and Jacksonville, Florida.

This photograph is absolutely pristine.  It is mounted to a stiff backing board.  The Mayo brothers have boldly signed in fountain pen.




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