James Read Chadwick

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James Read Chadwick

James Read Chadwick (2 November 1844, Boston – 23 September 1905, Chocorua, New Hampshire) was an American gynecologist and medical librarian remembered for describing the Chadwick sign of early pregnancy in 1887.


James Chadwick received a B.A. at Harvard in 1865, an M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1871, studied obstetrics in Europe from 1871 to 1873, and then worked as a gynecologist in Boston.[1] From 1874 he worked at the Boston City Hospital, helping to found the gynecological department, and taught at Harvard Medical School.[2][3] He helped to found, and became secretary and president of the American Gynaecological Society. He was a founder of the Boston Medical Library Association in 1875, and worked as the librarian until his death. He was voted president of the Association of Medical Librarians in 1904. He was the first president of the Harvard Medical Alumni Association in 1891. He was a supporter of women in the practice of medicine, writing a report which cited the contributions of women in medicine.[4]

A strong advocate of cremation, he was president of the Massachusetts Cremation Society from 1894 until his sudden death in 1905 at his summer home in New Hampshire, probably as a result of a fall from a piazza roof.[5][3]

He contributed many articles on his specialty to the Transactions of the American Gynecological Association, the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, the American Journal of Obstetrics, etc.[3]


  1. ^ Biography at Medicine in Maryland 1752–1920 Accessed on 24 March 2009.
  2. ^ Women Working 1800–1930 Harvard University Library. Accessed on 24 March 2009.
  3. ^ a b c Wikisource-logo.svg One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainRines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Chadwick, James Read". Encyclopedia Americana. 
  4. ^ James R. Chadwick, M.D. The Study and Practice of Medicine by Women 1879. Harvard University Library. Accessed on 24 March 2009.
  5. ^ James Read Chadwick. In Memoriam: A Brief Sketch of His Life. Medical Library and Historical Journal. 1906 March; 4(1): 112.2–114. Full text Accessed on 24 March 2009.