Reference Entry

Putnam, Helen Cordelia

Charles W. Carey

in American National Biography Online

Published in print January 1999 |
Published online February 2000 | e-ISBN: 9780198606697 | DOI:

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  • Social and Cultural History
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  • Gynaecology


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Putnam, Helen Cordelia (14 September 1857–03 February 1951), physician and public health reformer, was born in Stockton, Minnesota, the daughter of Herbert Asa Putnam, a general store owner, and Celintha T. Gates. She received her A.B. from Vassar College in 1878 and then enrolled in Harvard University’s Sargent School of Physical Training. In 1883, having completed that school’s course of study, she returned to Vassar as director of physical education. Shortly thereafter she became active in the affairs of the American Association for the Advancement of Physical Education and served as its vice president from 1885 to 1888. She also enrolled in the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, where she specialized in obstetrics and the diseases of women and received her M.D. in 1889. In 1890 she left Vassar to become an intern at the New England Hospital for Women and Children in Boston. Two years later she moved to Providence, Rhode Island, where she practiced gynecology for the next forty-three years....

Reference Entry.  941 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History ; Labour and Demographic Economics ; Gynaecology

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