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George Eli Bennett was born in Claryville, New York. He received his M.D. in 1904 from the University of Maryland. He was an orthopedic surgeon at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and at Children’s Hospital in Baltimore. Bennett converted the Children’s Hospital School into an acute poliomyelitis hospital during a severe poliomyelitis epidemic in 1916. In 1946, he introduced a respirator unit there for aftercare of large numbers of convalescent patients, a unit that served as a prototype for others later established throughout the United States. Bennett also made many contributions to the art and science of orthopedics, particularly in the field of surgery, developing many important improvements in braces and traction apparatus.

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The George Eli Bennett Collection consists of photographs, manuscripts, reprints, and professional correspondence. Most of the materials pertain to Bennett’s work in orthopedics.

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