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William Rush Dunton, Jr. was born in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Haverford College in 1889 with a B.S. and a M.A. the following year. In 1893 Dunton received a M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He trained at various hospitals in the Philadelphia area and spent six weeks on Howard Kelly’s service at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Moving to Baltimore in 1895, he became the assistant physician at the Sheppard Asylum where he developed an interest in occupational therapy for the mentally ill. He wrote many books and journal articles on the topic of occupational therapy and was involved in the founding of the society for occupational therapy. In 1901 he was appointed Clinical Assistant in the Department of Clinical Neurology, Johns Hopkins Hospital Outpatient Dispensary and assistant in psychiatry Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1903. Dunton was promoted to instructor in psychiatry in 1906, a position he retained until resigning in 1942. Leaving the Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital in 1924, Dunton became the medical director of the Harlem Lodge (the Richard Gundry Home) until 1939. He served another two years at The Laurel Sanitarium before retiring. Dunton published on a variety of subjects including recreational therapy, epilepsy and mental health, quilting, and hooked rugs. In 1922 he was named editor of the Archives of Occupational Thearpy and also served as an associate editor of the American Journal of Psychiatry. He was involved in the founding of many organizations including the Maryland Psychiatric Society and the Baltimore County Medical Association. In 1958, Dunton was honored by the American Occupational Therapy Association with their merit award for his contributions to understanding the benefits of occupational therapy for mentally ill patients.

Scope and Content

The William Rush Dunton, Jr. Collection consists of Dunton’s book, Prescribing Occupational Therapy (Charles C. Thomas, 1928). The book covers general principles of occupational therapy and its special application to mental disorders as well as medical and surgical conditions for adults and children.

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