Special Collections in the History of Medicine
Joseph H. Kler, MD (1903-1983)
Papers, 1935 - 1980, w/gaps
Joseph H. Kler, MD, (1903-1983), was born in Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Medical College in 1925. Dr. Kler, an ophthalmologist, practiced for over half a century in New Brunswick, NJ. In 1929, he was the first staff physician and first team physician for Rutgers University. From his office at Rutgers, Dr. Kler broadcast a weekly health radio show on WOR.
Dr. Kler was on staff at Middlesex General Hospital (now, RWJ University Hospital) and was chief of ophthalmology and otolaryngology at St. Peter's Medical Center for thirty years. He served as president of the staff at both hospitals. Dr. Kler was past president of Middlesex County Medical Society and the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology.
Dr. Kler's civic-mindedness led to his founding and serving as president (1971-83) of East Jersey Olde Towne Inc., a restored colonial village in Johnson Park, Piscataway. Historic buildings from around Middlesex County were moved there to be preserved, such as the Indian Queen Tavern which stood at the foot of Albany Street in New Brunswick.
Dr. Kler was an expert stamp collector of stamps with a medical theme. He was the author of the Minkus Publications' Medicine on Stamps (1969) containing interesting accounts of medical history; for ten years, he was the author of yearly supplements. In 1970, the Home News called him "the world's leading medical stamp collector." Dr. Kler was author of a feature article on medical stamps in Medical Times.
Dr. Kler's extensive Medicine on Stamps collections consisted of over 16,000 stamps in forty-four albums. He donated the collection to the Cardinal Spellman Philatelic Museum at Regis College, Weston, Massachusetts, a museum of which he was a founder. A small portion of his stamp collection was presented to RWJMS by his daughter, Marjorie Kler Freeman.
Dr. Kler was the recipient of the Freedom Foundations' award and of the grand award of the American Topical Association (stamps).
Provenance: Gift of Dr. Kler's daughters, Marjorie Kler Freeman and Mary Kler Heisinger, 1996.
|1||1||"Abe Lincoln, the Lawyer", n.d.|
|4||Correspondence: Medicine on Stamps, 1970-75, w/gaps|
|5||Letters Received, 1937|
|6||NJ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 1965-67, w/gaps|
|8||Speeches: [Address before the Rotary Club of New Brunswick to initiate the organization of an American Heritage Program], Feb. 19, 1948|
|9||Speeches: "An Analysis of Colds in Industry," presented at the Academy of Ophthalmology, Chicago, Oct., 12, 1944|
|10||Speeches: "The Position of the Middlesex County Medical Society in the History of the Medical Profession in the State of New Jersey," June 21, 1941|
|11||Stamps, 1964-65, 1980, w/gaps|
Lois R. Densky-Wolff
March 2, 1997
Page Revised: 2/5/05
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