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Vilray P. Blair Photographs and DrawingsAdd to your cart. | Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives

Title: Vilray P. Blair Photographs and DrawingsAdd to your cart.
ID: VC/VC001
Extent: 0.3 Linear Feet
Predominant Dates: 1900-1950
expand icon Arrangement
expand icon Biographical/Historical Note

Vilray Papin Blair (1871-1955) is most known for his pioneering work in plastic surgery. A native of St. Louis, Blair graduated from Christian Brothers College in 1890 and subsequently enrolled in the St. Louis Medical College. There he was greatly influenced by Elisha Hall Gregory, a professor of surgery. He graduated in 1893 and began an internship at Mullanphy Hospital under distinguished surgeon Paul Yoer Tupper.

In 1894 Blair was appointed instructor with the Anatomy Department of St. Louis Medical College (which had joined Washington University in 1891). In 1896 he took a leave from medicine to join the crew of a merchant vessel bound for Europe, a decision that led to him becoming a ship surgeon for a journey to Brazil and then a military surgeon for British troops sailing to West Africa.

Upon his return to St. Louis in 1900, Blair established a private surgical practice and resumed teaching at the School of Medicine. He was named to the visiting staff of St. Louis City Hospital in 1910. In 1917 Blair joined the U.S. Army Corps entering World War I and was named chief of oral and plastic surgery. On his return to St. Louis he was active in the Medical Reserve Corps and served as attending specialist in plastic surgery at the Jefferson Barracks Veterans Hospital.

Blair served as assistant professor of clinical surgery at the School of Medicine in 1922 and was named professor in 1927. He also served as professor of oral surgery at the Washington University School of Dentistry. He became an emeritus professor of both schools in 1941. Throughout his career, Blair published many influential books and articles in the areas of plastic and oral surgery. Another foremost achievement was his leadership in creating the American Board of Plastic Surgery, which helped seal his place as a pioneer in establishing plastic surgery as a unique branch of medicine.

expand icon Access and Use Restrictions
Restrictions: The collection is open and accessible for research.
Rights: Users of the collection should read and abide by the guidelines of the Use of Archival Collections policy at the Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives.
Related Materials: For related material, please see RG009 (Barnes Hospital Records) Series 9, Box 7, Folder 56: Dr. Vilray P. Blair's operating room, c. 1931.
Preferred Citation: [Item description, Item number], Vilray P. Blair Photographs and Drawings, Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives, Washington University School of Medicine.
Collection Material Type: Visual Collection
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