Health Fair Records

Historical Archives

The Delaware Academy of Medicine Health Fair Records
at the Delaware Academy of Medicine

Overview of the Collection

Repository: Delaware Academy of Medicine, John H. Ammon Medical Education Center, 4765 Ogletown Stanton Road, Suite L-10, Newark, DE, 19713
Creator: Delaware Academy of Medicine
Title: The Delaware Academy of Medicine Health Fair Records
Dates: 1960-66 (bulk 1961-62)
Quantity: 3 cubic feet (3 boxes)
Abstract: This is a collection of records and other material generated during the planning and execution of the first Delaware Academy of Medicine health fair, held in Wilmington in the spring of 1962.
Identification: US DeWAM EV2
Language: The records are in English.

Historical Note

The Delaware Academy of Medicine health fair was the first such event to be held in Delaware. The fair was open during the week of March 14-21, 1962. The idea first arose in 1960, when the executive committee of the medical council of the Medical Society of Delaware was inspired by reports of a successful health fair in Columbus, Ohio, in 1959 and urged the Academy to do something similar. Dr. Douglas M. Gay, who had recently retired from his career as a pathologist, was selected as overall director of the project. Besides Dr. Gay, the executive committee for the health fair included Academy president Dr. George A. Zurkow, Academy executive director Eugene C. Syrovatka, Dr. Allston J. Morris, Dr. Norman L. Cannon, Dr. Leonard P. Lang, and public relations expert Ashworth Burslem.

The Wilmington Armory was chosen as the most suitable site for the health fair — at the time, there were no other places in the city large enough to hold everything that was planned. Medical and health groups from all over Delaware were invited to participate by sponsoring exhibits, and almost seventy of them chose to do so, providing fifty exhibits. Over three hundred physicians, dentists, and other health professionals volunteered their services to staff the various exhibits and booths.

Many exhibits were provided by the AMA, including a “Transparent Woman” model, the first to be shown in Delaware. At other exhibits, visitors could receive medical advice, hearing tests, diabetes tests, and even chest X-rays. Many exhibits were geared toward encouraging younger visitors to consider careers in health fields. With the help of Delaware’s senators, the Academy was able to get NASA to provide a replica Project Mercury space capsule for an exhibit on space medicine, a subject of tremendous interest at the time. Medical movies were also shown in the armory’s basement.

The health fair was a tremendous success, drawing more than 65,000 visitors — over 6,000 of whom were schoolchildren. Prominent attendees included the mayor of Wilmington, the governor of Delaware, and the ambassador from Nepal. Although the fair had originally been scheduled to close on March 20th, reaction was so positive that it was decided to keep it open an extra day.

Scope and Contents

The bulk of this collection is made up of Dr. Gay’s correspondence with various people and groups who attended, assisted with, or sponsored exhibits at the health fair, as well as other material he collected during the planning process. This includes minutes of the various fair committees; applications for exhibits; budgets, bills, invoices, and other financial records; photographs of exhibits; newspaper and magazine clippings about the fair; brochures, programs, booklets, tickets, flyers, and other promotional material, both for the fair and for the various organizations involved; and more. Some correspondence to and from Eugene Syrovatka is also included.


The folders that made up this collection were found disarranged, interfiled randomly with other material from older special events held at the Academy. The papers within the folders, however, were generally well-organized in chronological order, and this has not been altered.


Restrictions on Access
This collection is open to the public.

Restrictions on Use
No publication or reproduction for anything other than personal use without the permission of the Delaware Academy of Medicine. Any use of these materials must be in accordance with the Delaware Academy of Medicine’s archival access policy.

Related Materials

Dr. Gay’s file in the Delaware Academy of Medicine Biographical Collection (AC1-N329) includes a 1983 interview with him; part of this interview is given over to his discussing the health fair and his work on it.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Gay, Douglas M.
Syrovatka, Eugene C.

Delaware Academy of Medicine (Wilmington, Del.)

Wilmington (Del.)


Administrative Information

Processing Information
Processed by Christopher Shea, June 2006. Last update to the finding aid by Christopher Shea, February 2007.

The writing of this finding aid was made possible in part by a Delaware Heritage Commission Challenge Grant.

Detailed Description of the Collection

EV2-1. Executive committee records, 1960-62, 1 folder
EV2-2. Exhibits committee records, 1961-62, 1 folder
EV2-3. Arrangements committee records, 1961-62, 1 folder
EV2-4. Public relations committee records, 1961-62, 1 folder
EV2-5. Budget statements and other financial records, 1961-62
EV2-6. Parking and concessions committee records, 1961-62, 1 folder
EV2-7. First aid committee records, 1961-62, 1 folder

Individual group and exhibit records, 1961-62, 52 folders

EV2-8. Delaware Nurses’ Association (“Nursing”)
EV2-9. Delaware Division of the American Cancer Society (“Cancer Facts”)
EV2-10. Delaware Hospital Ob-Gyn Department (“Life Begins”)
EV2-11. Delaware Dietetic Association (“Teenage Nutrition”)
EV2-12. Delaware Chapter of the American Red Cross (“One in Every Family”)
EV2-13. Delaware Chapter of the American College of Surgeons (“Appendicitis and Appendectomy”)
EV2-14. Delaware Association for Retarded Children (“The Mentally Retarded Can Be Helped”)
EV2-15. Delaware Arthritis and Rheumatism Foundation (“Fighting Fraud with Facts”)
EV2-16. Delaware Heart Association (“How the Doctor Examines Your Heart”)
EV2-17. Drs. Miller and Christian Medical Council (“Missionary Work in Nepal” / “Medical Missionary Work Overseas”)
EV2-18. Delaware State Dental Society (“Treatment of Dental Diseases”)
EV2-19. Alfred I. du Pont Institute et al. (“Your Future, A Career in Rehabilitation”)
EV2-20. Delaware State Pathology Society and Delaware Society of Medical Laboratory Technicians (“The Hospital Laboratory”)
EV2-21. Delaware Society of Internal Medicine (“Medical Examinations”)
EV2-22. Delaware Safety Council and J. A. Montgomery Insurance Company (“Seat Belts”)
EV2-23. Delaware Radiological Society (“X-Rays in Health and Disease”)
EV2-24. Delaware Pharmaceutical Society (“Careers in Pharmacy”)
EV2-25. Delaware Veterinary Medicine Society (“The Concept of ‘One Medicine'”)
EV2-26. Delaware Diabetes Association (untitled exhibit on diabetes)
EV2-27. Delaware Tuberculosis and Health Society (“How We Breathe”)
EV2-28. Group Hospital Service and Delaware Blue Cross/Blue Shield (“Mechanical Quackery”)
EV2-29. U.S. Air Force Recruiting Service station
EV2-30. Memorial Hospital Isotope Laboratory (“Isotopes in Medicine”)
EV2-31. Lederle Laboratories (“Virus Research”)
EV2-32. Kent and Sussex Medical Societies (“You Can Reduce”)
EV2-33. Merck, Sharp, and Dohme (declined to participate)
EV2-34. Mental Health Association of Delaware (“Your Brains and Nervous System”)
EV2-35. Medical Society of Delaware (“Medicine as a Career”)
EV2-36. Eli Lilly (“Cancer Research”)
EV2-37. Planned Parenthood (“Planning for a Healthy and Happy Family”)
EV2-38. YMCA(“Seven Paths to Fitness”)
EV2-39. Smith, Kline & French (“The Shape of Medicine”)
EV2-40. Federal Aviation Agency (“Aviation Medicine”)
EV2-41. Podiatry Society of Delaware (“Podiatry”)
EV2-42. Women’s Auxiliary to the Medical Society of Delaware (“Your Glands”)
EV2-43. Air Force Medical Specialist Corps (“Air Force Medical Specialties”)
EV2-44. Urologists of Delaware (“Endoscopy”)
EV2-45. The Transparent Woman
EV2-46. United Cerebral Palsy of Delaware (“The 53 Minute March”)
EV2-47. Association of Delaware Hospitals (“Hospital Corridor”)
EV2-48. Delaware Optometric Association (“We See”)
EV2-49. New Castle County Medical Society (“Your Body”)
EV2-50. National Research Council (“Clinical Prosthetics”)
EV2-51. National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness, et al. (“The Fateful Months When Life Begins”)
EV2-52. New Castle County Chapter of the National Foundation (“Chemistry, Chromosomes, and Congenital Anomalies”)
EV2-53. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Project Mercury space capsule)
EV2-54. National Cystic Fibrosis Research Foundation (“The Sword of Damocles”)
EV2-55. Muscular Dystrophy Association of America (“Muscular Dystrophy”)
EV2-56. Poison Information Center (“Poison Control”)
EV2-57. Wilmington Bureau of Police (“Alcohol Tests for Drinking Drivers”)
EV2-58. Delaware State Board of Health (“Crippled Children’s Services”)
EV2-59. Audiology & Speech Center et al. (“We Hear”)
EV2-60. Publicity photographs of exhibits
EV2-61. Declined sponsorship applications, 1961-62, 1 folder
EV2-62. AMA exhibits correspondence, 1960-62, 1 folder
EV2-63. AMA exhibit catalogs, 1960-62, 1 folder
EV2-64. Space medicine reference material, 1960-62, 1 folder
EV2-65. Opening ceremony correspondence and contact lists, 1961-62, 2 folders
EV2-66. School tour correspondence and schedules, 1961-62, 1 folder
EV2-67. Movie correspondence and schedules, 1961-62, 1 folder
EV2-68. Outside meetings invitations, 1961-62, 1 folder
EV2-69. Physician duty schedules and correspondence, 1961-62, 1 folder
EV2-70. Armory correspondence, 1961-62, 1 folder
EV2-71. Allied Arts and Exhibits correspondence, 1961-62, 1 folder
EV2-72. Research file on other health fairs, 1960-63, 1 folder
EV2-73. Scrapbook of news clippings about fair, 1961-62, 1 folder
EV2-74. Bills and invoices, 1961-62, 2 folders
EV2-75. Flyers, tickets, brochures, and miscellaneous correspondence, 1961-62, 4 folders