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Historical Notes on the CRS

The historical notes below appeared in the BY-LAWS and Membership directory of the Chicago Radiological Society in January 1979. Presented through the cooperation of Drs. Ernest J. Breed and Harold S. Lasky.

The Chicago Roentgen Society was formed in 1913 by a group of physicians who had been meeting informally in the offices of Dr. Hollis E. Potter, to discuss their plates, technics and results. All of the founders of the Chicago Roentgen Society were members of the ARRS and cooperation of that organization in establishing the Chicago Roentgen Society is presumed.

The founding members included Dr. James T. Case, Dr. Adolph Hartung, Dr. M. S. Hubeny and Dr. E. S. Blaine, among others. No records are presently available.

The first meeting of the society was held Dec. 12, 1913, and was announced in the American Journal of Radiology. The proceedings were published in several medical journals. Dr. Potter became the first president, followed by Drs. Chase, Hubeny and Orndorf. The meetings were informal until 1937, when the society was incorporated.

The incorporators were Drs. David Beilin, Chester J. Challenger and Ray J. Maier. The official address was 411 Garfield Avenue, Chicago, IL. Incorporation was probably stimulated by the designation of Chicago for the meeting of the 5th International Congress of Radiology in 1937, a designation obtained by Dr. Ben Orndorf, as head of the U. S. delegation to the 4th Congress. The 5th Congress was held in Chicago with the Chicago Roentgen Society Inc., as host to 3,000 people from 52 countries.

After incorporation, the first meeting of the society was held April 3, 1937. Dr. Beilin was elected temporary chairman and Dr. Maier temporary secretary. The objectives of the society were recorded as follows:

  • to promote the study of radiology and all its aspects.

  • to hold periodic meetings for the reading of papers and the examination of scientific information.

  • to create closer fellowship among radiologists.

  • to promote closer cooperation between radiology and other branches of medicine.

The constitution and by-laws were written and adopted at the first meeting. Three classes of membership were established:

  • Fellows and Fellow Emeritus

  • Resident, Non-resident and Associate Members

  • Honorary Members

The requirements of each membership class were listed and the annual dues for fellows was established at $5.00 annually, resident members $3.00 annually and non-resident members $2.00 annually.

The Board of Trustees was composed of the three officers, President, Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer, three fellows elected that year, and all past Presidents. It is stated that past presidents of the unincorporated Society, known as the Chicago Roentgen Society organized in 1913, be considered as Past Presidents of the incorporated society.

Through the years, the Chicago Roentgen Society has adhered to its objectives. In 1939, an exhibit was placed in the Rosenwald Museum (Museum of Science and Industry). In 1948, strong support was provided the Chicago Society of Radiologic Technologists and a course for X-ray technologists was organized at Roosevelt University. Scientific programs were presented at each meeting, chiefly in the form of film reading sessions. The present format of five small sessions devoted to the various subspecialties and general radiology, plus a scientific presentation to the total membership by a national expert, has evolved.

Efforts have continued through the years to promote closer cooperation between radiology and the other branches of medicine. Two members of our society, Dr. J. Ernest Breed and Dr. Frederic Lake, have served as president of the ISMS, and Dr. Howard Burkhead and Dr. Warren Furey have served as president of the Chicago Medical Society. Drs. Lake and Burkhead are past presidents of Chicago Roentgen Society.

Today, Chicago Roentgen Society members serve on the Board of Trustees of the ISMS and councils and committees of both ISMS and CMS. The CRS is an active contributor to the CMS Clinical Conference.

The quality of Chicago Roentgen Society leadership was summarized at the 50th Anniversary celebration, Feb. 7, 1963. It was pointed out that:

  • 5 past presidents of the Chicago Roentgen Society have been president of the ACR;

  • 4 past presidents have been president of the RSNA;

  • 4 past presidents have been president of the ARRS;

  • 5 past presidents have received the gold medal of the ACR;

  • 5 past presidents have received the gold medal of the RSNA;

  • 2 past presidents have delivered the Calwell lecture and received the gold medal of the ARRS.

This list has been enlarged by six in the ensuing years.

On Sept. 22, 1964, the Board of Trustees of CRS at a special meeting called by the president, Dr. Abraham H. Cannon, voted in favor of establishing a chapter of the American College of Radiology in Illinois with the Illinois Radiological Society and the Chicago Roentgen Society as regional divisions. At the regular meeting, Oct. 14, 1965, the trustees passed two resolutions, transferring responsibility to the Chapter for election of councilors and fellows and for standards of practice, ethics and grievances of chapter members. These resolutions further accepted financial responsibility for the metropolitan division and agreed to bring the CRS by-laws into compliance with the ACR.

After adjournment of the succeeding meetings of the board of trustees of the CRS, the same group would then hold an official meeting of the metropolitan division, Illinois Chapter of the ACR. It had been agreed that the officers of the CRS should be the officers of this branch of the ACR.

The first official meeting of the Metropolitan division was held April 13, 1966. Dr. Robert Moseley was elected President and Dr. Frederic Lake Secretary-Treasurer.

On Nov. 19, 1971, it was voted to merge the Chicago Roentgen Society and the Chicago Radiologic Society and in January 1972, the name was changed from Chicago Roentgen Society to Chicago Radiological Society, which, in turn, was to be a chapter of the ACR.

Our contemporary task is to continue the scientific advance of radiology, while combating political take-over of medical care. The far-sighted wisdom of our predecessors have provided us with the single most important tool in this endeavor: unity within radiology and with all of medicine!

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