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Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA



Internet Archive has most of the Hahnemann yearbooks from 1898 until the college merged with Drexel University.  HathiTrust has Thomas L. Bradford’s 50th anniversary History of the Homeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania; the Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital of Philadelphia.


Homeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania—the first of its kind in the United States—was   founded in 1848 by three doctors—Jacob Jeanes, Constantine Hering and Walter Williamson.  In 1867 the faculty split between those who wanted to remain pure to homeopathic principles and those who wanted a more scientific approach to medicine.  This led to a rival institution called Hahnemann Medical College.  By 1869 the breech had been healed and the new institution called Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia was chartered.   It was to be one in which “will be taught all the arts and sciences appertaining to a medical education, “one that will “educate men for physicians and not merely homeopathic doctors.”  Bradford notes that as a first concession to women, Hahnemann allowed them to listen to lectures while seated in an anteroom.


The Drexel University website notes, “By the late 1920s, the homeopathic focus was gone.” The site states, “Hahnemann became a nationally known academic medical center and a leading provider of subspecialty care, particularly for cardiovascular disease.”


The earliest yearbooks show that Hahnemann had a Y.M.C.A. organized; it had chapters of three medical fraternities; and it had an orchestra and a glee club, both of which figured in graduation exercises.


The Hahnemann Medical Institute was founded in 1849-50.  Activities of this organization were designed  for “the mutual improvement of its individual members.”  Members edited a journal called The Medical Institutes of Philadelphia.  The 1921 yearbook notes that the Institute had since engaged in more social activities such as musicals and dances.


The 1910 yearbook shows a student body of 158—38 matriculates, 42 Sophomores, 34 Juniors, and 44 graduates.


Female Medical College of Philadelphia, founded 1850, became associated with Hahnemann in 1993.  The combine Hahnemann/Female Medical College became known as Medical College of  Philadelphia, so the Hahnemann name passed into history.  In 2002 this school become the Drexel University College of Medicine.

Bricks and Mortar

Homeopathic College opened in rented rooms at 229 Arch Street.  Within a year the college reopened in new quarters at 1105 Filbert Street.  Even before the fire of 1885, Hahnemann had purchased land for a larger, more up-to-date building. The Broad Street building measured 70 by 100 feet.  Its four stories allowed it to contain amphitheaters, lecture rooms, libraries, laboratories and museums. That building, long associated with the school, is still in use today.


In 1890 a new Hahnemann Hospital opened at 15th Street north of Race.  It likewise is part of the Drexel complex today.

The Broad Street building (left).  Image from Souvenir Book Class of 1898 ( accessed 2-20-2017



Colors: Royal Blue and Old Gold


Sports at Hahnemann were an on-and-off proposition.  Apparently the school had no interest in sports but had sports teams when a group of students came through that wanted to form one.  One such group came in 1917.  They created football, basketball and track teams.  Relay teams competed against other medical schools in the Penn Relays.  After one game in 1917, the 1918 team played a six game schedule.  That team defeated the Pennsylvania Railroad Y.M.C.A. team, St. Joseph’s College, West Chester Normal, and Williamson Trade School.  They lost a match to West Chester, and played a scoreless draw with Drexel for a 4-1-1 record.   After one game in 1919—a win over St. Francis, the players realized that they needed more attention to classes and so the football chapter ended.

The 1899 football team.  Image from The Book of the Class of 1900 ( accessed 2-20-2017

Note: Images are used in accordance with their “terms of use” as I understand those terms.  Recopying or republishing these images may be restricted or forbidden.

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