George and José Bill papers  1888-1947
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The George and José Bill papers contain essays, lectures, notes, prescriptions, and correspondence related to the medical practices of George Bill and his son José Penteado Bill, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The Correspondence and Documents series holds material related to George E. Bill's medical practice, including several letters written to his son during the 1920s. In one letter, he encouraged his son to avoid surgery for his granddaughter Audrey, and instead offered a dietary cure (February 1, 1922); in other letters, he discussed a "rhythometer" and the use of electricity as a medical cure.

The Essays, Lectures, Notes, and Speeches series is divided into several subseries. An unknown author compiled the Miss Doubleday gynecology notes while attending a lecture by Miss Doubleday; the notes include diagrams.

The Lectures on metaphysics consist of 13 lectures delivered by George Bill between November 2 and December 16, 1912, predicated upon a Law of Correspondence, "a General Law underlying the behavior of all Matter and the Spirit of Matter" (November 7, 1912). He mentioned magnetism, toxins thought to affect thoughts, and the polarity between elements of life (light, heat, and electricity) and death (darkness, cold, and magnetism), between which existence resides (November 6, 1912).

A series of Astrology charts and notes contains several charts copied from the work of Karl Anderson, as well as manuscript essays and projections.

Additional Essays, Lectures, Notes and Speeches concentrate primarily on medical topics, and most often concern pseudo-scientific conjectures and treatments outside the realm of conventional medicine. The series contains published articles as well as typed and manuscript drafts; some topics are hypnotism, the medical uses of electrical current, the human subconscious and its role in medicine, infrared therapy, and mental toxins and antitoxins.

A large number of Retained copies of prescriptions showcase a variety of medical treatments ordered by the Bills throughout the late-19th and early-20th century, including both conventional and homeopathic treatments.

The José Penteado Bill papers contain an assortment of material, including, but not limited to, scientific and medical notes, as well as a printed roster of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association (July 1947). Other items are a traveling journal compiled in 1917 and a document giving Bill's grades from his second year of study at Harvard Medical School (1912). The Diaries subseries includes a partially-filled diary of Jose P. Bill from 1910, as well as a 1924 diary chronicling medical appointments; the latter was obtained in France and contains supplemental information in French. The Notes and notebooks subseries contains notes on José Penteado’s engagements, patients, and prescriptions. Also included is a prescription notebook and pad.

The Printed Items series holds seven items. These are Keeley’s Secrets, a publication on theosophy written by Mrs. Bloomfield Moore, with manuscript annotations (July 10, 1888); two medical journals; a scientific article; a pamphlet entitled "The Policy and Purpose of the Harrisburg Republican Club" (1902); a portion of an examination given to doctors at Clark University about "Diseases and Cures in Childhood" (December 1896); and a card on medicines, poisons, and antidotes. George Bill wrote the article, "The Relation of Hypnotism to the Subconscious Mind" (New York Medical Journal, May 1, 1897), an article entitled "Some Considerations Relative to the Therapeutic Application of the Electrical Current" (New York Medical Journal, November 13, 1897), and "The Conductivity of Human Radio-Activity" (Journal of the Allied Medical Associations of America, August 1919).

The Poems and Blank Stationery series contains pieces of blank stationery from Dr. George E. Bill’s office in Harrisburg, PA, as well as two poems.

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