Historical Hall of Fame: Wyndham Bolling Blanton ( 1890-1960) was a physician and historian who specialized in the 17th-19th
Century History of Medicine in VA
Virginia History Series
BLANTON, Wyndham Bolling (3 June 1890-6 January 1960), physician and historian, was born in Richmond, the son of Charles Armistead
Blanton and Elizabeth Brown Wallace Blanton. During his youth, Blanton was exposed to both medicine and history, for his father and
grand-father were physicians and both his parents' families included Virginians who had been famous during the eighteenth and nineteenth
He received his early education at the Glebe School in Richmond, earned a B.A. at Hampden-Sydney College in 1910,
and received an M.A. at the University of Virginia two years later. Blanton studied medicine at the College of Physicians
and Surgeons of Columbia University in New York, but he also studied in Europe and was in Berlin when World War I began. In 1915,
he volunteered to serve in the American Ambulance Corps at the hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. He then returned to New York
and received a M.D. in 1916.
In 1918, Dr. Blanton began a long association with the Medical College of Virginia as chief
of laboratory service at the college's hospital. Blanton became an associate in medicine in 1920, assistant professor in 1925, associate
professor by the end of the decade, and professor of clinical medicine in 1939. In 1936 he founded the outpatient department's immunology
clinic, which had become one of the largest units of the medical school by the time he retired in 1954.
published thirty-six articles in fourteen medical journals between 1917 and 1957 as well as two text-books, A Manual of Normal Physical
Signs (1926; 2d ed., 1930) and A Handbook of Allergy for Students and Practitioners (1942). Blanton was also a pioneer in the field
of medical history. In 1927 he published a historical article in the Virginia Medical Monthly and became the first chairman of the
historical cornmittee of the Medical Society of Virginia, which hoped to sponsor the publication of a history of medicine in Virginia.
The other committee members achieved this goal by deferring to Blanton, who conducted his own research, employed research assistants,
and wrote three large volumes entitled: Medicine in Virginia in the Seventeenth Century (1930), Medicine in Virginia in the Eighteenth
Century (1931), and Medicine in Virginia in the Nineteenth Century (1933).
He also wrote a centennial history of his church,The Making of a Downtown Church: The History of the Second Presbyterian Church, Richmond, Virginia, 1845-1945 (1945), prepared a number
of short articles and papers on various aspects of Virginia's history, belonged to several historical and patriotic societies, and
was a founder of the Historic Richmond Foundation. During service on the board of the Virginia Historical Society from 1945 until
his death, he chaired the board's publications committee.
Dr. Blanton shown (right) with State Proclamation of "Blanton-day" in Virginia