Embryology History - Frederic Lewis

From Embryology


Frederick Thomas Lewis
Frederick Thomas Lewis (1875-1951)

Frederick Thomas Lewis (1875-1951) studied at Harvard College (AB magna cum laude, 1897; M.D. cum laude, 1901). His embryological research at the Harvard Medical School was based upon the Harvard Collection of human embryos, pig, and rabbit embryos. A selection of some of his historic papers and textbooks are available online. He also taught embryology at the medical school for 40 years and in retirement worked on the Ernst-Lewis Microscope Collection.

In 1906, he translated and edited the textbook Stoehr's Histology (see preface below) organised on the basis of embryology.

In 1952 a memoir of his life by E. A. Boyden appeared in the Anatomical Record.[1]

Embryologists: William Hunter | Wilhelm Roux | Caspar Wolff | Wilhelm His | Julius Kollmann | Hans Spemann | Charles Minot | Ambrosius Hubrecht | Charles Bardeen | Franz Keibel | Franklin Mall | Florence Sabin | George Streeter | George Corner | James Hill | Jan Florian | Thomas Bryce | Thomas Morgan | Ernest Frazer | Francisco Orts-Llorca | José Doménech Mateu | Frederic Lewis | Arthur Meyer | Erich Blechschmidt | Klaus Hinrichsen | Hideo Nishimura | Arthur Hertig | John Rock | Viktor Hamburger | Mary Lyon | Nicole Le Douarin | Robert Winston | Fabiola Müller | Ronan O'Rahilly | Robert Edwards | John Gurdon | Shinya Yamanaka | Embryology History | Category:People
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Santiago Ramón y Cajal | Camillo Golgi

Stoehr's Histology - Preface

Below is the text from the Textbook Preface written by Lewis in 1906.

The need of a text-book of histology arranged upon an embryological basis has long been felt. At the Harvard Medical School this need has been urgent. There Professor Schaper, the editor of the five previous American editions of Stohr's Histology planned such a book, and after his return to Germany its preparation was begun. It is greatly to be regretted that at the time of his death the work was only commenced, for there was promise of a notable production.

When the writer was informed that Professor Stohr had given generous permission to adapt a new edition of his Histology to American needs it was decided to rearrange the book upon an embryological plan. This has been accomplished with the loss of some characteristic features of the German edition, for which the added material will, it is hoped, make compensation. Thus in order to have space for describing the controlling developmental features of the organs, and for presenting their adult structure somewhat more fully, the directions for preparing sections have been reduced to the minimum. These may be supplemented by directions in the class room; and for the small proportion of students who intend to practice elaborate microscopical methods, a special text-book may be recommended. It is not essential that a physician should be familiar with the details of many staining processes, but the structure of the adult organs and the developmental possibilities of their constituent tissues must be known.

The nomenclature adopted is that published by the committee of the German Association of Anatomists m 1895 (-^rcA. /. Anat, u. Phys.; Anat, Abth.; Supplement-Band) J and which is now widely used. It is founded upon the sound principle that the name of a structure should be the simplest possible descriptive Latin term or phrase. Since the Latin names may be translated into the various modem languages the nomenclature is international. Moreover a large number of the names are conmionly used in their Latin forms. Personal names have been discarded (except Wolffian and Milllertan), thus greatly assisting the student. It is obviously easier to learn intestinal glands , duodenal glands, parotid duct, etc., rather than Lieberkiihn's glands, Brunner's glands, Stenson's duct, and the like. It has been estimated that five thousand synonyms have been rejected and are to be removed from the anatomist's vocabulary as soon as possible. In the following pages the more common of the rejected names have been placed in square brackets, [ ]. However difficult it may be for the older anatomists to conform to this nomenclature, it seems clearly a duty to the overworked medical students to adopt it.

Excellent as the German nomenclature is, as a whole, it is not beyond improvement, and it may be desirable for a conMnittee of the Association of American Anatomists to publish in their English forms a corresponding list of names. As few changes as possible should be made, but it is certain , for example, that the ventral surface of the body will not be called anterior , or the dorsal surface posterior. In the following pages anterior always means toward the head. Conunon general terms should be made even more specific. For instance, it is questionable whether follicle (Latin, a small leather bag, a husk or shell) should be applied to anything other than closed cysts like the follicles of the ovary and thyreoid gland. Its application by the Germans to the sheath of the hair and by many Americans to solid nodules of lymphoid tissue may lead the student to wonder if "follicle" is not a colloquial rather than a scientific term.

The attention of all students should be called to the American Journal of Anatomy, the quarterly publication of the Association of American Anatomists, which contains the results of current American anatomical and histological investigations. It probably aflfords the most satisfactory means by which a physician may keep in touch with these sciences.

The writer has many acknowledgments to make for help received. Messrs. P. Blakiston's Son & Co., and Mr. William T. Oliver, the artist who has drawn the more elaborate of the new figures, have rendered all the assistance possible. Members of several departments at the Harvard Medical School have given valuable advice, and Dr. G. H. Wright, Assistant in Dental Histology, has arranged a considerable portion of the section on the teeth. It is a privilege to present for the first time in a textbook, the discoveries of Dr. James H. Wright regarding the origin of blood plates. His remarkable conclusion that they are fragments of pseudopodia of the giant cells seems established beyond doubt by an examination of his specimens.

Finally it is a pleasure to record that after studying histology and embryology under Professor Charles S. Minot, the writer has for several years enjoyed the closest association with him in his scientific work. The results of such unusual privilege should be found reflected in this edition of Professor Stohr's Histology.

Frederic T. Lewis.

Cambridge, Massachusetts, September, 1906.

Frederic Thomas Lewis - A Memoir

Boyden AE. Frederic Thomas Lewis, 1875-1951. (1952) Anat. Rec. 1952, 112(2);139-52. PMID 14903587

  • A memoir prepared by E. A. Boyden for the American Association of Anatomists. Frontispiece by courtesy of Dr. D. W. Fawcett.

Frederic Thomas Lewis (1875—1951)

It has been said that the visions of great men live on not only as spiritual legacies, but also when expressed in physical form. Frederic T. Lewis, the twenty—third President of the American Association of Anatomists, was essentially a morphologist. He was primarily interested in the patterns of Nature and he devoted his life to reproducing and interpreting these patterns. He had “morphological sense” — an instinct for seeing order in apparent chaos — the gift possessed by all the great classical morphologists.

Among the notes left on his desk was an excerpt from the transactions of the American Microscopical Society quoting Ruskin: “Learn drawing ‘that you may set down clearly and usefully, records of such things as cannot be described in words, either to assist your own memory of them, or to convey distinct ideas of them to other people.’ ” This, Lewis practised all his life. His youthful sketch books abound in drawings of plants and parts of plants. Apparently the desire to penetrate the secrets of Nature was ingrained. In his immediate ancestry of yeoman Puritan stock there was no premonition of this gift, although the colonial ancestor, George Lewis —who came from East Greenwich, England before 1633——was the common forebear of two other distinguished anatomists, Charles Sedgewick Minot and Warren Lewis.

In a report for his 50th class reunion Lewis describes his boyhood as follows:

Differing in interests from others in my family, I was born in Cambridge, on the Boston side of Harvard Square, where I lived at home throughout college years. It was rural.

A Jersey cow was pastured across the street. Memorable was my first sight of a trim sparrow flirting white-tailed feathers as it flew, and on Cambridge Street I gathered beautiful Promethea moths, now largely exterminated. In summer, at the ancestral home on Cape God, there were conchs and cowries that whalers had brought. The flora of pond margins, sea beach and the moraine was captivating. Conscientious and studious at the Latin School, a rank of 15 in a class of 30 was attained with difficulty. Incredulously my mother heard the doctor’s diagnosis, “overworked and underfed” for there was plenty to eat and no work.

At Harvard, by studying no harder, but abandoning Latin School subjects for botany, zoology, and geology, the result was different and altogether delightful? Reluctantly I entered the Medical School, as a field of applied biology, and on graduation (1901) was accepted as a teacher of microscopic anatomy of the normal human body and an investigator of prenatal development of the rabbit and pig. There I have remained on the hands of the Medical Faculty all these years. Indeed I am fond of New England.

Probably Professor Goodale who “presented the early literature of botany in a charming fashion” was responsible for his leaving natural science as a profession, for Lewis writes: “I think he regarded medicine as a more virile profession than botany.” Yet “on leaving college, the Medical School seemed to me sordid, but here was Minot and Dwight — Minot with a certain disdain for medicine, and Dwight who proclaimed that the first duty of a Medical School was to “train students to practise medicine.” Lewis listened to both and the story he tells on himself is not altogether true, even if applicable today to many a teacher of microscopic anatomy. “When at the Brigham Hospital there is some question of blood supply and the cry goes up ‘Is there an anatomist present?’ I shrink and sink like a vorticella.”

  • In his sophomore year he received a “Detur” given to meritorious students of one year’s standing—in this instance, a two-volume set of Holmes’ “Autocrat of the Breakfast Table; ” in 1897 he graduated magna. cum laude with citations in two natural sciences.

In these student years the personal characteristics that were to distinguish his later work were already apparent — A laconic wit and ever present sense of humor (see figs. 1 and 2), a tenacious and dogged persistence in following the things that appealed to him, a keen eye for the significant in structure, and a consuming interest in history and the “unrelenting past” (Bryant’s phrase). It was at this time —by going without lunches—that he laid the foundations of a superb library of old medical books and portt-aits~— now deeded to the Harvard Medical School.

At the Medical School he found Minot engaged in writing what. was to be the first “Laboratory Manual of Embryology” and soon furnished him with a series of graphic reconstructions of the 10 mm pig embryo (’03) and the means by which mammalian organogeny was first taught to students of embryology in this country. It is curious that Keibel in his Normentafeln of vertebrate embryos had never resorted to this method of graphic representation.

Professor Waldeyer, in a card acknowledging Minot’s “schones” laboratory text—book, writes: “Ausgezeichnet sind auch die Figuren, ein paar Prachstiicke und sehr instruktiv nicht nur ‘for the use of students’ sondern auch fiir Kenner sind die Rekonstructionsbilder der Schwein—Embryonen.”

While checking his reconstructions of the nerves Lewis found that if an embryo, hardened in Zenker’s fluid, be attached with celloidin to a stendcr dish, it was not difficult by using needles under a dissecting microscope to dissect the nerves, and follow them to their finest terminations. This pioneer technique reached its perfection in the hands of Dr. C. H. Heuser, one of Lewis’ first students.

In 1904 he married Ethel May Stickney, a. teacher whom he met in the Park St. Congregational Church. With her great practical gifts and understanding of his unique genius she became a tower of strength upon which he leaned throughout his life. Incidentally, that year the Park St. Church was offered for sale for a million dollars by the majority of male pew owners. By rallying “4 elderly and retiring ladies who could make a. majority” Lewis saved that venerable institution. Charles Eliot Norton, in a letter of connnendation, described this church as “an essential part of that image of Boston which her sons and her lovers carry in their hearts.”

Fig. 1 The “danse macabre” —content of the course in comparative anatomy (Harvard College, 1895).

Fig. 2 Medical School Vignettes. Central figure: “Dr. Dwight, standing on a partly draped packing box (used for his live model when displaying his muscles) is able to reach the top of his papier maehé skull.”

“Dr. White (dermatologist) is showing a case instructive only to students in the front row.”

“Dr. Gannett, at the Mass. Gen’l Hospital, by diddling a pineushion up and down behind a Lusehka’s anatomical chart, is demonstrating that more of the liver may appear below the ribs without involving an enlargement of the organ——— ‘You see more of the cushion below the chart, without a change in its size, when it is dropped downward.’ ”

A few years later (’O6), Lewis introduced a second major innovation in the teaching of anatomy, the presentation of histology upon an embryological basis. This took the form of a rearrangement of St6hr’s Histology. The second edition (’13), the last that Dr. Lewis was to edit, received widespread commendation. Professor Mall wrote, “I have just passed a most pleasant afternoon with the new edition of your histology. I like it as it is ‘alive’ and not dead or dogmatic. I congratulate you.”

A year after obtaining the M.D. degree Lewis discovered the mode of development of the inferior vena cava, namely “that it arises by tapping the cardinal veins, as one river system ‘captures’ another.” Soon he turned his attention to the spread of lymphatic vessels along the embryonic veins which for a decade became the leading topic of debate among American anatomists. In a symposium at which Dr. Mall presided, Chicago, 1908, the latter remarked on “how very firmly this Harvard work stood the attack.”

  • What Lewis thought of Mall may be read in his tribute of 1919 (see Review of “Contributions to Embryology”).

Now, at the outset of a promising career, Lewis was prostrated for several months with pulmonary tuberculosis. This was to recur in the early twenties and the writer, as a younger colleague, had occasion then to observe the patience, tenacity and good humor with which he fought this disabling and disheartening malady. Perhaps this illness was responsible for his giving up the editorship of The American Naturalist. However, he served as an Associate Editor of The Anatomical Record from 1908 to 1921.

Returning to work the same year he plunged into the studies which were to result in the comprehensive chapters on the development of the digestive tract in Keibel and Mall’s Manual of Human Embryology. As Minot’s had been the first great text of Human Embryology, this was an unparalleled collaboration between the great German School of Embryology fathered by Wilhelm His and t.he new American School that was to carry on its traditions.

But Lewis recognized the limitations of the science. In later years, working on certain anomalies, he writes “Already this return to my earliest medical school interests gives a new sense of the inadequacy of embryology to account for any organ. Rathke’s pocket, for example, grows toward the posterior lobe (why?), encounters it as an obstructi.on, forks somewhat to get by it, buckles out from the brain, and in this embryo sends out an aberrant duct from its lower left corner, headed for nowhere. It shows how a gland in that situation could be equipped with a duct and storage bladder if such were the order of things. Why the nasal pits are as they are, what chemist, physicist or embryologist knows — the embryologist, however, alone aware of —or caring about — their progressive forms.”

In 1923, he embarked upon a problem which was to occupy his attention increasingly until his death. “Like Diirer’s ‘l\-Ielancholia’ I have reflected 011 geometrical shapes. These have been the forms assumed by the liquid drops of which plant and animal bodies are built.” Apparently the shape which such cells assume when surrounded and compressed by similar cells had never been determined by observation, though frequently a subject for inference. The pith of the elder was chosen, sectioned at 10 u, drawn under the projection lantern and enlarged to 500 diameters. “After all the contacts had been studied and recorded, the models were made in wax by Ethel S. Lewis —a task requiring patience and skill beyond that at the author’s disposal.” In 100 cells the average number of contacts was 13.97. Two years later, Lewis had extended the observations to animal cells, finding that 100 human fat cells had an average of 14.01 facets.

These and subsequent studies stimulated European and American botanists to examine other plant forms, some confirming his conclusions, others obtaining varying results.

It is to be regretted that Lewis could not have finished the article he started to write in 1951 entitled: “The basic geometmral plan in the structure of cellular tissue.” It would have been instructive to see how he interpreted the expanding data. With characteristic modesty and appreciation of other’s contributions he writes in his introduction to the uncompleted article:

From the study of 100 cells of elder pith in serial sections, and the reconstruction of 42 of them by the wax-plate method, it was shown that the average cells are “tetrakaidecahedra modified, especially through cell division, in rather definite ways.” Although not a single cell was found with 14 facets 8 of which were hexagonal and 6 quadrilateral, as in the Kelvin pattern for the uniform division of space into polyhedra of minimal surface, it was stated that the models “seem to show convincingly that such is their typical shape, or the form from which they may all have been derived.”

  • In the subsequent literature several authors have reached a very different conclusion, assembling statistical data of the greatest value in deciding this issue.

In 1946, Sir D’Arcy Thompson wrote to Lewis stating that he had at once read his “very lucid paper” (of that date) adding——“If I am spared to see another edition of ‘Growth and Form’ through the press, this subject and your own prolonged and profound contributions to it, will be better treated than before.” (In the 1942 edition Thompson had merely figured two elder pith cells from Lewis’ 1923 article as “showing a certain approximation to 14-hedral form.”) It is also of interest that Professor Cyril Stanley Smith’s topological studies of metal grain shapes were graciously acknowledged to have been “inspired in large degree” by Lewis’ “work on the shape of biological cells.”

During the 28 years in which these abstruse studies were being pursued, Lewis was writing scholarly articles of another sort, fostering interest in the history of anatomy, particularly the neglected story of Harvard’s (and America’s) earlier history. At the same time he developed memorial collections now to be seen in the laboratory corridor of the Department of Anatomy. Thus suitably commemorated were the earliest references to the microscopic observations of Cotton Mather, the Hollis gift of a microscope to Harvard in 1732, the making and use of microscopes by Bromfield in Boston toward 1746, and the work of Holmes, Wyfhan, Mallory, Wright and the present staff. The colonial portrait of Bromfield with his microscope, and Charles Hopkinson’s admirable painting of Charles S. Minot—— “one of the most notable portraits of an eminent teacher that the school possesses”—were likewise acquired for the Department.

Bernard Cohen, in a 1950 publication of the Harvard University Press entitled ‘Some early tools of American Science” writes, “An imposing collection of early Harvard microscopes has been assembled in the Harvard Medical School by Professor Frederic T. Lewis, who has been most helpful in the preparation of this book.” Characteristically, the display is still labelled the “Ernst Collection” after the distinguished bacteriologist who first assembled miscellaneous instruments at the turn of the century.

In one thing, however, Lewis was irreconcilably disappointed. “That this venerable institution should have no heirlooms commensurate with its age and position is a situation which I have vainly tried to remedy. Others, in time, will see that something in that direction is accomplished. But in other ways I have seen the school grow in greatness to a foremost position among medical schools in America and to worldwide eminence, as one may without prejudice believe.”

Much of his collecting of “heirlooms” for the Department of Anatomy was accomplished in the 10 years following his retirement as James Stillman Professor of Comparative Anatomy. Thus to the end he continued to be fully as familiar a figure to new colleagues and students as he was to those who had worked with him or been taught by him. A clinical colleague writes, “To me Fred was one of those delightful people who grow sweeter and more companionable as time wears on. First he was my teacher, then a colleague in the Faculty and, finally, a close and respected friend.”

To his numerous graduate students he was both mentor and friend, giving his time bountifully in response to their needs. Young anatomists elsewhere will remember that he was ever ready to give his attention to their problems. “His scholarly letters, in these days of high—pressure research, were refreshing.” Nor will one soon forget “the twinkle in his eye, the keen sense of humor, the little side remarks that one had to be alert to catch.” “His like is hardly to be found in this generation.”

Characteristic were the “Notes for his obituary” (sic), found on his desk. “He cared nothing for cigarettes and cocktails, and was only mildly and theoretically interested in polygamy simultaneous or successive, as commonly practised.” Quoting Frisbie of the South Seas, “When I am enjoying the changes of lights and color in the lagoon or palm fronds glinting in the moonlight, I don’t mention it.” Or again, “ ‘I preach the near at hand — the cloud and the sunshine’ — the visit of the hawkmoth to the unfolding evening primrose — the plover leading away from the nest with simulated wounds.”

This oneness with Nature was the essence of the man. All his life it sustained him and gave the tranquillity of mind that enabled him to weather all storms. In his summer home in the White Mountains, he would pick up the waste basket in which white-footed mice had become trapped, carry it across the field and let them escape. The next time he would wonder if the same mice were returning. He would dab paint on a shoulder and having found the same culprit would again let it go, but on the next visit to the Cambridge mammalogists he would ascertain the exact feeding range of field mice. In his Waban home, his study looked out upon a lot filled with tall trees and planted with wild flowers. “While writing this letter I have enjoyed seeing squirrels, blue jays, snow birds and crows in our little city lot of pines and oaks. I am told it. would seem that I had never seen the snow and birds before.”

On June 2nd, he returned from a morning walk to rest in an easy chair upstairs and went to sleep. I like to think of him in his study, still peering over his spectacles, curious to the last but content with Nature’s “Visible forms.”

A Chronological List of Frederic T. Lewis Publications


Lewis FT. The development of the vena cava inferior. (1902) Amer. J Anat. 1(3): 229-244.


Lewis FT. The gross anatomy of a 12 mm pig. (1903) Amer. J Anat. 2: 221-225.


The intra-embryonic vessels of rabbits from 8% to 13 days. Proc. Am. Assoc. Anatomists, Am. J. Anat., 3: XII, XIII.


The shape of mammalian red blood corpuscles. 513-517.

The question of sinusoids. Anat. Anz., 35: 261-279.

“Umbilical cord” and “Yolk-sac” in Buck’s Reference Handbook of the Medical Sciences, 8: 1-5 and 334-336. William Wood and Co., 1904.

Lewis FT. The development of the lymphatic system in rabbits. (1905) Amer. J Anat. 5: 95-111.

Lewis FT. The development of the veins in the limbs of rabbit embryos. (1905) Amer. J Anat. 5: 113-120.

Sclerolepis in New Hampshire. Rhodora, 7: 186-187. (The first record of this plant in New England; perhaps the first north of New Jersey; had it been found in New York?)


The fifth and sixth aortic arches and the related pharyngeal pouches in the rabbit and pig. Anat. Anz., 28: 506-513.

The mixed cerebral nerves in mammals. J. Comp. Neur. and Psych., 16: 177-182.

Lewis FT. Stoehr's Histology. (1906) P. Blakiston's Son & Co., Philadelphia. Arranged upon an embryological basis by Dr. Frederic T. Lewis. From the twelfth German edition by Dr. Philipp Sttihr. P. Blakiston’s Son and Co., 434 pp., 450 figs.


Miscellaneous Notes and Literature in The American Naturalist, Vol. 41 (Lewis was editor in 1907.) Of special interest to anatomists are (1) his note on “Specific characters in early embryos” (pp. 589592) and (2) the report of anatomists’ contributions to the 7th International Zoological Congress in Boston (pp. 657-671).

The development of pinuate leaves. Am. Nat., 41: 431-441.

A further study of leaf development. Am. Nat., 47: 701-709.


Lewis FT. and Thyng FW. The regular occurrence of intestinal diverticula in embryos of the pig, rabbit and man. (1908) Amer. J Anat. 7: 505-519.

Comparative Anatomy at the Harvard Medical School. Science, 27: 778 781.

Doctor Lobter. Boston Med. and Surg. J., .758: 433.


Lewis FT. On the cervical veins and lymphatics in four human embryos, with an interpretation of anomalies on the subclavian and jugular veins in the adult. (1909)

Keibel’s note on intestinal diverticula. Proc. Am. Assoc. Anat., Anat. Rec, 3: 267-268.

Lewis FT. The first lymph glands in rabbit and human embryos. (1909) Anat. Rec, 3: 341-353.

The preparation for the study of medicine. Pop. Sci. Monthly, July: 65-74.

Anomalies of the pulmonary artery in Necturus. Stephen R. Williams. Anat. Rec., 3: 409-414. (One of these anomalies, fig. 3, was dissected and drawn by F. T. Lewis.)

Review of “Norrnentafel zur Entwicklungsgcschichte des Menschen,” by Franz Keibel and Curt Elze. Science, 29: 939-940.


The spring shooting law of Massachusetts. Boston Society of Natural History, Bull. no. 15.

Lewis FT. The bi-lobed form of the ventral pancreas in mammals. (1911) Amer. J Anat. 12(3): 389-400.

Die Entwicklung des Darms und der Atmungsorgane. Einleitung. Die friihen Entwicklungsstadien des Entodermrohres und die Bildung seiner Unterabteilungen. In Keibel and Mall’s “Handbuch der Entwicklungsgeschiehte des Menschen,” 2: 282-324. S. Hirzel, Leipzig.

Die Entwicklung des Oesophagus, des Magens, des Diinndarms, des Dickdarms, der Leber, und des Pancreas. ln Keibel and Mall’s “Handbueh der Entwicklungsgeschichte des Menschen,” 9: 343-436. S. Hirzel, Leipzig.


(The last two publications cited, in the English edition) “Manual of Human Embryology.” J. B. Lippincott Co., 2: 291-334 and 355-445.

Lewis FT. The form of the stomach in human embryos with notes upon the nomenclature of the stomach. (1912) Amer. J Anat. 13(4): 477-503.

Lewis FT. The early development of the entodermal tract and the formation of its subdivisions. (1912) chapter 17, vol. 2, in Keibel F. and Mall FP. Manual of Human Embryology II. (1912) J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia.


Lewis FT. and Stöhr P. A Text-book of Histology Arranged upon an Embryological Basis.(1913) P. Blakiston’s Son and Co., 539 pp., 495 figs.

Action of the Association of Anatomist regarding college work in preparation for human anatomy. Boston Med. and Surg. J.. 77?: 229-231.


Review of “A Text.-book of Histology"’ by Frederick R. Bailey. Boston Med. and Surg. J., 170: 621.

Charles Sedgwick Minot. Boston Med. and Surg. J., .771: 911-914.


The comparative embryology of the mammalian stomach. Anat. Rec.,.9: 102-103.

(With James W. Papez.) Variations in the early development of the kidney in pig embryos with special reference to the production of anomalies. Anat. Rec., 9: 105-106.

Review of “Vorlcsungen fiber allgemeine Histologie gehalten an der Hoehschule fiir Frauen in St. Peterslnirg” by Alexander Gurwitsoh. Science, 42: 91-92.

Leonard Worcester Williams. Harvard Alumni Bull., 99.

Review of “Die Elemente der Entxvicklunrrslelire des Menschen und der Wirbo1tl1iere.” by Oscar Hertwinz. Science, 453: 129-130.


Charles Sedgrwick Minot. Anat. Rec., 10: 133-164.

(With Maude Abbott.) Reversed torsion of the ventricular bend of the embryonic heart in the explanation of certain forms of cardiac anomaly. Internat. Assoc. of Med. Mus.. Bull. 6‘: 111-115.


Online Editor - Note these references were omitted from the original memoir.

Lewis FT. A comparison of the Herzog and Strahl-Beneke embryos. (1917) Anat. Rec, 11: 386.

Papez JW. and Lewis FT. On the position of the vitelline arteries in human embryos. (1917) Anat. Rec, 11: 392-394.


German terms in anatomy. Science, 49: 307-310.

Review of “Contributions to Embryology.” Science, 49: 359-360.


Lewis FT. The course of the Wolffian tubules in mammalian embryos. (1920) Amer. J Anat. 26(3): 423-436.


Review of Choulant’s “History and Bibliography of Anatomic Illustration in its Relation to Anatomic Science and the Graphic Arts.” Science, 54: 379-381.


The futility of the human yolk sac. Science, 55.‘ 478.

The spiral trend of intestinal muscle fibers. Science, 55: 704-706.


A note on symmetry as a factor in the evolution of plants and animals, reporting an illustrative study of the transformation of the aortic arches in the sheep by Dr. George H. Jackson, Jr. Am. Nat., 57: 5-41.

The significance of the term Hippocampus. J. Comp. Neur., 35: 213-230.

The typical shape of polyhedral cells in vegetable parcnchyma and the restoration of that shape following cell division. Proe. Am. Acad. Arts and Sciences, 58: 537-552.


The nasomaxillary angles— a disregarded feature of tlie upper lip. Anat. Rec., 27: 209.

Jeffries Wyman, Aug. 11, 1814-September 4, 1874. Boston Med. and Snrg. J., 1.91: 429-435.

An unpublished metrical epigram by James Russell Lowell. 60: 333-334.


Letter to the Class of 1925. Aesculapiad, l-larvard Medical School. response to the dedication of this annual to him.)

Letter in regard to “The Bee’s Knees,” Atlantic Monthly, 136: 574575.

A further study of the polyhedral shapes of cells. I. The stellate cells of Juncus effnsas. II. Cells of human adipose tissue. III. Stratified cells of human oral epithelium. Proe. Am. Acad. Arts and Sciences, 61 : 1-35.


An objective demonstration of the shape of cells in masses. 63: 607-609.

Editorial. The shape of cells. J. Am. Med. Assoc, 87: 1649-1650.

The effect of cell division on the shape and size of hexagonal cell. Anat. Rec., 33: 331-355.


The correlation between cell division and the shapes and sizes of prismatic cells in the epidermis of Cucnmis. Anat. Rec, 38: 341-376.

Something new is cytology. N. Eng. J. Med., 1.9.9: 387-388.

The shape of cork cells; a simple demonstration that they are tetrakaidecahedral. Science, 68: 625-626.


John Hunter’s Embryological Studies. N. Eng. J. Med., 900: 810-823.


Review of “Textbook of Embryology” by Frederick R. Bailey and Adam M. Miller. N. Eng. J. Med., 209: 101.

A volumetric study of growth and cell division in two types of epitheium——the longitudinally prismatic epidermal cells of Tradescantia and the radially prismatic epidermal cells of Cncnmis. Anat. Rec, 47: 59-99.


A comparison between the mosaic of polygons in a film of artificial emulsion and the pattern of simple epithelium in surface view (cucumber epidermis and human amnion). Anat. Rec., 50: 235-265.


Mathematically precise features of epithelial mosaics: observations on the endothelinm of capillaries. Anat. Rec., 55: 323-341.

The significance of cells as revealed by their polyhedral shapes, with special reference to precnrtilage, and a surmise concerning nerve cells and neuroglia. Proc. Am. Acad. Arts and Sciences, 6'8: 251-284.

Prosenchyma an orientation of parenehymal cells of fundamental importance. Am. J. Bot., 20 (Supplement): 676.

A suggestion as to the origin of oriented smooth-muscle strata in the wall of a tube. Anat. Rec, 57’ (Supplement): 86.

Charles Willison Johnson. Proc. Am. Acad. Arts and Sciences, 68: 637638.

The Hollises and Harvard. A record of gifts and benefactions from England to America. The Harvard Graduates’ Magazine, Dec.: 107-120.


Conditions requisite for the development of circular and longitudinal muscle fibers in the wall of the intestinal tube. Anat. Ree., 58 (Supplement): 25.


The osteoblast problem from the standpoint of cell shape. Anat. Rec., 61 (Supplement): 32.

De Generatione, a review of “A History of Embryology” by Joseph Necdham. Science, 82: 39-41.

The shape of the tracheids in the pine. Am. J. Bot., 22: 741-762.


Presidental Address (in part). Science (Supplement), 85 (no. 2205): 10.

The Toronto Meeting of the American Association of Anatomists. Science, 85: 387-388.

The shape of compressed spheres. Science, 86: 609-611.


(With George A. Corner.) The fiftieth anniversarv of the American Association of Anatomists. Science, 87: 531-534.


Review of “The Rise of Embryology” by A. W. Meyer. Anat. Rec., 76: 365-370.

(With H. A. Wolfson.) Review of “The Kosher Code” by S. I. Levin and E. A. Boyden. Science, 9.2: 173-175.


A notable memento of Oliver Wendell Holmes. Harvard Med. Alum. Bull., 15: 39.


A message from England; Dr. Poynton’s gift to the Harvard Medical Library. Harvard Merl. Alum. l3ull., .16‘: 30-31.

Review of “Emanuel Swedenborg. Three transactions on the Cerebrum. Translated by Alfred Acton.” S.cie.nce, .95: 480-482.

The introduction of biological stains: Employment of saflron by Vieussens and Leeuwenhoek. Anat. Rec-,., 8.9: 229-253.


A geometric accounting for diverse shapes of 14-hedral cells; the transition from dodecuhedra to tetrakuidecaliedm. Am. J. Bot., 30: 74-81.

Haphazard as a. factor in the production of tetrakaidecahedra. Torrcya, 43: 4-5.

Lewis FT. Clark ER. and Scammon RE. Franklin Paradise Johnson. (1943) Anat. Rec. 86: 1-7.

The advent of microscopes in America. Scient. Monthly, 57: 249-259.

The geometry of growth and cell division in epithelial mosaics. Am. J. Bot., 30: 766-776.


Review of “The Embryological Treatises of Hieronymus Fabricius of Aquapendente,” by Howard B. Adehnann. Anat. Rec., 88: 1-5.

The geometry of growth and cell division in columnar parenchyma. Am. J. Bot., 31: 619-629.


John Fallon ’23—poet. Harvard Med. Al11m. Bull., 19: 100.

The passenger pigeon as observed by the Rev. Cotton Mather. The Auk, 61: 587-592; also 62: 306-307.


The shape of cells as a mathematical problem. Am. Scientist, 34: 359369.


How radiology arrived at Harvard. Harvard Med. Alum. Bull., 21: 106-107.


(with William A. Wimsatt.) Duplication of the mitral valve and a rare apical interventricular foramcn in the heart of a yak calf. Am. J. Anat., 83: 67-108.

(With Harry G. Trimble.) Harold Lorraine Weatherford. Harvard University Gazette, 44: 57-59.


The analogous shapes of cells and bubbles. Proc. Am. Acad. Arts and Sciences, 77: 149-186.

A letter regarding Sir D’Arc_v Thompson. Am. Scientist, 37: 317-318.

Esophageal atresia with tracheo-esophageal fistula. Embryology. New Eng. J. Med., 240: 990-992.

The correlation in shape a.nd size between epidermal and subepidermal cells. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 35: 506-512.


Reciprocal cell division in epidermal and subepidermal cells. Am. J. Bot, 37: 715-721.


Some research images that appeared in some of his embryology publications.


  1. Boyden AE. Frederic Thomas Lewis, 1875-1951. (1952) Anat. Rec. 1952, 112(2);139-52. PMID 14903587

Selected References

Lewis FT. The development of the vena cava inferior. (1902) Amer. J Anat. 1(3): 229-244.

Lewis FT. On the cervical veins and lymphatics in four human embryos, with an interpretation of anomalies on the subclavian and jugular veins in the adult. (1909)

Lewis FT. A comparison of the Herzog and Strahl-Beneke embryos. (1917) Anat. Rec, 11: 386.

Papez JW. and Lewis FT. On the position of the vitelline arteries in human embryos. (1917) Anat. Rec, 11: 392-394.

Selected Textbooks

Lewis FT. Stoehr's Histology. (1906) P. Blakiston's Son & Co., Philadelphia.


Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2019, January 23) Embryology Embryology History - Frederic Lewis. Retrieved from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Embryology_History_-_Frederic_Lewis

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