past conferences

About the Society

The American Otological Society has a rich and relatively well documented history which goes back more than a century and a quarter. The inaugural meeting was held in the Ocean House, Newport Rhode Island, on July 22, 1868 when 9 members of the American Ophthalmological Society (founded 1864) met to organize a society focused upon "aural" medicine.

Founding Members of the American Otological Society.

C.R. Agnew - New York
F.J. Bumstead - New York
John Green - St. Louis
H. D. Noyes - New York
O.D. Pomeroy - New York
C.E. Rider - Rochester
C.A. Robertson - Albany
D.B. St. John Roosa - New York
E. Williams - Cincinnatti

The first elected president of the AOS was Dr. E. Williams.

Annual Meetings: Since its inception the society has met annually, except for three years. The meeting was cancelled in 1877 due to lack of a quorum (railroad strike). No meetings were held in 1943 and 1945 due to war time transportation difficulties.

Meeting Locations: For many years the American Otological and Ophthalmological Societies in the same location on subsequent days. The first eight meetings were held in Newport, Rhode Island and thereafter in a number of east coast cities (particularly Atlantic City, New York, Washington D.C., Boston, Phildelphia, and New London Conn.)

Between 1885 and 1902 the Society met 13 times in New London, Conn. The Society met in Canada six times: 1915 (Niagra Falls), 1926 (Montreal), Toronto (1935, 1952), and Montebello, Quebec (1956, 1967). The first west meeting was held in San Francisco in 1950. The Society has met off of the North American Continent only twice: San Juan , Puerto Rico in 1966 and Wiakoloa, Hawaii in 1991.

Membership: During the first century of the society, the active membership remained around 100, reaching a peak of 119 members in 1944. In recent years a modest growth has taken place and by 1992 there were 135 active members.

Annual awards: Since 1949, the society has granted two annual awards --
" The Award of Merit" and "Guest of Honor"

Publications: There are currently two publications on the history of the AOS --

* Centennial History of the American Otological Society, Inc 1898-1968
* History of the American Otological Society, Inc 1898-1993

Download the History of the Society

History of the society - 1868 - 1968

History of the society - 1868 - 1993

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© The American Otological Society