Posted Sept. 16, 2015
With Dr. Horace Preston Hoskins as editor from 1923-1939, “The JAVMA then entered a lengthy period of growth and renovation” according to the book “The AVMA: 150 Years of Education, Science, and Service.” Dr. Hoskins also served as the executive secretary of the AVMA from 1923 through the end of 1938.
According to the book, Dr. Hoskins was “the first editor to fill the role in a full-time capacity and oversaw such innovations as the use of full-color illustrations and the addition to the JAVMA of a section of abstracts. The circulation of the Journal began to grow in earnest while Dr. Hoskins was editor.”
The membership of the AVMA had surpassed 2,000 by 1915 and ranged between 3,500 and 4,500 from 1918 through 1928, according to the 1929 proceedings. The circulation of the Journal was 4,073 in 1927, 4,328 in 1928, 4,770 in 1929, and 5,141 in 1930, according to a December 1930 editorial citing figures for the first six months of each year.
With this and other nations grappling with huge economic problems affecting millions of people, the interests of any group of workers must, of necessity, be a minor part of the entire program. Our veterinary profession, numbering scarcely 12,000 active workers, exerts, it is true, great influence on our live stock resources and public welfare. But though recognized by us and related groups, the value of veterinary work may seem remote to persons who are unemployed, discouraged, and hungry.”
Dr. John R. Mohler
at the 1933 AVMA Annual Meeting
Agriculture remained a primary focus for the JAVMA. In 1927, the Journal began publishing the proceedings of the United States Live Stock Sanitary Association, which later became the United States Animal Health Association. The JAVMA devoted 264 pages to the livestock sanitary association’s proceedings in 1927, in comparison with 140 pages for the AVMA proceedings. In Volume 77, comprising the last six months of 1930, news items under the “Miscellaneous” heading covered subjects such as the worldwide battle against tuberculosis and efforts to eradicate cattle ticks within the United States.
The Journal started giving more attention to small animal practice in the ’20s and ’30s. A June 1938 article by Dr. C.P. Zepp, a New York City practitioner, provided an overview of “Progress of small-animal practice in the East during the past twenty years.” He wrote that a few of the more outstanding advances were “aids in diagnosis, anesthesia and asepsis in surgery, nursing of patients and hospitalization of small animals.”
The JAVMA continued publishing the complete proceedings of the AVMA meetings during this time. Dr. J.F. Smithcors, veterinary historian, summarized some of the discussion topics at the meetings from 1926-1935 as including educational requirements at veterinary colleges, selling the profession to the public, preventive medicine, and veterinary quackery.
The Great Depression was the main topic at the 1933 meeting in Chicago, according to Dr. Smithcors. Dr. John R. Mohler, chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Industry and Dr. Hoskins’ predecessor as editor of the Journal, presented a paper on “Economic Aspects of Veterinary Medicine,” which was published in the September 1933 issue of the JAVMA. He wrote:
“With this and other nations grappling with huge economic problems affecting millions of people, the interests of any group of workers must, of necessity, be a minor part of the entire program. Our veterinary profession, numbering scarcely 12,000 active workers, exerts, it is true, great influence on our live stock resources and public welfare. But though recognized by us and related groups, the value of veterinary work may seem remote to persons who are unemployed, discouraged, and hungry.”
||Banquet at the 1933 AVMA Annual Meeting in Chicago
The JAVMA reported on the first meeting in August 1934 of the AVMA House of Representatives, now the AVMA House of Delegates. The House is the representative body of state VMAs and certain other veterinary organizations allied with the AVMA.
At the 1935 AVMA Annual Meeting, Dr. Hoskins reported that the number of miscellaneous news items in the Journal increased from 131 in 1933 to 162 in 1934, “largely the result of planned efforts to make the Journal just as newsy as possible.”