History of Osteopathy and Twentieth-Century Medical Practice by Emmons Rutledge Booth

A milestone in the history of osteopathy. Emmons Rutledge Booth, who enrolled at the ASO in Kirksville in 1898 and graduated in 1900, met A.T. Still personally.

Publisher: Press of Jennings and Graham, Cincinnati (Ohio)

Year of publication: 1905. Second edition: Caxton Press, 1924

Number of pages: 482. Second edition: 886






The first edition of 1905 sold out within six months. A second edition was published in 1906 with some typos corrected.

While preparing for the writing of this book, E.R. Booth sent a circular letter – also published in the Journal of Osteopathy1 – to ask everyone who had something to share for any piece of information about both A.T.Still and the beginnings of osteopathy. In the same letter he announced his intention to write a volume which he hoped would be ready by the year 1904. 

Some chapters were were previewed in the Journal of Osteopathy,2 and after having been passed on to the press the book obtained very favorable reviews, for example in the JAOA.3 

First and second edition (1905, 1906)

The index at the beginning of the volume is clear and contains detailed information on the content of each of the thirteen chapters and the analytical index at the end of the book facilitates its consultation even more.

Revised and expanded edition (1924)

The 1924 edition preserved the layout of the first edition, keeping the chapters unchanged. Nevertheless, the second part of the volume, although organized along the lines of the first editions, contains some additions to each of the old chapters, as well as three new chapters.


Strengths: an inexhaustible source of information on the beginnings of osteopathy. A document of primary importance not only for historians.

E.R. Booth uses clear language and pays attention to the sources.

Weaknesses: the 1924 edition remained the same as the previous one and all additional parts were not incorporated into the text, but added at the end of the chapters of the first edition. Although the index clearly describes the layout of the work, the consultation is a little difficult.

Prima e seconda edizione (1905, 1906)

Chapter I – Dr. Andrew Taylor Still pp. 1-43

Chapter II – Sviluppo dell’osteopatia pp. 44-70

Chapter III – Scuole di osteopatia pp. 71-94

Chapter IV – Regolamentazione legislative dell’osteopatia pp. 95-161

Chapter V – Osteopatia e tribunali pp. 162-201

Chapter VI – Osteopatia e pubblico pp. 202-219

Chapter VII – Osteopatia e professione medica pp.220-249

Chapter VIII – Organizzazioni osteopatiche pp. 250-280

Chapter IX – Letteratura osteopatica pp. 281-293

Chapter X – Pietre miliari nella storia della medicina pp. 294-324

Chapter XI – Farmaci nella pratica medica pp. 325-363

Chapter XII – Procedure non farmacologiche nella pratica medica pp. 364-393

Chapter XIII – Principi e pratica dell’osteopatia pp.394-419

Revised and extended edition (1924) 

Chapter I – Il dr. Andrew Taylor Still pp. 1-43 – additions pp. 420-479

Chapter II – Development of osteopathy pp. 44-70 – additions pp. 480-529

Chapter III – Osteopathic schools  pp. 71-94 – additions pp. 530-555

Chapter IV – Osteopathic legislation pp. 95-161–additions pp. 559-61

Chapter V – Osteopathy and the courts pp. 162-201– additions pp. 559-612

Chapter VI – Osteopathy and the people pp. 202-219– 

Chapter VII – Osteopatia and the medical profession pp.220-249– additions pp. 613-645

Chapter VIII – Osteopathic organizations pp. 281-293– additions pp. 665-681

Chapter X – Landmarks in the history of medicine pp. 294-324–additions pp. 682-699

Chapter XIII – Principles and practice of osteopathy pp. 394-419 – additions pp. 682-699

Chapter XI – Drugging in medical practice pp. 325-363 

Chapter XII – Other preceding than drugging in medical practice pp. 364-393 – additions pp. 700-72

Chapter XIV – Hospitals, sanatoriums, clinics pp. 724-755

Chapter XV – Claims and progress of medicine pp. 756-789

Chapter XVI – National affairs, the world war pp. 780-823

  1. Booth E.R. “A Proposed History of OsteopathyJournal of Osteopathy, November 1903.
  2. Osteopathy and the People” (Chapter VI of E.R. Booth’s “History of Osteopathy,” now in course of preparation) Journal of Osteopathy, October 1904.
  3. The History of Osteopathy and 20th Century Medical PracticeJAOA, v.5, n.2, October 1905:93-94.

Are you an osteopath?

Register and enjoy the membership benefits. Create your public profile and publish your studies. It's free!

Register now

School or training institution?

Register and enjoy the membership benefits. Create your public profile and publish your studies. It's free!

Register now

Do you want to become an osteopath? Are you a student?

Register and enjoy the membership benefits. Create your public profile and publish your studies. It's free!

Register now

Historical osteopathy books

Osteopathy Research and Practice by Andrew Taylor Still

The fourth book of A.T. Still, written at the age of 82 years, enunciates the principles and the practical maneuvers of osteopathy in reference to the single pathologies, classified by body regions.


Philosophy of Osteopathy by Andrew Taylor Still

The second book published by A.T. Still, it collects the basic principles of osteopathy, written over several years and then gathered in one volume. Despite the insistence of his friends, Still was not sure that the time was ripe to divulge his early science.


Autobiography of Andrew Taylor Still with a History of the Discovery and Development of the Science of Osteopathy by A. T. Still

A fundamental text to begin to know the founder of osteopathy and to understand the cultural context and the historical events during which his life unfolded.


Primitive Physick: or, an Easy and Natural Method of Curing most Diseases by John Wesley

A fundamental text for the Methodists, which Still’s father surely knew and probably owned - in addition to remedies, the book contains a preface that dispenses advice for a healthy life.


The Old Doctor by Leon Elwin Page

A small volume dedicated to the story of Andrew Taylor Still, and to the birth and development of the idea of osteopathy.


The Cure of Disease by Osteopathy, Hydropathy and Hygiene A Book for the People by Ferdinand L. Matthay

A small volume addressed to the general public, dispensing health advice and illustrating some osteopathic techniques.


Osteopathy; the New Science by William Livingston Harlan

The volume collects and comments a series of relevant articles on the new science of osteopathy, highlighting legal, historical and theoretical aspects.


A Manual of Osteopathy – with the Application of Physical Culture, Baths and Diet by Eduard W Goetz

Very schematic volume, with the aim of spreading the osteopathic application techniques to everybody, even to those lacking any sort of health training.


Osteopathy Illustrated: a Drugless System of Healing by Andrew Paxton Davis

A substantial and in-depth volume, written by a physician who participated in the first course of the ASO and then tried to integrate osteopathy into other care systems like chiropractic and neuropathy.