Part 4 Pollination

In 1986 Paul Weiner argued that the work going on in “phoniatrics” Germany and Austria in the late 19th and early 20th century had little influence on early American practices, in particular, those practices associated with language disorders in children. Weiner’s perusal of speech pathology textbooks published in America in the 1930s and the 1950s revealed little acknowledgement of work of those 19th century speech doctors. By contrast, Weiner found evidence of the strong impact of those same German and Austrian authors in European textbooks of the time. He concludes: “This evidence…would seem to support the conclusion… that the Spracharzte's (speech doctors) influence has been considerable…, but only on the European continent. The English language literature reveals no such effect” (Weiner, 1986, p. 40).

If Weiner were to have broadened his scope, looking for evidence beyond just textbook citations, he would have had to change his conclusion. Influences of the German and Austrian physicians on American thinking in the emerging fields of speech pathology and audiology were considerable. The evidence for the these influences comes from at least three sources.

First, European researchers and practitioners exerted their influence through direct teaching of Americans who went to Europe to train with them. This group of Americans, mostly physicians, aiming specialize in the new field of “speech correction” went to the two main centers in Europe, Berlin and Vienna, to study at the European centers specializing in “logopedics” and “phoniatrics.” These terms are translated by their originators to mean speech and voice.

A second way that the European speech and voice doctors influenced Americans occurred in America. A number of European scientists and clinicians, along with their former students, emigrated to America in the 1930s and 1940s. Most were fleeing the holocaust. These specialists set up shop in different cities in the US, with many ending up in New York City.

A third path through which European ideas pollinated Americans was through journals, books, and presentations at conferences. The conferences took place regularly in both America and in Europe, offering venues for our American founders and their European mentors to mingle (Lahey, 1999)

Americans abroad

There were several teaching centers in Germany and Austria that Americans attended around the turn of the 20th century. These included Herman’s Gutzmann’s speech and voice clinics in Berlin, Emil Froeschels’ speech and voice clinics in Vienna, Victor Urbantschitsch’s otology clinic in Vienna, Wilhelm Wundt’s psychology laboratory in Leipzig, and Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic clinic in Vienna.

The Gutzmanns’ influences on Americans. Hermann Gutzmann Sr. was heavily engaged in training teachers and clinicians to become speech pathologists throughout his career. His students came from schools in Berlin as well as seasoned scholars from all over the world who aimed to specialize in the new field of phoniatrics and logopedics. Gutzman’s training took place in two sites, the Charite Hospital, Berlin, and in his own private clinic that was also located in Berlin. Hermann’s son, Hermann Gutzmann Jr. continued the practices and teacher training of his father. The training promoted by the Gutzmanns included speech physiology, speech hygiene, and classifications of speech disorders (Kuczkowski, et al, 2014).

Among the Americans who studied with the Gutzmanns was James Sonnett Greene (1880-1950). Hermann Gutzmann Sr.’s influence on Greene was not only intellectual, but also practical. Greene was an American laryngologist who did post graduate With Hermann Gutzmann Sr. in the early 1890s. When he returned to the US, Greene incorporated Gutzmann’s teachings in his publications. For example he used Gutzmann’s diagrams of brain centers to theorize about the why those who cluttered also tended to have trouble writing (Greene, 1918).

But a more significant impact on Greene was how Gutzmann went about promoting phoniatrics in Germany. Like Gutzmann, Greene opened his own out-patient clinic in New York City, a facility that grew into his Hospital for Speech Disorders. He, like Gutzmann, researched various disorders and published his results in his own journal, called Logos, as well as in other journals, mostly medical ones. Also emulating Gutzmann, Greene worked with the public school system to provide services to children with communication disorders. Lastly, Greene followed in Gutzmann footsteps in his efforts to get speech disorders established as a subfield of clinical medicine (Greene, 1923).

Emil Froeschels’ Early influences on Americans. Emil Froeschels, made a considerable effort in Vienna to promote and teach about the new field that he named “phoniatrics.” He did this by inviting apprentices to his clinical rounds, and by working with Karl Rothe, an educator and collaborator of Froeschels, to create a curriculum for teaching the basics of the new specialty.

Esti Freud, one of Froeschels’ students in Vienna described her learning experience with Froeschels as follows:

There was steep fee for the course. The training was rigorous. Every morning I had to be at the clinic at nine and work until noon. Selected readings were assigned for the afternoon. Dr. Froeschels had a contract with the public school system. Children with speech, language, voice and hearing impairments were instructed in special classes. Every day a teacher whose specialty was communication disorders, brought his or her class to the clinic for a consultation with Dr. Froeschels. The students sat in a semicircle by the side of the professor who taught by discussing the different cases.

At the beginning of my training, case histories were dictated to me. Following the school children, cases were referred from different departments of the hospital were seen and the means of therapy were explained. Three times a week there were formal lectures on subjects involving a great variety of speech disorders such as aphasia, cleft palate, stuttering, voice loss, and consequences of hearing impairments, etc. …(E. Freud, 1979)

Froeschels also spread the word about what speech doctors were doing by organizing international conferences and international organizations. Best known and most long lasting were the meetings of the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics (IALP). This organization was formed in 1924 by Froeschels and his Viennese colleagues. Edward Wheeler Scripture from America was in attendance at that first meeting. He was studying in Vienna at the time. IALP met every other year after that, mostly in Vienna, or other Central European cities until 1936, when the holocaust was beginning to be recognized. The result, as described in the IALP history, was that IALP members were: scattered…all over the world — some to very remote countries indeed — taking scientific knowledge with them wherever they went (Lahey, 1999, p. 17). Among these members who ended up in the United States were Emil Froeschels, Deso Weiss, and Esti Freud.

Victor Urbantschitsch’s auditory training brought to America. Max Goldstein (1870-1941), an American trained otolaryngologist and charter member of ASHA, did two years postgraduate work in Europe following his graduation from medical school in St. Louis at the turn of the 19th century. Much of that time he spent in Vienna with Adam Politzer and Victor Urbantschitsch.

Shortly after his trip to Vienna, in 1896, Goldstein founded the journal geared to otolaryngologists, The Laryngscope, appointing Urbantischitsch, his former teacher, to its editorial board. Goldstein served as editor-in-chief of The Laryngoscope from 1896 until his death in 1941.

Goldstein made regular summer visits to Vienna following his training. He made eighteen trips in all during the years between 1900 and 1938. Goldstein’s grandson reflects on these trips: “He’d get, in the beginning, sort of a refresher course of different ideas they had and then he gave lectures” (Wolff, 2019).

In 1916 Goldstein opened a school for students who were deaf, where he taught the students to use their residual hearing and to learn to speak. He based the curriculum on the “auditory gymnastics” approach of Urbantschitsch (1892). The auditory training program at CID was sequenced. It began by having children discriminate vowels from one another, and then consonants. The children were provided with pairs of sounds and their task was to imitate and reproduce what they had heard. Once individual sounds were discriminated and reproduced, the children were taught to imitate words, presented aurally, and then in sentences. Goldstein describes the progression training in hearing: “The gradual progression from vowel hearing to consonants, words, and finally the comprehension of entire sentences, is only possible by a diligent application of "aural gymnastics” (Goldstein, 1895, p. 54).

Elements of Goldstein’s approach were later adopted by Mildred McGinnis (1890-1966) in her masters’ thesis (1939). McGinnis used her version of the Urbantschitsch approach (without crediting him), one that she called the “Association Method”. Her aim was to teaching of young “aphasic” children diagnosed to talk. The children were enrolled at Goldstein’s Central Institute for the Deaf. The McGinnis “association method” has been is still being used to teach speech and language to children with severe language disorders (Anon, 2021). Her book was republished in 1963 by the Alexander Graham Bell School for the Deaf (McGinnis, 1963).

Wilhelm Wundt’s “new psychology” brought to the US. Edward Wheeler Scripture (1964-1945) can be identified as Wundt’s most influential envoy in the United States. Scripture (1864-1945), an American received his Ph.D. from Wundt in 1891. In 1892 he went to Yale University where, in 1901 he founded the Yale Psychological Laboratory. Scripture used Wundt’s experimental methods to study speech and speech pathologies. He is said to be the first American speech scientist, calling his approach “the new science.”

Scripture’s student, Carl Emil Seashore (1866-1949), brought the new science he learned from Scripture to the University of Iowa. Seashore became an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Iowa in 1897 and later (1908) was appointed dean of the graduate school. In that capacity he established a number of new programs and directed a number of doctoral students, including Lee Edward Travis. Travis, in turn, was instrumental in establishing the field of speech pathology as separate from psychology, which was its parent department at the University of Iowa until 1956. Scripture’s (i.e. Wundt’s) empirical approaches were incorporated into research practices this new field of speech pathology, aligning it with experimental psychology as a parallel specialty of “the new science.”

The Iowa program, under the direction of Seashore and Travis, soon became a center of research and clinical training in the field of speech pathology and audiology, serving a role in the U. S. not unlike those hubs of activity that existed in Berlin and Vienna some 50 years earlier.

William Preyer’s influence on the child development movement in America. The child study movement that took place in the US in the 1920s was beholden to William `1Preyer’s work (Bluemthal, 1970 Bronfenbrenner, 1985; Dennis, 1985). Americans who were at the forefront of that movement cited Preyer and followed his practices in that they treated children’s development as a legitimate topic for scientific exploration.

One significant research center of the child study movement, the Iowa Child Welfare Station, was associated with the University of Iowa. The center, funded by federal monies as well as grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, was established by Carl Seashore. That child study center was founded in 1917, and was destined to be an important think tank and research laboratory for researchers such as Sara Stinchfield Hawk and Dorothea McCarthy, who played key roles in developing the profession of speech pathology in America in its early years.

Sigmund Freud and Albert Adler’s psychotherapies. Freud had his followers here in America. For example, Smiley Blanton (1882-1966), who a charter member of ASHA at its founding in 1925, was psychoanalyzed by Freud. Blanton, in his capacity as a psychiatrist, managed several clinics in the US. One, a mental-hygiene clinic, served World War veterans who had psychological and communication problems. Another, a child guidance clinic, was associated with Minneapolis Public Schools. A third was a speech hygiene clinic, associated with the University of Wisconsin’s medical school. His emphasis in all of the clinics was to ameliorate the emotional difficulties associated with his clients’ speech disorders. He did this through counseling and psychotherapy (Blanton, 1921). Blanton advocated that speech therapy be done by physicians with psychiatric training.

Alfred Adler, like Sigmund Freud, had a palpable influence in America during the early 20th century. Adler was an emigre, himself, arriving in the United States in 1934. Once here, he founded the Journal for Individual Psychology, held a professorship at Long Island College of Medicine and entered the lecture circuit to promote his ideas. Prior to his time in the United States, Adler had worked with Emil Froeschels in Vienna. Together they created an outpatient clinic in Vienna that delivered Adlerian psychotherapy to those with speech disorders. In America, Froeschels continued to embrace Adler’s ideas, incorporating them into his own clinical methods. Froeschels’ opened a Speech and Voice Clinic in the Alfred Adler Consultation Center and Mental Hygiene Clinic where he worked with psychotherapists to carry out and promote Adler’s methods in the US.

Europeans’ exodus to America

Between the years 1938 and 1947 a number of the pioneers in the new field of phoniatrics from Germany and Austria emigrated to America. (See here for a listing of a few who traveled to America, bringing their ideas with them.) As is indicated in the letter to Esti Freud, one of Froeschels’ students in Vienna, these emigres had considerable difficulty finding work in the United States. In 1940, as Esti Freud was about to emigrate to New York City from Europe, she wrote a friend in New York City, asking him for advice about where she could find work as a speech therapist (Freud, 1979).

Franz Altmann
15 West 31 St
New York City
Jan 5, 1940
Dear Mrs. Freud:

Your letter arrived after considerable delay and I think it was due to the fact that it was written in German. I am therefore writing this letter in English.

I tried to find out what your opportunities would be here but it is very difficult for me to give you a definite reply. As far a I can see there are no paid positions in the hospitals. In the Presbyterian Hospital, for instance, where I am working, we have a lady who is the secretary to the Research Department and she has training in the teaching of lip-reading. Three of four times a week she gives lessons in lip-reading. That is all that is done in this respect at the Presbyterian Hospital which is one of the best hospitals in New York. The conditions in the Beth Israel Hospital in which I am also working are just the same. I discussed your problem with Mr. Turnau and we both feel the best thing you can do is to get in touch with Dr. Froeschels, Central Institute for the Deaf, 8185 Kings Highway, St. Louis, Missouri. I think that he can help you much more than I can.

I have started practicing four months ago and am doing quite well. I am very happy that from the very beginning I had the right feeling and went to the United States. Life here is still very peaceful and I do not think there will be any change in the immediate future. It might be of interest to you that I see your cousin, Dr. Harry Freud rather frequently.

If I can give you any further information, please write me and I will do all I can. Hoping you are well, I remain,

Yours sincerely,
F. Altmann

Emil Froeschels’ influence, once he was in America. The difficult job market in the US in the field of speech pathology also affected Emil Froeschels, even though he was at the peak of his career in Vienna and well known among many of his American colleagues. Froeschels’ first US destination was St. Louis, where his American friend and colleague Max Goldstein (1870-1941) lived and worked. Froeschels assumed a position as a research professor at Washington University, and stayed there until he achieved the residency requirement that allowed him to practice medicine in the US. Once certified in medicine, Froeschels settled in New York City.

In New York City, Froeschels had to again establish himself as a scholar and clinician. As he did in Vienna, he founded clinics that served as a place for him to conduct research and experiment with clinical methods. He served as director of the Speech and Voice Clinic at Mount Sinai Hospital from 1940 to 1949 and the Beth David Hospital from 1950 to 1955. He became known by forming clinics and creating organizations for promulgating established knowledge and for designing new approaches to this new American field of study and clinical practice.

Another of Froeschels’ American projects was to create The New York Society for Speech and Voice Therapy (Froeschels, 1966). The group was made up of scholars and clinicians, mostly in the New York Area, and mostly emigres from Europe. The group met monthly. Each meeting featured a scholarly presentation or case demonstration and a discussion. Many of the papers read in the group were subsequently published in Folia Phoniatrica, a journal of the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics (IALP), the organization that fathered the New York Society. The New York Society met from 1947 until Froeschels’ death in 1972. The IALP continues, in full force to this day.

Oskar Guttman’s influence on American use of exercise therapies. Oskar Guttmann’s voice exercises were translated into English and adapted by Americans.For example, Leo Kofler (1837-1908), an organist at St. Paul’s Church in New York city and a student of Guttmann’s, used Guttmann’s breathing exercises in his practice as an elocutionist, and as a singing teacher. Kofler, drawing from Guttman, later published his own exercise materials (Kofler, 1887). Guttmann emigrated to America and once here, established a practice as “a teacher of oratory and the dramatic art” (Guttmann, 1882a, p. vii, Guttmann, 1882b).

As can be seen from Froeschels’ and Guttman’s examples, many who emigrated from Europe to the US did eventually find jobs in the profession. Some started their own clinics, others went into private practice. Still others created or joined hospital clinics or university faculties. A few worked in public schools or institutions for the disabled. See this table for a sampling of emigres from Germany and Austria in the 1930s and 1940s, along with their year of arrival in the US, their adoptive city, and their professional affiliations.

European literature reviewed and cited in America

The European effects on Americans during this early period in the professions history in America can be evidenced by tracing the citations of European literature found in American publications. Some of this reportage of what was going on in Europe was just as the work was being published. For example, Edgar S. Werner (1850-1919), a self-trained speech pathologist in America, before they were called that, published a monthly journal from 1879 to 1902 in which he wrote about and translated selected works of his European colleagues. For example, he offered English translations of excerpts from the published work of Raphael Coen, Alfred Gutzmann, Adolf Kussmaul and Oskar Guttmann.

Werner, who stuttered, travelled to Germany early in his adult life hoping to receive therapy from the speech doctors that would cure his stuttering. He returned to the US and established his clinical practice in Albany, New York, specializing in stuttering and drawing his techniques from his own therapies.

Edgar Werner’s journal had different names at different times: Werner’s Magazine, The Voice, and Werner’s Voice Magazine. He described it as: A monthly devoted to voice culture, with special attention to stuttering and stammering (Werner, 1879). The journal was addressed to elocutionists, voice teachers, stutterers and stuttering therapists, singers, and the general public (Merritt, 1953).

Another specialist of that time who wrote about the European advances in the science of speech disorders was Samuel O. L. Potter (1846-1914), a student at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. In 1882 Potter published his thesis on “Speech and its Defects.” In it was a history of speech disorders, from ancient times. Potter’s particular focus was to provide a critical review of the literature on stuttering (dyslalia). Included in Potter’s review were citations and descriptions of the published work of the speech doctors from Germany and Austria, including Raphael Coen, and Adolph Kussmaul.

A second review of the European literature was E. Conradi’s dissertation project at Clark University (Conradi, 1904). Conradi’s thesis advisor was Granville Stanley Hall, an American who studied with Wilhelm Wundt. The thesis was a literature review of 19th century child language acquisition research related to normal and abnormal acquisition of speech sounds. Featured in his review was the work of Herman Gutzmann Sr., Wilhelm Preyer, and Wilhelm Wundt.

Later, twenty years after the formation of ASHA, Mardel Ogilvie published a comparative analysis of the diagnostic terms used in the field of speech pathology prior 1942. In her substantial review she included the work of German and Austrian speech doctors, offering American speech pathologists a picture of what each European contributed to the field (Ogilvie, 1942).

German and Austrian expatriates living in America also engaged in publishing English reviews of the European literature. Emil Froeschels and his American colleagues published two of such reviews (Froeschels, 1962; Rieber & Froeschels, 1966). And Deso Weiss in 1964 in his influential book on cluttering written in English provided Americans with an extensive review of earlier work on that topic works much of which was published in German (Weiss, 1964).

A more recent recap of German writings of the 19th and 20th century was focused on research in voice disorders. It was a review by Hans Von Leden (1918-2014), a German-born voice researcher who came to America in the 1930s. In 1990 Von Leden provided a personalized review of the contributions of German speaking Europeans to the voice disorders literature. His article on those who influenced his career, included the work of Hermann Gutzmann, Emil Froeschels, and Deso Weiss, Paul Moses, and Frederich Brodnitz (von Leden, 1990).

Finally, the most recent treatments of the literature from Germany and Austria appears in the 21st century literature on cluttering. It was the Europeans who did much of the early work on cluttering (e.g., Liepmann, Kussmaul, Froeschels, Weiss, see Duchan & Felsenfeld, in review and Duchan, in review, for the influential role of these European ancestors on the history of cluttering.)

Besides the English literature reviews of the German literature in the field of speech language pathology and audiology, there were also full English translations of some of the German books. These translated books show the lasting value placed on their contents by Americans, thereby offering concrete evidence of the continuing influence of European scholars on Americans. The following books by German speaking scholars and clinicians were translated into English and were distributed in America both before and after ASHA was formed in 1925.

Victor Urbantschitsch (1892), Auditory training for deaf mutism and acquired deafness. Washington, D.C. : Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf. translated into English in 1982.

Oskar Guttman (1859), Voice gymnastics, translated into English in 1882.

William Preyer (1882) The mind of the child translated into English in 1895.

Emil Froeschels, (1918) Child language and aphasia, translated in English in 1980 (Reiber, 1980).

Richard Luchsinger and Godfrey Arnold (1949) Voice, speech and language. Translated into English in 1965.

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