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The Silver Cane, a symbol of the history and tradition of the Society, is passed by the Council to the most suitable and senior member who continues active participation in the functions of the

Society. It is presently entrusted to Dr. Robert B. Lewy, the distinguished Otolaryngologist who served as President of the Society in 1963.

The Silver Cane was a gift of Dr. Joseph Beck (President, 1912) who original carried the walking stick as a sword-cane to use for self defense, but later “beat the sword into instruments.” Dr. Beck was ingenious in incorporating within the hollow of the cane, otolaryngology instruments such as a head mirror, nasal speculum, ear speculum, and laryngeal mirror. A light from a battery source within the cane completed the instruments used by the early twentieth century otolaryngologists.

Inscribed in silver upon the head of the cane are the names of its distinguished custodians. Dr. T. Melville Hardle, second President of the Society and a Scotchman of distinction was the first. He held it for many years and was followed by Dr. George E. Schambaugh, it was then passed to Dr. Gordon Wilson, (CL&O) President, 1913) a Scott like Hardie, and like Shambaugh, was Head of the Department of Otolaryngology at Northwestern. Dr. Alfred Lewy (President, 1920) a serious student, philosopher, and a fine gentleman, attended Society meetings more faithfully than any other member of his generation. The Cane was next passed to Dr. Thomas Galloway (President, 1935) who was credited with saving many lives during the polymyelitis era by advocating tracheostomy for those stricken with the disease. The Cane was next held by Dr. John R. Lindsay (President, 1947), Head of the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Chicago and renowned for his interest in temporal bone pathology. Medical historian and long time advocate for Rush Medical School, Dr. Stanton A. Friedberg, Jr., was the next keeper of the cane. He was followed by Robert B. Lewy, who, like his father, has been one of the most consistent attendees of the Society meetings. Dr. George E. Schambaugh, Jr. held the cane briefly until recent death at which time the cane was returned to Dr. Lewy.

The member to who the Silver Cane is offered receives it knowing that he represents the best in the traditions of the Society, that his peers have thought well of him and his practice of the art and science of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery has served to advance the specialty.


Custodians of the Silver Cane

Benville Harvey
George E. Shambaugh, Sr.
Gordon Wilson
Alfred Lewy
Thomas Galloway
John R. Lindsay
Stanton A. Friedberg, Jr.
Robert B. Lewy
George E. Shambaugh, Jr.
Robert B. Lewy