Medicine on Stamps by Joseph H. Kler, MD
Minkus Publications (1969)
This book forms the core of my medical philatelic collection although I made extensive changes in indexing and categorization. The original book and its supplements consist of about 300 pages, growing to reach more than 6000 pages that form my huge collection. This includes pages for sheets, covers, FDCs, maxi cards and other philatelic forms.
Joseph H. Kler, MD, (1903-1983), was born in Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Medical College in 1925. Dr. Kler, an ophthalmologist, practiced for over half a century in New Brunswick, NJ. In 1929, he was the first staff physician and first team physician for Rutgers University. From his office at Rutgers, Dr. Kler broadcast a weekly health radio show on WOR.
Dr. Kler was on staff at Middlesex General Hospital (now, RWJ University Hospital) and was chief of ophthalmology and otolaryngology at St. Peter's Medical Center for thirty years. He served as president of the staff at both hospitals. Dr. Kler was past president of Middlesex County Medical Society and the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology.
Dr. Kler's civic-mindedness led to his founding and serving as president (1971-83) of East Jersey Olde Towne Inc., a restored colonial village in Johnson Park, Piscataway. Historic buildings from around Middlesex County were moved there to be preserved, such as the Indian Queen Tavern which stood at the foot of Albany Street in New Brunswick.
Dr. Kler was an expert stamp collector of stamps with a medical theme. He was the author of the Minkus Publications' Medicine on Stamps (1969) containing interesting accounts of medical history; for ten years, he was the author of yearly supplements. In 1970, the Home News called him "the world's leading medical stamp collector." Dr. Kler was author of a feature article on medical stamps in Medical Times.
Dr. Kler's extensive Medicine on Stamps collections consisted of over 16,000 stamps in forty-four albums. He donated the collection to the Cardinal Spellman Philatelic Museum at Regis College, Weston, Massachusetts, a museum of which he was a founder. A small portion of his stamp collection was presented to RWJMS by his daughter, Marjorie Kler Freeman. Dr. Kler was the recipient of the Freedom Foundations' award and of the grand award of the American Topical Association (stamps).