Author Biographical Info

The McGovern Historical Center (MHC) is the historical and special collections department for The TMC Library. The MHC maintains rare book and archival collections. Artificial collections have been created to provide access to materials without clear provenance in order to increase discoverability. Soon after his arrival in Houston, Dr. McGovern became one of the Library’s most staunch supporters, annually supplying funds for the purchase of rare books and travel support for the librarians to attend meetings of the American Association for the History of Medicine. In 1977, The Library formed a new department with new quarters to collect historical materials and to enhance the rare book collections. In 1982, Dr. McGovern donated his personal collection of rare and historical books to the Library. In 1996 the Library’s Board of Directors named the historical department in his honor.


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Gilman & Company was founded in New York in the 1850’s and began importing and distributing tea and coffee in 1859. It changed its name to the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company in 1870 in honor of the 1869 completion of the Transcontinental Railway. It began selling a wider variety of food items in the 1880’s, making it the nation’s first grocery-store chain. Acting as both wholesaler and retailer, it was known for low prices, and by 1915, the company operated 1,600 stores nationwide, plus a mail-order branch. It survives today as A&P. This beautiful Renaissance Revival building was located at 517 Main; the name of the Tea Company can just barely be seen above the entrance. The photo was probably taken just after the turn of the 20th century. Most of the vehicles on the street are horse-drawn wagons and coaches, but there is an automobile of extremely early design at the right. See more at Texas Medical Center Records and its finding aid.


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