By: Joseph Jacobs
American physician; born July 11, 1831, at Altenstadt-on-the-Iller, Bavaria.
He came to America with his parents in Aug., 1839, attended the academy at Chambersburg, Pa., the public and high schools at Philadelphia, Pa., and graduated as doctor of medicine from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University, New York, in 1852. He was assistant physician at Blackwell's Island Hospital during 1851-52; deputy coroner of New York city in 1853; and visited Europe in 1854, attending hospitals in London, Paris, and Munich. On his return he was appointed resident and attending physician to Mount Sinai Hospital (then called Jews' Hospital), New York, from 1855 to 1859, organizing its medical administration and formulating its records and monthly reports as in use to this day. From 1862 to 1894 he was president of and physician to the Institution for the Improved Instruction of Deaf Mutes, founded and supported by Jews for the benefit of Jewish and other children.
The special features of the system of teaching adopted by Blumenthal, and which was then almost unknown in this country, were: (1) reading from the lips of the speaker; and (2) the use of articulate speech, instead of the finger and sign language (dactylology) then and still generally employed in most of the state institutions.
During the Civil war Blumenthal was surgeon-major in the Third Regiment, National Guard. Besides many professional offices, such as president of the Medical Union, of the Northwestern Medical and Surgical Society, and of the Medical Board of the United Hebrew Charities, Blumenthal was one of the founders of the Young Men's Hebrew Association, founder and president of the Sabbath Observance Society of New York, and president of the Jewish Chautauqua (1901-02).