Trudeau trained as a doctor after the death of his elder brother due to tuberculosis. He himself was diagnosed with the disease in 1873. Following conventional thinking of the times, his physicians and friends urged a change of climate. He went to live in the Adirondack Mountains, initially at Paul Smith's Hotel, spending as much time as possible in the open; he subsequently regained his health. In 1876 he moved to Saranac Lake and established a medical practice among the sportsmen, guides and lumber camps of the region.
In 1882, Trudeau read about Prussian Dr. Hermann Brehmer's success treating tuberculosis with the "rest cure" in cold, clear mountain air. Following this example, Trudeau founded the Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium, with the support of several of the wealthy businessmen he had met at Paul Smiths. In 1894, after a fire destroyed his small laboratory, Trudeau organized the Saranac Laboratory, the first laboratory in the United States for the study of tuberculosis.
As new drugs became available in the 1950s to treat the disease, the Laboratory was reestablished in 1964 as the Trudeau Foundation Research Laboratories, later renamed the Trudeau Institute. Devoted to the study of immunology, they relocated to the site of the former Algonquin Hotel on the shore of Lower Saranac Lake. 1
From the Dedication of the Trudeau Foundation Research Laboratories, August 1st, 1964
DURING the years since it was created in 1918, the Gutzon Borglum statue of Edward Livingston Trudeau has been on a slope of Mt. Pisgah facing east toward Whiteface Mountain. It was a symbol of hope for those who had been afflicted with tuberculosis and were cured at Trudeau Sanatarium.
The same statue rests today overlooking the mountain-rimmed sweep of Lower Saranac Lake. The statue now looks to the west, but once again in its peaceful abstraction, it symbolizes the present objective of the Trudeau Foundation; the creation of a contemplative, intellectual climate in which to expand its research.
With changing medical techniques, diminishing incidence of tuberculosis, and increasing acceptance of public care, by 1954 it became apparent that the original Adirondack Cottage Sanatarium must close its gates. At this point, a two-fold task evolved upon the trustees — to dispose fittingly of the original property and to move on into new endeavors most in keeping with the goals of the Trudeau Foundation.
Following a prolonged search for an appropriate organization, the Sanatarium was sold in 1957 to the American Management Association for the teaching of management techniques to the executives of industry.
After three years of concentrated study of the various alternatives by an expanded and scientifically oriented Board of Trustees, in May of 1960 application was made to the Public Health Service for a construction grant toward the building of a new laboratory here in Saranac Lake.
Through the generosity of Mr. Edmond Guggenheim, the present site of the laboratories was made available and gratefully accepted as best suiting the requirements.
In December of 1960, the consulting board of the Public Health Service recommended that the grant be paid in full. Approval by the 87th Congress followed and work on the new laboratory was begun in September 1962. Today sees the culmination of that effort and of the generosity of individual donors whose gifts have made possible a handsome library, conference room, stack room, vestibule and other furnishings that were not included in the Public Health grant or matching funds.
The new Trudeau Laboratory will provide space in which scientists working under grants and fellowships may pursue investigations in cardio-pulmonary research. The rural atmosphere of the new laboratory opens an opportunity for this work uncluttered by the presence of city living or the intrusion of university life. Here, unhampered by outside demands customary in more conventional academic communities, the mature scientist will find freedom to work in the best possible environment amidst a fellowship of ideas.
August 1, 1964
Trustees J. Burns Amberson, M.D. Hon. W. Averell Harriman Edward C. Brewster William H. N. Brune David A. Cooper, M.D. Rene J. Dubos, M.D. Wallis B. Dunckel Albert H. Gordon John N. Hayes, M.D. F. Ferris Hewitt John G. Kidd, M.D. Walsh McDermott, M.D. Jere Mead, M.D. James W. Raleigh, M.D. Dickinson W. Richards, M.D. Richard L. Riley, M.D. Frederick Sheffield John B. Trevor, Jr. Francis B. Trudeau, M.D. Roger W. Tubby George W. Wright, M.D.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, November 23, 1955
Mellon Institute Negotiates With Trudeau
Research Expansion In S.L. Is Objective
Mellon Institute of Pittsburgh and the Trudeau Foundation of Saranac Lake are negotiating ways and means of using the Trudeau facilities for the expansion of scientific research.
This is the gist of the brief statement issued at 11 p.m. last night by Dr. Edward Weidlein, president of Mellon Institute, and Dr. Francis B. Trudeau, Jr., president of the Trudeau Foundation.
The statement was worked out in Pittsburgh during Dr. Trudeau's visit there last week, and it was approved yesterday at the meeting of the Trudeau Board of Trustees in New York City.
Dr. Weidlein was not present at the Trudeau meeting.
While the statement gave no indication that any final agreements had been reached, it seemed clear that at least an effort was being made to reach an agreement.
The fields of research mentioned in the statement (the full text of which is printed in an adjoining column) were biological research and industrial hygiene.
These fields are closely related the work which is now being carried on in the various laboratories in Saranac Lake under, the Trudeau Foundation. The mention of industrial hygiene would indicate that the particular, department of the Mellon Institute interested in Trudeau is the Industrial Hygiene Foundation.
Dr. Anthony Lanza is a member of the Trudeau Board and also of the Board of the Industrial Hygiene Foundation of Mellon Institute.
It is Dr. Lanza, vice president of the Trudeau Foundation, who is credited with establishing the first contact between the two organizations.
These first contacts began aound Labor Day last September. After the first relationships had been established, three leading members of Mellon Institute came to Saranac Lake in October.
They were Dr. Weidlein, Gen. Matthew Ridgway, newly-named Chairman of the Mellon Board, and Dr. C.W. Walmer, head of the Industrial Hygiene Foundation.
Following their one day visit in October two other members of the staff visited here: Dr. H.F. Smyth Jr., Fellow of the Chemical Hygiene Fellowship, and Dr. C.P. Carpenter, Jr., also of the Chemical Hygiene Fellowship.
On both occasions, the Mellon guests made a thorough investigation of the Trudeau buildings and property. In addition, they met the members of the staffs of the laboratories, and they learned about the Trudeau tradition from Dr. Francis B. Trudeau, Sr., son of the founder, Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau.
Dr. Trudeau showed slides of the history of the Institution and the people connected with the history of the institution and the people connected with it.
All of the details which Saranac Lake people would like to know are not known, because they have not been worked out.
It is understood that Drs. Smyth and Carpenter are connected with the Fellowship that does work for Union Carbon and Carbide, and it has been suggested that parts of this unit might be among the first to come to Saranac Lake.
THE STATEMENT Mellon Institute of Pittsburgh, Pa., has been invited by the Trudeau Foundation of Saranac Lake to study the possibilities of utilizing its facilities on a cooperative basis. Should negotiations prove feasible, it is expected that their joint effort would perpetuate, on an expanded basis, the long-standing contributions in the field of biological research and industrial hygiene presently enjoyed by both organizations.
E.R. Weidlein, President, Mellon Institute
F.B. Trudeau Jr., M.D., President, Trudeau-Saranac Institute
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, August 3, 1964
Dr. Hollis Boren Cites Goals of Laboratories
(Editor's Note: The following is the complete text of the address by Dr. Hollis G. Boren, director of the Trudeau Foundation Research laboratories, at their dedication on Saturday.)
Dr. Dubos and Dr. Cooper have described the greatness of the men to whom we give homage today and have traced the development of this outstanding Institution. Indeed many persons in this audience know of our great heritage by personal experience. Dr. Richards will evaluate the trends and the uniqueness of our new undertaking. At this time lot us address ourselves to the question of what our plans are for the immediate future.
On the lighter side I would say that our first job is to finish moving into this new building. As you tour the building, you will see much evidence that moving is still in progress. I would ask that you visualize also what facilities have been reserved for investigators who are not yet upon the scene.
It would serve little purpose today to pay tribute to the outstanding contributions of personnel presently working in our as yet scattered locations. I need only mention the name of Tony Delehant, Frank Creedon, John Schmidt, Vince Montalbine, Marjorie Smith, Tommy Rooney, Tom Durkan, Malcolm Roberts and a host of other Trudeau Foundation employees to bring a warm smile to many faces. And nothing I could say would add to the stature of work done by Drs. Bristol, Kleinerman, Krahl, Steenken and Wright. Superb support for current projects is given by our animal caretakers, our secretarial help, our building and equipment maintenance men. Our service section is unique in these days of big operations when we consider that the daily administrative needs of over forty employees are taken care of by one man, Clarence Wagner, though he does ask help from his daughter during the summer months. Rather than emphasize about what it seems more appropriate to consider how we shall proceed from this day forward if the full potential of the institution is to achieve reality.
Rooted as we are in pulmonary tuberculosis and in the diseases of air pollution our interests for some time to come will continue to be in the way that lung reacts to injury, be that injury from living organisms, noxious inhalants or from defense mechanisms which have gone awry. It is easy to point to areas urgently needing attention, if we give due heed to the problems of clinical medicine, if we realize that the lung is a living tissue rather than an inert membrane for gas exchange, but if we do not limit ourselves to our familiar models but dare to look at the ways that simpler and vastly different animals have met the problems of respiratory structure and function.
It may perhaps be surprising to some present that I offer no elaborate program and give no referred list of projects. It is only with reluctance that I list disciplines of immunology, physiology, experimental morphology, and pulmonary biochemistry as seeming to be of most importance for our program today. Tomorrow another discipline may well be of greater importance depending upon the person representing that discipline.
Indeed, the most important ingredient[?]of our scientific program is the investigators who will work in this building. What kind of people are we looking for? People with a burning desire to answer a question of their own choosing. People whose laboratories are largely in their own minds and whose minds are prepared by training, experience, and reflection. People who have tools and techniques they can and are willing to apply to biologic problems. People with imagination and intuition. People who have the courage to risk being wrong. And people who have the integrity to admit it when they are wrong. This is my only design: To recruit to this reflective and non-frustrating environment persons of this type. The "big show", the "big team, and what Dr. Richards has described as the "medical Priesthood" are to be avoided.
Practical experience shows that such persons are few in number. Certainly there is no hurry to fill every laboratory and every office just to have a building that is completely occupied. It is much more important that our relatively limited facilities be available when persons capable of utilizing scientific freedom are found and that we make every effort to choose investigators wisely so that quality not quantity of investigators is achieved.
As you inspect these magnificent buildings and grounds and enjoy the fun of seeing new construction and shiny gadgets, please bear in mind that these things are but the window dressings for the soul of the Institution, the creative thoughts of its investigators.
Consider further the environment indigenous for our investigators. Let us hope that the serenity and sheer beauty of our surroundings are symbolic of the gift to our investigators of their own time to pursue their own investigative efforts.
And we do this not in isolation, for our library and our librarian give us information, telephone and ease of travel give us communication, the fellow investigators of the Institution give us the contact that knocks the rough edges off our efforts.
Just as no new building is ever finished so I picture an endeavor which is always changing. In this dynamic state the facilities, the financing, the program will be changing to attack new problems, with new approaches. The key to understand this dynamic process lies in the word "adventure" — if by adventure we mean the search for a new perfection, a new harmony, a new answer. It implies action with some risk involved. We. have no departments within which the investigators can seek refuge. Our interest is stimulated by investigators young and old who do not cling overly long to old orthodoxies. And we realize that the great achievements of the past were the adventures of the past.
The great English philosopher Alfred North Whitehead has said, "A race preserves its vigour so long as it harbours a real contrast between what has been and what may be; and so long as it is served by the vigour to adventure beyond the safeties of the past, without adventure scientific investigation is in full decay."
Directors of the Trudeau Foundation/Trudeau Institute
George W. Wright, 1960, 61, 62,and 63
Hollis G. Boren, 1964, 65
George B. Mackaness, 1966 - 1976
Robert J. North, 1976 – 1996
Susan L. Swain, 1996 – 2007
David L. Woodland, 2008 – Present
From Trudeau Institute’s archived Annual Reports, courtesy Brian Turner
- A Most Critical Transition: the End of the TB Era, Adirondack Daily Enterprise article by Mary Hotaling, February 6, 2007.