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ROBB, HUNTER

ROBB, HUNTER (30 Sept. 1863-15 May 1940), the first Cleveland physician with special training in gynecology and a proponent of aseptic surgical techniques, was born in Burlington, N.J. to Thomas and Caroline Woolman Robb. He was educated at Burlington College and the University of Pennsylvania, received his medical degree in 1884, and was a resident in Philadelphia between 1884-86. In 1886 he became the assistant of Dr. Howard A. Kelly, founder of the Kensington Hospital for Women. When Kelly moved to Johns Hopkins in 1889, Robb joined him as an associate and began investigating wound contamination in the new field of aseptic surgical techniques, publishing a book on the subject in 1894. One of Robb's associates, Dr. Wm. Steward Halsted, had introduced rubber gloves, manufactured by Goodyear Co., for his surgical assistants as protection from harsh sterilizing solutions. Halsted did not consider them a preventive device, but Robb saw those possibilities as he studied infection.

Robb came to Cleveland in 1894 as professor of gynecology at WRU and visiting gynecologist at Lakeside Hospital. He continued his studies in abdominal surgery and infection, advocating the use of rubber gloves and being the first physician in Cleveland to use them. He was also the first Cleveland surgeon to use a gas-ether combination in anesthesia. Retiring in 1914, Robb was a major in the Medical Corps during WORLD WAR I.

Robb married ISABEL HAMPTON ROBB (d. 1910) in 1894, and had 3 children, Hampton, Philip, and Hunter. Robb married Marion Wilson in 1929. He died in Philadelphia and was buried there.