Dr. Edward Newbery papers

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Dr. Edward Newbery advertisement
Dr. Edward Newbery advertisement

Collection Facts


Historical Context

Dr. Edward Newbery was a successful dentist practicing in New York City, as well as a physician, noted artist, phrenological thinker, and philosopher of social reform. His wife “Rose Anne Newberry” is listed as one of the first 26 “adult citizens on the ground” in Josiah Warren’s Practical Details in Equitable Commerce (1852). The Newbery’s were not only two of the first citizens of Modern Times (a utopian community existing from 1851 to 1864 in what is now Brentwood, New York), but also prominent community members in early Brentwood.

Later, several of Dr. Newbery’s sons moved to Argentina where they became pioneers in the aviation industry, settling the country, and establishing a family well-known in Argentine history. Generally, the family name is said to be correctly spelled with a single “r” as attested to by living family members. However, in many printed materials it is alternately spelled Newberry.

Dr. Newbery died on November 6, 1897. In 1954, the former Newberry home at the corner of Second Avenue and third street was purchased by Islip town and demolished to build Brentwood’s Post office building. Artifacts were discovered in the home including nineteenth century periodicals, a bust of Dr. Newbery, and a hollow walking stick in which Dr. Newbery is said to have transported his medicines, as well as advertisements for Dr. Newbery’s lectures.

Included in the collection are Newbery’s writings which detail his unique thoughts on human improvement or perfectibility, detailing his idiosyncratic ideas of human progress and touching on ideas as wide ranging as color theory, phrenology, and the prudent selection of a spouse.

Scope of Collection

Archival box of several folders of materials includes original publications, drafts, notes, periodicals, and lecture advertisements, as well as separately housed realia and art.