This advice-column-style blog for SLPs was authored by Pam Marshalla from 2006 to 2015, the archives of which can be explored here. Use the extensive keywords list found in the right-hand column (on mobile: at the bottom of the page) to browse specific topics, or use the search feature to locate specific words or phrases throughout the entire blog.
Q: In your writing and seminars you always reference the ways in which traditional therapists like Van Riper and others worked. I know how to find old articles on-line through ASHA’s archives. But how do you find all the old textbooks you mention?
Excellent question! As the saying goes: It is only by understanding our past that we can understand our present and future. Understanding the work of past therapists puts today’s practices into perspective, and it helps us analyze all new methods that will come along in the future.
I find old textbooks on-line by searching rare or used bookstores. Just choose a rare/used book website site (there are many) and type in the author, title, or topic you are seeking. You will find many selections. I browse them regularly and buy what I can.
The most I have spent for an old reference has been $50.00. I paid that for three different books that I felt I had to have in order to be an authority on our history–
- The first of these gems was Stuttering And Lisping by E. W. Scripture (1912). He was the therapist Van Riper referred to as his main source for therapy ideas from Germany.
- The second was Gymnastics of the Voice by O. Guttman (1882) who was Scripture’s teacher in Germany.
- The third was Speech and Its Defects by S. Potter (1882) a book considered the first on speech disorders to be published in the United States.
Most other books I buy for less than $10.00 or so. An original Charlie Van Riper can be purchased for less than $3.00 any day of the week because there are so many thousands of them out there. Just like any antique, the greater the availability, the less the cost. Van Riper published more books that anyone in the history of our profession as far as I can tell, so they are very inexpensive. I am sure that Van Riper would have wanted it that way 🙂
I have purchased many original books written by the elocutionists of the 1800’s because they are very cheep. Nobody wants them. However a 19th century book written by someone very famous––like Alexander Graham Bell or Benjamin Franklin––can run into the hundreds of dollars, or they are so rare that they are unavailable for purchase. I read original copies of these posted on-line. (Did you know that Benjamin Franklin developed a phonetic alphabet?!)
Simply Google-ing the author or title often reveals that the most rare of these books are posted on-line through university libraries. For example, I have a copy of John Thewall’s Letter to Henry Cline (1810) on my computer. This book is considered the very first tome on therapy in England and it is available through Oxford University’s Library.
Finding what you want takes time. Knowing what you want takes even more time. Don’t buy everything you come across. It is easy to waste a lot of money this way.
Happy hunting and enjoy the reads! You will be delighted and amazed.
Excellent Historical Accounts
- Duchan, J. (2010) Getting here: A short history of speech pathology in America. [Dr. Duchan is studying the elocutionists and posting her findings on her website.]
- Eldridge, M. (1968) A History of the Treatment of Speech Disorders. Edinburgh: Livingstone. [A definitive guide.]
- Greene, J. S. & Wells, E., J. (1927). The Cause and Cure of Speech Disorders. New York: MacMillan. [Contains a great introductory chapter on the history of speech correction.]
- Marshalla, P. (Unpublished) The Marshalla Guide to 21st Century Articulation Therapy. Mill Creek, WA: MSL. [Will contain chapters on the elocutionists and the ideas of the traditional therapists. To be published in 2012.]
- Paden, E. P. (1970) A History of the American Speech and Hearing Association 1925 to 1958. Washington, DC: American Speech and Hearing Association. [A great source of early names in SLP in the US.]
- Potter, S. (1882) Speech and Its Defects: Considered Physiologically, Pathologically, Historically, and Remedially. Philadelphia, PA: P. Blakiston, Son & Co. [Contains a great history chapter.]
- Bell, A. G. (1906) The Mechanism of Speech. NY: Funk & Wagnalls.
- Franklin, B. (1779) Dr. Franklin’s answer to Miss Stevenson. Letter written in 1768. In Political, Miscellaneous, and Philosophical Pieces. London.
- Guttmann, O. (1882) Gymnastics of the Voice. New York: Edgar S. Werner and Co. (First published in Germany in 1859.)
- Potter, S. (1882) Speech and Its Defects: Considered Physiologically, Pathologically, Historically, and Remedially. Philadelphia, PA: P. Blakiston, Son & Co.
- Scripture, E. W. (1912) Stuttering And Lisping. NY: Macmillan.
- Thewall, J. (1810) A Letter to Henry Cline. London: Richard Taylor.
- Van Riper, C. (1978, 1972, 1964, 1963, 1958, 1954, 1953, 1950, 1949, 1947, 1942, 1939) Speech Correction: Principles and Methods. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.