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History Revealed: Charles Malchow

April 22 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Charles W. Malchow and the Story Behind “The Sexual Life”
Dr. Ryan Hurt with Paul Nelson

History Revealed Series
April 22, 2021
Thursday, 7:00 pm

Live presentation on Zoom
Register in advance for this meeting:
Registration Link
Registration is limited. You will receive a confirmation email after registering.
The presentation will be recorded.
For registration or other questions, please email events@rchs.com

At the turn of the twentieth century, a progressive doctor named Charles W. Malchow, who worked at Hamline University’s short-lived Department of Medicine, wrote a book—a book about sex. Trained at the Minneapolis College of Physicians and Surgeons and in Europe, the young doctor believed it was important for readers, particularly women, to better understand sexual relationships as healthy and normal. He partnered with publisher Olly Burton. Together, they ran their work by test audiences. They even contacted the postal authorities to make sure they could send promotional materials and the book itself through the mail. They were reminded by one postal official of the Comstock Law. Despite that, they proceeded as planned.

Authors Ryan T. Hurt and Paul Nelson, will share the story of Dr. Malchow, Olly Burton and the aftermath of their publication.

For a PDF of their article in Ramsey County History magazine, “A Doctor Ahead of His Time and the Trouble that Followed: The Sexual Life by Charles W. Malchow,” see the link here.

Ryan T. Hurt is a physician and professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Born in Rochester, he attended Hamline University as an undergraduate. He serves on the Mayo Clinic Historical Committee and has an interst in the history of medicine.

Paul Nelson is an amateur historian living in St. Paul. Born and raised in Ohio’s Connecticut Western Reserve, he is the author of many publications on Minnesota history, including for Ramsey County History magazine, and the RCHS podcast series, and is a graduate of University of Minnesota’s Law School.


April 22
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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Ramsey County Historical Society