Perhaps no field of clinical or experimental medicine has enjoyed a sense of renewal so frequently as the thyroid. This may be attributed in part to the interest which the thyroid has demanded because of its clinical importance, but perhaps more significantly to remarkable new techniques and tools which have been introduced from time to time. Even before the turn of the century Baumann had discovered that the thyroid gland is a repository of iodine. Within three decades Kendall had isolated thyroxine and Harington had assigned its structural formula and synthesized it.
Clinical thyroidology was revolutionized in 1914 by Waller, when he demonstrated that patients with Graves' disease respond to the administration of iodine. His studies were confirmed by Loewy and Zondek, and later by Plummer in the United States. Control of endemic goiter, a statistically more important but less dangerous disease, followed the classic studies of Marine and Kimball