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Dr. Metz

The Adventures of Indiana Metz

The Yachtsman magazine cover

The details of Dr. Metz's professional life fall far short of providing a measure of the man he became. Although he never married, he enjoyed a life bursting with travel, adventure, glamour, and lifelong friendships. Deeply involved in the life of the young, vital city of Chicago, he became Commodore of the Chicago Yacht Club, a big game hunter in Africa, a life member of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Field Museum of Natural History, a governing member of the Chicago Zoological Society, and a moving force among alumni of his undergraduate Alma Mater. He also was an ardent sportsman and served on numerous committees designed to promote sports and recreation. He also belonged to Alpha Tau Omega, Nu Sigma Nu, the Indiana and Northwestern Universities and University of Chicago alumni associations, North American Yacht Racing Union, Lake Michigan Yachting Association, Indiana Society of Chicago, American Legion, the University clubs of Chicago and New York City, and Emanon Club of Indiana University.

Dr. metz as soldier WWI Surgeon in France
In 1917, during the First World War, Metz enlisted in the U.S. Army Medical Corps Reserve and was commissioned a captain. Later in the year, he was ordered into active service and assigned to the Military School of Roentgenology, Cornell Medical College, New York City, and while there he participated in the testing of the first experimental double-coated X-ray films for Eastman Kodak Co., a project that took place in Bellevue Hospital, New York City. Sent to France in May 1918, he was stationed in Limoges at Base Hospital No. 13, and, except for a month with Evacuation Hospital No. 2 in Baccarat, France, he remained at the hospital in Limoges until early in 1919, when he returned to the United States and was honorably discharged.

safari group picture African Big Game Safari Physicain
In addition to meeting the many professional responsibilities to which he dedicated his life, Dr. Metz found time to engage in big game hunting in Africa with his close friend, the late George F. Getz, a Chicago industrialist and public-spirited citizen. The Getz family tells the story of a youthful Arthur Metz, hired in 1926 as the team surgeon with a group of seven leading Chicago doctors to undertake one of the first big-game safaris by automobile through Tanganyika into Kenya. Metz accepted the position and embarked on a year-long safari that would influence his entire life. He was befriended by the Getz family, and his photo collection includes many photographs of happy moments in camp and on the trail with his new friends. A meticulously prepared surgical kit still remains in the Metz Suite's collection, attesting to the dangers of travel in the African wilds. His trophies from the trip still occupy the walls of the Suite's main room.

certificate for crossing the equator World Traveler
Although no written records of Dr. Metz's travels have come to light, the photograph collection tells the story of his sojourn in Europe after his service in WWI. He took long tours through France and Italy between 1919 and 1922. Photographs of Dr. Metz on a camel in front of the Great Pyramid at Giza attest to at least one more African adventure, and numerous souvenirs from Paris and London recall his trips to those capitals during the 1920s and 1930s. Clues to other trips with the Getz family also exist, including photos of the group passing through the newly completed Panama Canal, fishing for tarpon in Florida, hunting on the plains of the can only speculate as to the extent of the adventure travel experienced by Dr. Metz during his lifetime.

Photo captions, top to bottom:   1. The Yachtsman Magazine, April 1937; A publication containing an article about Arthur Metz, Commodore of the Chicago Yacht Club  2. Portrait taken for Captain Arthur Metz’s Army Identification papers, ca. 1917   3. Group portrait of the African Safari, ca. 1927  4. (Translated from the German) "Certificate of Baptism By Neptune, Ruler of the Sea;" This certificate was given to Dr. Metz in 1927 on his way to Africa during a “crossing the line” ceremony, held when the ship crossed the equator.

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