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Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives (CHOMA)


In 2001 Eric Kupferberg successfully presented his doctoral dissertation, “The Expertise of Germs: practice, language and authority in American bacteriology, 1899-1924,” to the Program in Science, Technology and Society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A substantial amount of Dr. Kupferberg’s primary research was conducted at the ASM’s Center for the History of Microbiology. For more than a decade he maintained very detailed notes on many of the scientists involved in this early period of American bacteriology. He has graciously granted us permission to make those notes available on our web site.

This first section relates to the charter members of SAB. The Society’s founding dates from a letter written by H. W. Conn, E. O. Jordan and A. C. Abbott in 1899, which was circulated to about forty bacteriologists in the United States and Canada. The letter invited the recipients to aid in the establishment of a society of American bacteriologists, which would affiliate itself with the Society of American Naturalists, and hold its meetings in conjunction with that organization. The first SAB meeting was held in New Haven in late December, 1899.

It was decided at that meeting that the Charter Members of the Society would include those who were then present, as well as those who did not attend but had responded positively to the circular letter. Fifty-nine individuals met those criteria, and Dr. Kupferberg’s notes on these men are included in this section.

The notes as received were not intended for publication, and required a good amount of proof-reading. During this process, I also did some fact-checking and made some additions to the notes. These additions were primarily references to the Presidential Addresses of members who served as President of SAB, and additional references to biographical resources and obituaries. In some cases, birth and/or death dates were added when Dr. Kupferberg had not included them. Common abbreviations for biographical sources are:

               ANB: American National Biography

               DAB: Dictionary of American Biography

               DSB: Dictionary of Scientific Biography

In the case where the entire entry for an individual is bracketed, there was no entry in the original notes, and I have included some basic information. Smaller bits of bracketed text are generally my explanatory notes on a question raised in the notes (e.g., regarding the spelling of A. R. Defendorf’s last name.)

Dr. Kupferberg titled the file which contained these notes “SAB Charter Members,” but he also included some additional individuals. His purpose for this was to document the network of relationships among the individuals most active at the turn of the 20th century. We agreed that, for ASM’s purposes, it was appropriate to delete these scientists from the current section, and add them to sections concerning workers in the 1900s and 1910s. The individuals deleted are listed below:


Ball, Meridian R. Greene

Cook, Eula Belle Maley

Doane C.F.

Fiske, Roy T.

Guthrie, Edward Sewall

Hayden, C.C.

Hoyt, Anson

Jones, Henry N.

Lane, Clarence Bronson

Lindegren, Carl

Stone, Raymond V.

Webster, Edward H.

Zobell, Claude

Dr. Eric Kupferberg continues to work in the field of the history of science.  You can reach him via email (  He remains very eager to collaborate with other researchers who share his commitment to the history of the American Society for Microbiology.

Colleen Puterbaugh, Archivist

Abbott, Alexander Crever

Abbott, Alexander Crever

Dates:         b. 1860; 1884 at Hopkins; to Penn 1890's; Army in 1918; d. 1935

Locations:    Assist. and Instructor, Pathological Institute, Johns Hopkins (1885 1892); First Assistant (1892 1896); Prof. of Hygiene and Bacteriology, and Dir. Laboratory of Hygiene, University of Pennsylvania (1896 1928); Dir. of Laboratory of Hygiene, Philadelphia Board of Health; retired 1928; d. 1935

Training:      MD Univ. of Maryland 1884; special student at Hopkins; 1886 Munich and Berlin under Pettenkofer and Koch

Fields:        medical; hygiene; immunology; milk; BACT-NOM

Publications: "Relation between Water Supply and Epidemics," Johns Hopkins Hosp. Bull. 1 (1890): 55 56; "Infection and Immunity:  Review," Practitioner 47 (1891): 415 429; Principles of Bacteriology:  A Practical Manual for Students and Physicians 1st ed. (Philadelphia:  Lea Brothers & Co, 1892); Hygiene of Transmissible Diseases (Philadelphia:  Lea Brothers, 1899); with Gildersleeve, "The Etiological Significance of the Acid Resisting Group of Bacteria, and the Evidence in Favor of their Botanical Relation to Bacillus tuberculosis," Univ. of Penn. Medical Bulletin (June 1902)

SAB Involvement:  Charter member SAB; Vice President SAB 1900; SAB Council Member 1903; member and pres. Phil. Bug Club; Pres. Eastern Penn Branch, 1925 1926; local committee member for SAB 1921 meeting; active member AAPB but resigned in 1910's

Archive Files: D.H. Bergey, "Early Instructors in Bacteriology in the United States," J. of Bact. 2 (1917): 595 601.

     Abbott began his career as Sternberg's assistant in the Biological Laboratory at Hopkins in 1884, where he aided in the extensive studies on chemical disinfectants.  In 1885, he was Welch's assistant at Hopkins, and began employing Koch's methods that Welch brought back from Germany.  Abbott had as his first student, W.D. Booker, who conducted studies of infant diarrhea.  Abbott and Welch were the first in America to confirm the organism responsible for diphtheria, and under Welch's direction, Abbott studied the relationship between water supplies and epidemics.  The mortality rate from typhoid fever was shockingly high in Philadelphia, averaging between 50 and 75 annual deaths per 100,000.  Abbott described in 1886, Vibrio schuylkiliensis, one of the number of spiral organisms that were often confused with V. cholera.  In 1886, Welch sent Abbott to study with von Pettenkofer and with Koch in Germany.

     When the Laboratory of Hygiene at Penn opened in 1892, Abbott was the first assistant to J. S. Billings, and provided bacteriological instruction to medical students and other qualified students.

     Abbott's Principles, published originally in 1892, survived more than forty years, appearing in edition after edition.  McFarland mentions: "In the beginning it may have fulfilled the requirements of the newly instituted brief courses in bacteriology that were being offered...but as the years and decades passed and the subject grew, it lost value with each edition, yet for some mysterious reason the new editions continued to appear.  It is to be deplored that Abbott did not improve his book so as to make and keep it abreast of the times as long as he lived.”

     While heading the Laboratory of Hygiene of U Penn, he was a candidate for the dir. of the Lab. of Hygiene for the Bur. of Health in Phil.  But, the health dept. wanted him full time.  Only when Bolton resigned after a year, did Abbott take over, all the while still keeping his work at Penn.  Abbott expanded the work of the lab from diphtheria exams to the Widal test. 

     As director of hygienic lab, Abbott changed the focus from that of Billings, emphasizing research in bacteriology rather than general hygiene.  Along with Jordan and Conn, Abbott was primarily responsible for the organization of the SAB.  He presented a paper at the second meeting in 1900, on "Branching Forms of the Diphtheria Bacillus," which was not included on the printed program, and was discussed by Hill, Chester, Park, Gorham and Harris.

     In the 1902 paper on the acid resisting group, Abbott and Gildersleeve conclude that 1) the majority of the related bacteria may be "distinguished from true tubercle bacilli by their inability to resist decolorization by a 30% solution of nitric acid," 2) some of the acid resisting bacteria "are capable of causing in rabbits and guinea pigs nodular lesions suggestive of tuberculosis", but not usually in the lungs, nor disseminated, and 3) don't produce the usual lesions in hogs and calves, 4) that "though occasionally present in dairy products, they are to be regarded as of no significance, etiologically speaking, but may be considered as accidental contaminations from the surroundings, and not as evidence of disease in the animals," and 5) that the designation 'bacillus' is "a misnomer; they are more correctly classified as actinomyces."

     At the 1903 meeting of the AAPB, Abbott presented a paper on the proteolytic enzymes in immunologic reactions.

     Abbott re appears on the SAB program in 1914, as part of a joint session with section K of the AAAS, on "Ventilation."  Abbott discussed "Ventilation in Its Relation to Air Borne Diseases," in which he strongly denied the likelihood of frequent transmission via air, and claimed that it was "of infinitely less importance than transmission by animate and inanimate carriers that have been in intimate contact with the patient." 

Adam, J.G.

Adami, J. G.

Name:          Adami, J. G.

Dates:          b. 1862; 1890's 1910's; d. 1926

Locations:    Professor of Pathology, McGill University (1890's 1900's)

Training:      MA; MD; FRS (Edin.)

Fields:          medical


SAB Involvement:  Charter member SAB; Member, APHA Comm. on Water Supply 1894 1897; local organizer for 15th Ann. meeting in Montreal, 1913 1914; Honorary member SAB 1920

Archives Files: J. George Adami: A Memoir by Marie Adami (Constable & Co., Ltd., 1930); obit in J. Path. Bact. 30:151-167, 1930


Adami was primarily a pathologist, who had taken interest in public health and water issues.

Bartlett, Charles J.

Bartlett, Charles J.

Dates:          b. 1864; 1895 1924 at CT St. Lab.; d. 1956

Locations:    Dir, Conn. St. Dept. of Health, Laboratory Div. (1917 1924); Instructor, then Assist. Professor, Pathology and Bacteriology, Yale Medical School (1895 )

Training:      MD

Fields:          public health; water; milk; medical


SAB Involvement:  Charter member SAB; local committee member 1916 meeting

Archives Files:Nat. Cyc. American Biog. 51:47-48, 1969


     Bartlett offered an optional laboratory course in bacteriology to twelve students [at Yale] in 1905.  This became a required course a few years later, and continued under Bartlett's direction until 1917.       

     At the 1912 meeting of the SAB, Bartlett and F.B. Kinne discussed the "Resistance of Microorganisms Suspended in Glycerine or Oil to Sterilization Action of Heat."       

     In an informal relationship with the St. Board of Health, Bartlett started with diphtheria cultures, sputum examinations, and Widal tests.  For his own research interests, Bartlett began milk analysis in 1906, finding incredibly high counts of market samples.       

     At the 1916 SAB meeting, Bartlett and Ozaki described the "Fate of Micrococcus aureus Injected in the Blood Stream of Normal Dogs."  At the same meeting, Bartlett and Ito described the "Fate of Micrococcus aureus Injected in the Blood Stream of Actively Immunized Dogs."  Also at the 1916 SAB meeting, Bartlett and O'Shansky reported a "New Technique for Employing Complement and Antisheep Amboceptor of Patient's Serum in the Wasserman Test."     

     When Conn died in 1917, the Lab for the State Board of Health was moved to New Haven, and Bartlett assumed the directorship, with an increased appropriation of $30,000.     

     In 1917, at the AAPB meetings Bartlett presented a paper on the phagocytosis of Staphylococcus aureus.     

     At the 1923 SAB meeting, Bartlett and Bransfield described the "Value of Multiple Culture in the Diagnosis of Diphtheria."  

Bergey, David Hendricks

Bergey, David Hendricks

Dates:          b. 1860; 1893 to U. Penn lab. of hygiene; enlisted 1918; retired 1931; d. 1937

Locations:    Scott Fellow, Laboratory of Hygiene (1884); Assist. in Chemistry, Laboratory of Hygiene (1895); First Assist. (1896‑1928); Major, Medical Res. Corps, U.S. Army (1918‑1919); Director pro tem of the School of Hygiene and Public Health (1928‑1929); Dir. Lab. of Hygiene (1929‑1931); Assistant Prof. of Bacteriology, Medical School (1903); Assist. Prof. of Hygiene and Bact., Medical School (1916‑1926); Prof. of Bact. and Hygiene, University of Pennsylvania (1926‑1931); Dir. Research in Biology, National Drug Company (1932‑1937)

Training:       BS and MD at Penn 1884; A.M. non‑resident from Illinois Wesleyan University; D.P.H. from Univ. Penn 1916

Fields:          public health; bacterial nomenclature; food; immunology; milk; save

Publications:  Principles of Hygiene 1st ed. (Philadelphia:  W.B. Saunders Co., 1901, 2nd ed. 1904; 3rd 1909; 4th 1912; 5th,  1914; 6th  1918; 7th 1921); Handbook of Practical Hygiene (Easton PA:  The Chemical Publishing Co., 1899); Methods for the Determination of Organic Matter in Air (Wash. D.C.; Smith Inst., 1896); An Investigation of the Influence upon the Vital Resistance of Animals to the Microorganisms of Disease Brought about by Prolonged Sojourn in an Impure Atmosphere ( Wash. D.C.; Smithsonian Institution, 1898);  "Common Colds:  Their Cause, Prevention, and Treatment," Phil. Medical Journal May 19, 1900; "The Source and Nature of Bacteria in Milk," Penn. Dept. of Agriculture, General Bulletin no. 125 (1904); "The Leucocyte and Streptococcus Content of Cows' Milk," Univ. Penn. Med. Bull. 20 (1907): 106‑109; "The Biological Relation between Bacteria and the More Highly Organized Flora of Running Streams.  Comparative Studies upon the Pseudo‑Diphtheria, or Hofmann Bacillus, the Xeroxis Bacillus, and the Loeffler Bacillus," Contrib. from the Lab. of Hygiene, no. 1‑2, (1898); "Pedagogics of Bacteriology," J. of Bacteriology (1916); chapter on "Domestic Hygiene," in Pyle's Personal Hygiene (1904); "Thermophilic Bacteria," J. of Bact. 4 (1919): 301‑306;  over seventy articles and seven books

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member; member of Phil. Bug Club; Pres. Eastern Penn. Branch, 1920‑1922; SAB council member 1911, 1913; SAB Delegate to the AAAS 1912; president of SAB 1915; Chair Bergey's Committee on a Manual of Determinative Bacteriology late 1910's and early 1920's; session chair of "Pedagogics of Bacteriology" 1916 SAB meeting; local committee chair SAB 1921 meeting; Chair, SAB Committee on Teaching of Bacteriology, early 1920's; active in AAPB but resigned in 1910's.

Presidential Address: “The Pedagogics of Bacteriology,” J. Bact. 1: 5-14, 1916 Archive Files: McFarland's article; Carl J. Bucher and Harry E. Morton Science 86 (8 Oct. 1937): 320‑321;  The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography 28 (1940): 338‑339; Rosenberger's obit in 1937 for J. of Bacteriology and Robert S. Breed, "David Hendricks Bergey," Journal of Bacteriology 35 (April 1938): 343‑345; Obit, NYR (6 Sept. 1937); U. Penn has a folder of biographical information, but no papers. 


     Bergey was a descendant of "pioneering Swiss immigrants who came to America in 1726." (Morton 60)  His grandfather was a Mennonite minister and an ordained bishop of the church.  Bergey was originally trained as an apprentice to Dr. Samuel Wolfe of Shippack PA. 

     Bergey entered Univ. of Penn. in 1881, taking bacteriology classes from Henry Formad (who studied with Koch).  He graduated in 1884, with a thesis on blood‑cell counting techniques.  For almost ten years he worked as a general practitioner.  In 1893, returned to Lab of Hygiene to investigate "the composition and action of air exhaled from the lungs" under a grant from the Hodgkins Fund of the Smithsonian Institute.  In 1894, he was appointed the Scott Fellow in Hygiene, and was transferred to assistant in chemistry, performing analyses of drinking water for the Penn. State Board of Health.

     His early work is a wonderful example of the blend between sanitary science and bacteriology.  His research on "impure air" was supported by the Hodgkins Fund of the Smithsonian Inst., and was directed to determine the role of airs on immunity.  His work on bacteria in running streams was both a "biological investigation" and one applied to public health.  And, the article on common colds read like a practical manual for personal hygiene.

     Bergey performed the chemical analysis of drinking water for the Penn. State Board of Health.  From 1903 onward, Bergey directed instruction in bacteriology to medical students at Penn.

     At the 1902 meeting of the SAB, Bergey presented on "The Reaction of Certain Water Bacteria with Dysentery‑Immune Serum," which was discussed by Abbott, Welch, Conn, Sternberg, Blumer, and Ford.  At the 1903 SAB meeting, Bergey reported on "The Occurrence of B. pseudodiphthericus in Cow’s Milk" (discussed by Kinyoun, Kendall, Chester, Smith, and Carroll).   At the 1904 meeting of the SAB, Bergey described "The Bacteria Encountered in Suppurations," in which he argued that many of the frequently found types were "not ordinarily classed among the pyogenic organisms."  In fact, they resembled organisms of the pseudo‑diptheria and proteus groups. 

     Bergey delivered an exploratory paper on "Experiments on the Staining Properties of Bacteria, with Special Reference to the Gram Method," at the 1905 SAB meeting, which was discussed by Harrison and Prescott.  This morphological interest led him to present, at the 1906 SAB meeting, a discussion on "Involution and Degeneration Forms of Bacteria."  Bergey began lamenting that "the indefinite and confusing definitions of the nature of involution and degeneration forms of bacteria found in most textbooks on bacteriology are bewildering to the student, and leave him in doubt as to the exact significance of these terms." BACT‑NOM  The paper drew comments from Kellerman only.

     At the same 1906 SAB meeting, Bergey discussed the "Lactic Acid Bacteria in Milk," in which he evaluates the confusion regarding the designations and differentiations between B. lactis acidi, Bact. acidi lactici, Bact. aerogenes, and Strep. lacticus.  He offers the suggestion that "sugar‑splitting powers" might assist "in a more definite classification." BACT-NOM The paper drew discussion by Conn, Hiss, Kellerman and Stocking.

     Bergey returned to the SAB program in 1908, presented a discussion on "Some of the Fermentative Properties of Bacteria," and in 1910, when he discussed "Immunity in White Mice Following Injection with Spriochaeta duttonii."  The next year, Bergey was included in the session on "Physiologic Bacteriology," and discussed "Mutations in Microorganisms."  At the 1914 SAB meeting, Bergey inquired "Do Bacteria Produce Pyrogenic Poisons;" he did not provide a definitive answer.

     Bergey was a major figure in the SAB's attention to teaching; he presented "The Teaching of Elementary Systematic Bacteriology" before the 1919 meeting.  BACT-NOM

     At the 1921 SAB meeting, Bergey described a "Simple Substitute for the Hiss Serum‑Water Medium."  He mentioned that it was inconvenient for many laboratories to secure fresh serum, and he suggested the use of 1% casein solution.  Moreover, this method could be prepared in 1 hour, whereas serum took 3 days for complete sterilization.  This method was developed, in part, for Bergey's attempt to classify an enormous number of bacteria.

     For the 1923 SAB meeting, Bergey offered a description of "Specific Immunization against Streptococcus Infections."  This paper was part his work to develop short term treatments for infections preceding surgeries, and was an offshoot of his growing interest in the biologics/pharmaceutical industry.

     At the Dec. 11, 1923 SAB meeting of the Eastern Penn. Local Branch of the SAB, Bergey described the "Genus Micrococcus."  His beginning assumption was that a description of genus should include the "principle characters of the type species, as well as the general characteristics of the other members of the genus..."  He then provides the historical review of the term, and notes that the commonly employed definitions were given by Winslow and Rogers (1906) as:  facultative parasites or saprophytes.  Cells in plates or irregular masses but not in chains or packets.  General decolorized by Gram.  Growth on agar abundant, with formation of yellow pigment.  Dextrose broth slightly acid, lactose broth generally neutral, gelatin frequently liquefied.  Nitrates may or may not be reduced.

     The Bergey's committee changed the Gram stain from negative to positive, as most of the species in the literature were in fact positive.  In addition, many included were not pigment formers.  For the committee, the opening sentence emphasized the saprophytic nature of the group.  This was based on the fact that they did not survive well at body temperature, and hence were unlikely to be parasites.  The manual also indicated that growth on potato was poor, and this point was useful in differentiating between Staphylococcus and Micrococcus

The manual's genus was somewhat loose.  For example, it included several anaerobic, spherical bacteria, which were likely parasites.  Bergey's paper wondered if it might be better to create a separate genus of Micrococcoides. 

     At the 1904 meeting of the AAPB, Bergey described an antistreptococcus serum.  In 1907, he studied infected udders and determined a causal relationship with a group of streptococci.  He might have suggested a possible link to septic sore throats.

     His work in bacteriology was broad, covering tuberculosis, typhoid fever, diphtheria, streptococci, etc.  Bergey's work in immunology involved opsonins, phagocytosis, anaphylaxis, and tetanus toxoid.  One of his notable mistakes was the publication of research in 1926 intended to show that diabetes was due to a microbial agent. 

     Member of the microbiological club.  Taught bacteriology in hygiene dept to both medical and hygiene students.  Served under Abbott for more than a decade and a half.  Joined the medical reserve corps in 1917‑1919, and stationed in Richmond in charge of clinical laboratories.

     Bergey's first interest in classification appeared in 1906, where he outlined a system of numerical classification at the AAPB meeting.  He began work on the manual soon after his term as President of the SAB ended in 1915.  As Morton described, "this was no simple task as anyone who had a microscope took turns peering at every conceivable corner of the universe and describing what they saw there."  (Morton 61).  Bergey requested the SAB appoint a committee.  The profits from the manual were intended for research work in systematic bacteriology.  The SAB, unable to fulfill this condition, turned over all royalties to the Bergey's Manual Trust in 1935.

     McFarland writes of the manual:  "It harmonized what old and new nomenclature of microorganisms, arranges them according to the modern classification and gives elaborate tables for the identification of all species that have been described."  In Bucher's and Morton's opinion, "In spite of its critics the volume stands as a great contribution to American bacteriology.  Its acceptance everywhere as a basis for bacteriological taxonomy is, in itself, testimony to its enduring value." (Bucher and Morton, 321).

     BACT‑NOM/SELF VS. OTHER ‑‑ He published a genealogy of the Bergey family which contained more than 7,000 names and consisted of more than 1000 pages without text.  Bergey Family in America:  A Record of the Descendants of John Ulrich and his wife Mary (Philadelphia:  Historical Publishing Co, 1925) also published as Genalogy of the Bergey Familiy:  A Record.... (New York:  F.H. Hitchcock, Braunworth & Co, 1925); The Propengenitors of the Bergey Family in America (Philadelphia:  Bergey Family Association, 1907); and with Ralph L. Johnson, Genealogical Landmarks and Milestones of the Lower Perkiomen Country (Bedminister, PA:  Adams Apple Press, 1934.)  It is the simultaneous reach for the past in order to place and solidify the present status combined with a certain meticulousness that inform both taxonomic projects.  Morton makes a great deal of the deaths of his two sisters, his youngest brother and his mother. 

     Bergey was made Professor of Hygiene and Bacteriology as well as Director of the Laboratory of Hygiene in 1926, only to retire in 1931.  His own research interests ranged from food preservation, anaphylaxis, and immunology.  He also believed that diabetes was caused by a virus.

     BIOLOGY.  In an address before the Class of 1928 of U Penn, Bergey maintained, "Few subjects taught touch upon so many phases of man's activities or so many of the conditions influencing his environment as does a course in bacteriology."  (Morton 62)

     When Bergey retired, he took employment with the National Drug Co., owned by Sharp and Dohm, and a former affiliate of Mulford.  Bergey was instrumental in the development of tetanus toxoid.  After Bergey's retirement, there was some mild animosity toward the university.  The Dept. of Bact. was moved from the Hygiene Building to the Medical Building, which Bergey took as an insult, as Bergey preferred to reside within Hygiene, not Medicine.  Bergey also seemed to have a falling out with the SAB over the trust in 1935.

Bergey, David

Blumer, George

Blumer, George 

Dates:          b. 1872; around 1900 1930's; d. 1962

Locations:    Director of the Bender Laboratory and Adjunct Prof. of Pathology and Bacteriology, Albany Medical College (1896 1903); Pathologist to Albany Hospital and St. Peter's Hospital (1896 1903); Prof. Clinical Medicine, and then Dean Yale Medical School

Training:      MD at Cooper Medical College 1891; at Hopkins under Welch, Nuttall and Bolton;

Fields:          medical

Publications: ed. with Frank Billings The George Blumer edition of Billings-Forchheimer's Therapeusis of Internal Diseases, and a book on bedside diagnosis, and The Practitioner’s Library of Medicine and Surgery... (New York:  D. Appleton and Co., 1932)

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member (present at 1899, 1900)

Archives Files: Nat. Cyc. American Biog. 49:240-241, 1966


     Blumer came to the newly established Bender laboratory in 1896, and continued until 1903.  The lab conducted some teaching of histology, pathology and bacteriology to Albany medical students, along the lines of Welch's classes at Hopkins.  He also performed routine culture work for diphtheria and examinations of sputum.  Many small towns sent their cultures to Bender lab for examination, and Blumer's work was contracted by NY State.  At the 1901 meeting of the AAPB, Blumer delivered a paper on Vincent's fusiform bacillus.  He also performed water analysis for B. coli, and dysentery outbreaks.  Later Blumer performed rabies examinations.       

     Blumer was, however, a pathologist, working on such problems as neoplasms (e.g., adenosarcoma of the kidney). 

Carroll, James

[Dates:         b. 1854; d. 1907

Locations:  Asst. prof. Columbia 1895; Yellow Fever Board, Havana, 1900; prof. bact. & curator of Army Medical Museum, 1902; prof. path. & bact. George Washington Univ. Med. Sch., 1902

Training:    MD Univ. Md. Med. Sch., 1891; 1892-1893 Welch at Hopkins;

Fields:        medical

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member; SAB President 1907 (died in office)

Archives Files: ANB, DAB, DSB; Bull. Johns Hopkins Hosp. XIX:202, Jan. 1908]

Cheesman, Timothy Matlack

Dates:          b. 1853; 1885 to Prudden's Lab, College of Physicians and Surgeons; d. 1919

Locations:    Instructor in the Alumni Laboratory, College of Physicians and Surgeons (1887 1890's); no institutional affiliation, Garrison, New York (late 1890's);

Training:      MD;

Fields:          medical; public health; milk; water; sanitation

Publications: early article with Freeman on sterilization of water and milk

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member; first SAB secretary 1899 meeting;

Archive Files: D.H. Bergey, "Early Instructors in Bacteriology in the United States," J. of Bact. 2 (1917): 595 601; Clark, Pioneer Microbiologists of America (Madison:  Univ. of Wisc. Press, 1961): 157; Nat. Cyc. American Biog. 41, 1956


     Cheesman provided the first comprehensive instruction in bacteriology at College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1885, and offered combined bacteriology and pathology instruction in 1887 for regular medical students.  


Chester, Frederick Dixon

Dates:          b. 1861; 1890's 1900's; d. 1943

Locations:    Bacteriologist and Mycologist for Delaware College & Agricultural Experiment Station and Dir. Laboratory of Pathology and Bacteriology, for the Delaware State Board of Health (1890's 1900's)

Training:      M.S.

Fields:          soil; BACT-NOM; water; public health; plant pathology; poultry pathology; veterinary

Publications: "The State Line Serpentine and Associated Rocks," Ann. Rept. 2nd Geological Survey, Penns., 1887 (1887): 93‑105; "The Dept. of Botany and Plant Pathology," Bull. Del. Coll. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 3 (1888): 1‑8; "Seed Testing," Bull. Del. Coll. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 5 (1889): 1‑18; A.T. Neale, Chester, and M.H. Beckwith, "The Possibilities of Developing a Domestic Sugar Industry, Value of Sulphide of Potassium as a Remedy Against Pear Scab," Bull. Del. Coll. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 8 (1890): 1‑16; "Diseases of the Vine," Bull. Del. Coll. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 10 (1890): 1‑32; "The Gabbros and Associated Rocks in Delaware," Bull. U.S. Geol. Survey no. 59 (1890): 1‑45; "Notes on Three New and Noteworthy Diseases of Plants," Bull. Torrey Botanical Club. 18 (12 Dec. 1891): 371‑374; "The Treatment of the Leaf Blight of the Pear and Quince," Bull. Del. Coll. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 13 (1891): 1‑16; "Diseases of Crops and Their Treatment," Bull. Del. Coll. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 15 (1892): 1‑16; "Can Peach Rot Be Controlled by Spraying?" Bull. Del. Coll. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 19 (1892); 1‑16; "Experiments in the Treatment of Peach Rot and of Apple Scab," Bull. Del. Coll. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 29 (1895): 1‑24; "The Treatment of Plant Diseases in 1896," Bull. Del. Coll. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 32 (1897): 1‑22; "A Preliminary Arrangement of the Species of Genus Bacterium," 9th Ann. Rept. Del. Agr. Exp. Sta. (1897): 1‑93; "Soil Bacteria in Their Relation to Agriculture, Pt. 1," Bull. Del. Coll. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 40 (1898): 1‑16; "Common Diseases of the Fowls, Their Control and Treatment," Bull. Del. Coll. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 47 (1900): 1‑30; "The Chemical Functions of Certain Soil Bacteria," Proceedings, Twenty‑First Annual Meeting of Society for Promotion Agricultural Science (1900);

More Pubs:  Ezra D. Sanderson and Chester, "Directions for Treatment of Insect Pests and Plant Diseases," Bull. Del. Coll. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 50 (1901); "Pear Blight and Pear Cander," Bull. Del. Coll. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 52 (1901): 1‑8; Manual of Determinative Bacteriology (New York:  Macmillan, 1901); "Bacteria of the Soil in their Relation to Agriculture," Bull., Dept. of Agriculture, Commonwealth of Penn. no. 98. (1892): 1‑88; "Sundry Notes on Plant Diseases," Bull. Del. Coll. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 57 (1902): 1‑16; "Observations on an Important Group of Soil Bacteria:  Organisms Related to Bacillus Subtilis," 15th Annual Report of the Del. Coll. Agr. Exp. Station, 1903 (1903): 1‑54; "Notes on Fungous Diseases in Del.," Bull. Del. Coll. Agr. Exp. Sta.  no. 63 (1904): 17‑32; "The Bacteriological Analysis of Soils," Bull. Del. Coll. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 65 (1904): 49‑76; "Soil Bacteria and Nitrogen Assimilation," Bull. Del. Coll. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 66 (1904): 1‑24; Thomas R. Brown and Chester, "The Action of Formaldehyde in the Preservation of Milk," Bull. Del. Coll. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 71 (1905): 1‑36; "The Effect of Desiccation on Root Tubercle Bacteria," Bull. Del. Coll. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 78 (1907): 1‑15;  "Principles of Classification of Bacteria:  Rept. of the Phil. Meeting of Dec. 27‑8, 1904," Science n.s. 21 (1905): 485‑486; Manual of Determinative Bacteriology (New York: Macmillan, 1909, 1914);

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member; SAB Council Member 1901, 1902, 1904, 1905; Member, SAB Comm. on Publication 1903 1904; Vice Pres. SAB 1903, 1907 (but not present at Chicago meeting); Member of the SAB Comm. on Methods for the Identification of Species 1904 1908; Retired from SAB 1908; dropped from SAB due to non payment of dues 1909; 

     Chester may have been trained as a geologist, and participated in state and federal geological surveys.  In addition, he cataloged every insect and larva submitted for identification by the station.  He looks as if he spent most of time in the early 1890's on plant pathology.

     Chester was actively surveying the bacteria that he found in soil cultures, and on this based much of his classification.  Chester's work at the Delaware Experiment Station involved practical aspects of soil bacteriology, such as determining the effect of lime on soil microorganisms responsible for nitrogen fixation.  He was in fact the first American to study soil bacteria in 1898.  In 1905, he argued that Moore's inoculant cultures failed due to the inability of many organisms to withstand drying on cotton.  

     More importantly, Chester was one of the first bacteriologists to emphasize the "zymotic" efficiency, or the ability to bring about the formation of certain specific products of decomposition, rather than mere numbers.

     At the 1900 meeting of the SAB, Chester presented "A Bacteriological Study of Two Samples of Water," which was discussed by Welch.  At the 1902 meeting, he presented on "Oligo nitrophilic Bacteria of the Soil," which he used to designate Clost. pasteurianum, and its symbionts of Granulabacter and Radiobacter.  The paper was discussed by Sedgwick, Abbot, Welch, Russell and Conn.  At the 1903 meeting, he submitted "Notes on the B. subtilis Group," which drew discussion from Welch and Bergey.  At the 1904 meeting, he outlined his "Principles of Classification of Bacteria," which was discussed by Rosenau, Harding, Bergey, Winslow, Smith, Phelps and Rickards. At the 1905 meeting, Chester delivered the "Report of the Committee on Methods for the Identification of Bacterial Species," which did not appear in the printed abstracts.

     His initial work on classification relied on Migula's genera, and then a card/decimal system patterned after Gage and Phelps.  Chester was the driving force, at the Philadelphia meeting in Dec. 1903, behind the SAB's Committee on the Identification of Bacterial Species.  At the Philadelphia meeting in Dec. of 1904, the committee issued a report which led to printing of a 5 x 8 card issued with an explanatory folder. 

Clark, Henry Willard

Dates:          b. 1863; 1890's 1900's; d. 1950

Locations:    Chief Chemist, Massachusetts State Board of Health, and Dir. Lawrence Experiment Station (1890's 1910's?)

Training:      S.B.

Fields:          water


SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member; 


     At the 1899 meeting of the SAB, Clark and Gage presented a paper on the "Significance of the Appearance of Bact. coli communisin Filtered Waters," and Clark alone presented "Recent Work on Sewage Purification Involving Bacteria."

Conn, Herbert W.

Dates:          b. 1859; 1884 to Wesleyan; 1888 to Storrs; 1901 to Conn. St. College; 1905 to St. Board; d. 1917

Locations:    Prof. of Biology Wesleyan University (1884 1917); Bacteriologist, Storrs Agricultural Experiment Station (1888 1906); Instr. Conn. State College (1901 1905); Dir. Conn. St. Dept. of Health, Lab. Div. (1905 1917); Director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (1891 1897);

Training:      BS Boston Univ. 1881; PhD Bio. at Hopkins under Brooks 1884; Worked with Councilman at Johns Hopkins in 1881; visited Koch, Ostertag, Bang and Freudenreich in 1897 1898;

Fields:          biology; hygiene; dairy; BACT NOM; soil; GERMS

Publications: "Germ Diseases," New Princeton Review (1888); "The Germ Theory as a Subject for Teaching," Science (1888); "Bacteria in Milk and its Products," Bull. Storrs Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 4 (1889); "The Bacteria of Milk," Conn. Board of Agr. Report (1890): 28‑43; "The Fermentations of Milk and their Prevention," Rept. of Sec. of Conn. Board of Agr.(1891); from series Bacteria in the Dairy in Third Annual Report of the Storrs School Agricultural Exp. Station, 1890, "A Year's Experience with Bacillus no. 41 in General Dairying," "Further Experiments in Cream‑Ripening ‑‑ Flavor, Aroma, Acid," "The Ripening of Cream," "A Micrococcus of Bitter Milk," (all 1891); "Fermentations of Milk," USDA Off. of Exp. Stations. Bull. no. 9 (1892); "The Ripening of Cream by Artificial Bacteria Cultures," Bull. Storrs Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 12 (1894); "Further Experiments in Cream Ripening:  Flavor, Aroma, Acid," Bull. Storrs Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 16 (1896); "Is There a Solution of the Nitrogen Problem," Ann. Rept. of Penn. Board of Agr. (1898) "The Present Condition of Bovine Tuberculosis in Europe," Bull. Storrs Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 19 (1899); "Classification of Dairy Bacteria," Rept. of the Storrs Agr. Exp. Station (1899); "Microbes in Cheese Making," Popular Science Monthly (1900);

More Pubs:  An Elementary Physiology and Hygiene for Use in Schools (New York:  Silver, Burdett & Co., 1903, enl. ed. 1906); Introductory Physiology and Hygiene for Use in Primary Grades (New York:  Silver, Burdett and Co., 1904, enl. ed. 1906, rev. and enl. ed. 1911); Introductory Physiology and Hygiene for use In Intermediate Grades (New York:  Silver, Burdett and Co., 1908): An Elementary Physiology and Hygiene for Use in Upper Grammar Grades (New York:  Silver, Burdett & Co., 1909, rev. 1910, 1913); with R.A. Budington, Advanced Physiology and Hygiene for Use in Secondary Schools (New York:  Silver, Burdett and Co., 1909, rev. ed. 1919); Physiology and Health (Boston:  Silver, Burdett and Co., 1916); Story of Life's Mechanism (London:  Hodder and Stoughton, 1899, 1912); The Story of the Living Machine (London:  Newnes, 1899; New York:  D. Appleton, 1902; New York: McClure, Phillips, 1904, 1909, 1915); Evolution of To‑Day (New York:  G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1899, 1899, 1907); The Living World (New York:  G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1891); The Method of Evolution (New York:  Putnam, 1900, 1903); Social Heredity and Social Evolution:  The Other Side of Eugenics (New York:  Abingdon Press, 1914); Story of Germ Life (New York:  D. Appleton, 1897, 1898, 1903, 1904, 1909, 1912, 1912, 1915); Agricultural Bacteriology 2nd. ed. (Philadelphia:  P. Blakiston's Son, 1909, 3rd. ed. 1918); Bacteria, Yeasts, and Molds in the Home (Boston:  Ginn & Co., 1903, 1912, 1917); with H.J. Conn, Bacteriology (Baltimore:  Williams and Wilkins, 1923, 2nd ed. 1924, 3rd ed., 4th ed. 1929); with Esten and Stocking, "Classification of Dairy Bacteriology," ReptStorrs Agr. Exp. Sta. (1906); "The Ripening of Cream," Bull. Storrs Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 21 (1900); "The Relation of Bovine Tuberculosis to that of Man and its Significance in the Dairy Herd, " Bull. Storrs Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 23 (1902); "The Relation of Temperature to the Keeping Property of Milk," Bull. Storrs Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 26 (1903); Bacteria in Milk and its Products (Philadelphia:  P. Blackiston's Sons, 1903); "Camembert Type of Soft Cheese in the U.S.," Bull. Storrs Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 35 (1905); Practical Dairy Bacteriology (New York:  O. Judd Co., 1907, 1908, 1914); "Some Uses of Bacteria," Conn. AgricRept. (1892); with J.S. Kingsley, "Some Observations on the Embryology of the Teleosts," Memoirs Boston Soc. of Nat. Hist. (1883): 183‑212; "A Preliminary Rept. on the Algae of the Fresh Waters of Conn.," St. Geological and Natural History Survey (1908); Biology: An Introductory Study for Use in Colleges (Boston:  Silver, Burdett, and Co., 1912); with H.J. Conn, Bacteriology 3rd ed. (Balt.:  Williams & Wilkins, 1936)

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member; Sec.‑Treas. 1900, 1901; SAB pres. 1902; member SAB Council 1907; founding member Lab. Section, APHA; SAB honorary member 1911

Presidential Address: no record exists

Archive Files: See Harding's "Early Bacteriology," 1938 p. 27; Rettger's 1937 histories of Connecticut; Kremer's Ref. Files, 1935; the Obit in Science (11 May 1917); D.H. Bergey, "Early Instructors in Bacteriology in the United States," J. of Bact. 2 (1917): 595‑601; W.M. Esten, "Professor H.W. Conn," Journal of Bacteriology 2 (1917): 501‑503; H.J. Conn, "A Religious Scientist at the Turn of the Century, Herbert William Conn of Wesleyan University," ms., ASM Archives; H. J. Conn, “Professor Herbert William Conn and the Founding of the Society,” Bact. Rev. 12, 275-296, 1948


     Eric ‑‑ get Conn's survey of bacteriology in medical schools.  Of the 29 respondents, Conn found that in 7 of these schools, the germ theory was in serious question. [1888: “Bacteriology in our Medical Schools” Science n.s. 11:267, 123-126 First page only; full article requires subscription]

     Conn's initial interest was in zoology, as a student of Brooks at Hopkins, and like Jordan and Sedgwick, he was an early convert to bacteriology.  Conn first became interested in bacteriology after hearing Farlow's lecture at Harvard on "Low Forms of Plant Life," in 1880.  His first introduction to bacteria was at Hopkins under Councilman in 1881, but he continued to occasionally publish papers in zoology for the majority of his career.

     Conn arrived at Wesleyan in 1884, with the task of reorganizing the "Dept. of Natural History" into a Dept. of Biology.  His primary interest was in evolution, but gradually moved primarily to bacteriology in the 1890's.

     In 1888, Conn was appointed bacteriologist of the Storrs station, in addition to his position as Prof. of Biology at Wesleyan.  At that time he began investigations on microorganisms responsible for fermentation in milk and ripening of cream.  In 1901, Conn came once a week to Storrs to deliver a course of evening lectures on pathogenic and non‑pathogenic bacteria to 4th year agriculture students at Conn. St. College.  Conn's research work was carried out entirely at Wesleyan until 1902, when a lab was established at Storrs, with W.A. Stocking as an assistant.

     A good deal of Conn's early work was on both dairy hygiene/sanitation and the productive role of dairy bacteria.  Conn was instrumental in the establishment of dairy certification laws in the 1890's.  In Esten's remembrances, Conn's "technical accomplishments were at times far from being exceptional, but he possessed extraordinary ability in directing work and in organizing factual material already obtained." 

     Another early research interest was on nitrogen fixation, and the role of nitrifying bacteria associated with legumes (1891).  He concluded in 1898, "The successful farmer of tomorrow will be the one who most skillfully regulates the growth of microorganisms..." (From Ann. Penn. Agr. 1898).  He attempted to determine the normal flora of soil bacteria, much like he had done for milk, finding that soils usually have between 5 and 10 percent spore formers (the B. subtilis group); under 10% rapidly liquefying non‑spore‑forming short rods with polar flagella (Ps. fluroescens); from 40 to 75% slowly liquefying or non‑liquefying non‑spore‑forming short rods; a few micrococci; and 5 to 12% actinomycetes.  Conn and Chester advanced a notion of an equilibrium, easily disturbed by outside influences. 

     Conn was the first of American workers in dairy bacteriology to attempt to market a commercial culture for butter, publishing a report of the initial findings as "The Ripening of Cream" in the Annual Rept. of the Storrs Station in 1890.  In 1890, he isolated bacterial enzymes from pure cultures that could, when added to milk, cause a curdling ans digestion.  In the fall of 1891, he announced a program to study the organisms responsible for the ripening of cream.  Later, Conn suggested the production of sanitary butter through the pasteurization of cream and the use of pure cultures.  In 1892, at the request of the USDA, he prepared an exhibit for the Columbian Exposition at Chicago to illustrate the relation of bacteria to dairying.  At the Columbian Exposition at Chicago in 1893, he had charge of an exhibit of germ life and dairying.

     The exhibit consisted of 35 kinds of bacteria isolated from butter cultures, each with a number.  No. 2, at the time of the opening, produced the best flavor, while No. 16 the worse.  These two contrasting organisms were used daily for the production of butter at the fair, and visitors were encouraged to note the difference.  An upright case was installed to show some 40 test tubes containing pure cultures in milk.  The local papers covered the exhibit with lengthy descriptions.  During that summer, nine varieties were added, mostly from a can of milk from Uruguay, among them the infamous B41.

     He had isolated a culture labeled B41, and claimed it was responsible for the pleasant aroma and flavor in butter.  B41 was not a typical lactic acid bacterium.  While it produced acid in a small degree, it acted more upon the casein constituent of milk, rather than the sugar.

     Mr. Olin Douglas, a well known butter judge of that day, organized and distributed this culture, capitalizing on the standing of Prof. Conn.  Russell and Farington of Wisconsin tested this culture against the common Chris. Hansen starter material, and with Douglas as one of the judges, found B41 to be one of the worst products.  They published their findings as Bull 48 of the Wisc. Ag. Exp. Station and the Annual Rept. of 1895 and practically put an end to the sale of B41.

     Conn was an avid popularizer of science, and was not afraid to integrate social and political lessons into his writing.  For example, he wrote of the Germans during his visit in 1898:  "The German makes a first‑class citizen.  He is willing to obey without knowing any reason for it except that it is the law.  With good leaders the stoic, phlegmatic, unimaginative German can be led to almost anything, and they thus make the very best soldiers when things are all planned and go as planned." 

     In 1896 with Esten, Conn developed the litmus‑lactose‑gelatin (blue litmus gelatin) as a culture medium, which made it possible to isolate milk‑souring organisms.

     Around 1900, Conn became interested in the microorganisms of cheese.  He published a popular article in Popular Science Monthly in 1900, and in 1905 issued two reports with the USDA on Camembert Cheese. 

     In 1899, Conn published a classification of dairy bacteria, recognizing ten major groups:  I.  Fluorescent bacteria; II. Red chromogenic forms; III. Orange chromogenic forms; IV. Lemon‑yellow chromogenic forms; V. Non‑liquefying micrococci not included in II, III and IV; VI. Liquefying micrococci not included in II, III and IV; VII. Non‑liquifying rods which are not chromogenic; VIII. Liquefying bacillary forms without spores; IX. Liquefying bacilli with spores no larger than the rods; X. Liquefying bacilli with large spores causing the rods to be swollen at the time of sporulation.  BACT‑NOM.  This scheme was superseded by Conn's later report in 1906.

     At the 1899 meeting of SAB, Conn presented a paper on the "Natural Varieties of Bacteria," in which he demonstrated a highly variable micrococcus (with regard to chromogenesis and liquefaction), arguing that "all these varieties, with numerous intermediate stages, have been found in nature and are not the result of cultivation." He presented another paper on "Certain Practical Applications of Bacteriology to Dairying."  At the 1900 meeting, Conn considered "How Can Bacteria Be Satisfactorily Preserved for Museum Specimens?" which was discussed by McFarland, Abbott, Robin, Chester, Ward, Prescott, Park and Gorham.

     At the 1901 meeting, Conn and Esten presented "The Comparative Growth of Bacteria in Milk," in which he documents the changing flora, notes the initial germicidal property of milk, the non‑correlation between initial counts and numbers presented after 48 hours, and the origin of streptococci in the udder.  The paper was discussed by Welch, Sedgwick, and Harrison.

     Conn apparently did not present at the SAB again until 1910, when he delivered a general resume on the "Bacterial Flora in Milk." 

     In 1902, Conn proposed that he be sent by the Dept. of Agriculture to France to study Roquefort cheese.  Major Alvord did not support this proposition, since he was already intent on research in this area.  Sec. of Agriculture Wilson decided not to send anyone, and sponsored a cooperative project on mold‑ripened cheeses at Storrs, with Charles Thom as the mycologist.

     For several years, Conn was the director of the Summer School at Cold Spring Harbor.

     In 1905, Conn was able to convince the state Legislature to authorize a lab for the Board of Health.  Located on Wesleyan's campus, Conn was appointed the first director and given $3,000 a year.  Diagnostic work at that time was centered on tuberculosis, typhoid and diphtheria, later supplemented by examinations for rabies, malaria, glanders, syphilis, gonorrhea, and pneumonia.

     Conn and Esten were supported by one of the first Rockefeller Fellowships in 1907, to study market milk and plate counts.

     Regarding milk hygiene, Conn and Chapin collaborated in 1900 in the establishment of a medical milk commission in NYC.  Conn was appointed a member of the Commission on Milk Standards in 1910 (APHA???)  The Commission was created for the purpose of making recommendations that might be adopted by any city or town in the country for standardization, grading, and efficient control of milk production.

     Around 1905 or 1906, Conn gave up his activities at the Storrs station, and became director of the Conn. Board of Health Laboratory, thus shifting his chief interests from agricultural bacteriology to public health. 

     At the 1914 SAB meeting, Conn reported on "Standard Methods of Bacteriological Analysis of Milk," in which he reported on cooperative experiments in four laboratories in NYC to determine the reliability of the APHA standards.  This work was published the next year.  At the 1915 SAB, Conn issued the "Report of the Comm. on Standard Methods of Bacteriological Analysis of Milk."  The next year, he delivered a "Critical Survey of American Microbiology of Milk," and reported on the Committee upon Standard Methods of Milk Analysis.

     In Esten's Obit, he mentions that Conn "was at the front in the great advance made in biological science in the past thirty years, but at no time lost his deep interest in the social welfare of all mankind." (501)  Additionally, he was "always on the right side of all public and social problems" although he was given opportunities to "testify on the questionable side of public welfare controversies at large remuneration." (501)  

Copeland, William R.

Dates:         b. 1868; 1890's 1900's;

Locations:    Lawrence Experiment Station; Biologist of the Bureau of Water Supply, Herron Hill Laboratory, Pittsburg (late 1890's 1900); Testing Station, Bureau for Improvement, Extension and Filtration of the Water Supply, Philadelphia and Spring Garden Water Works (1901 1904); Somewhere in Columbus; Sanitary Engineer in Milwaukee 1920's

Training:      A.B. MIT under Sedgwick 1893

Fields:        water


SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member; dropped from SAB due to non payment of dues 1909; 


     At the 1900 meeting of the SAB, Copeland submitted, "The Use of Carbolic Acid in Isolating the Bacillus coli communis from River Water," which was read by title.  At the 1901 meeting, Copeland discussed "Special Laboratory Apparatus," with regard to water bacteriology, and at the 1902, he presented the technical paper on the "Summary of the Steps which must be Followed in Staining Flagella by Loeffler's Method."  At the 1903 meeting, he submitted "Routine Tests for the B. coli communis," but there is no evidence that the paper was ever presented.  At the 1904 meeting of the SAB, Copeland submitted an abstract on the "Diagnostic Value of Red Color which Develops on the Addition of Caustic Soda to Solutions of Glucose after Fermentation," a technical paper, presented by Perkins Boynton, relevant to the determination of Bacillus cloaceaeand Bacillus zeae, and the differentiation from B. coli communis.

Dawson, Francis Charles

Dates:          b. 1860; d. 1928

Locations:    Nat. Veterinary Coll. 1893-98; BAI 1892-1900; U. Fla. 1901-07

Training:       MD, Balt. Med. Coll. 1892; DVS Nat. Veterinary Coll. 1895

Fields:            veterinary

SAB Involvement:  SAB charter member]


de Schweinitz, Emile A.

Dates:           b. 1864; 1890 to BAI; d. 1904

Locations:    Assist. Prof. Natural History, Univ. North Carolina (1883 1885); Instr. in Chemistry, Tufts College (1886); Instr. Chemistry, University of Kentucky (1887); Chemist, (1890 ); Chief, Biochem. Division, Bureau of Animal Industry, USDA (1891 ); also Prof. of Chemistry and Toxicology, and Dean, Medical School, Columbian University (late 1890's 1900's)

Training:      Univ. Virginia; PhD Univ. North Carolina 1885; at Berlin, PhD Univ. Gottingen 1886; MD Columbian College (GWU) 1892;

Fields:          veterinary; biologics; BACT NOM

Publications: "A Preliminary Study of the Ptomaines from the Culture Liquids of the Hog Cholera Germ," Med. News 57 (1890): 237‑239; "The Serum Treatment for Swine Plague and Hog Cholera," Report of the Bureau of Animal Industry for 1898, pp. 235‑368; "The Enzymes or Soluble Ferments of the Hog‑Cholera Germ," Med. News 91 (1892); 376‑377; "The Production of Immunity to Hog Cholera by Means of the Blood Serum of Immune Animals," Centrbl. f. Backt. 20 (1896): 573‑577; de Schweinitz and Dorset, "A Form of Hog Cholera Not Caused by the Hog Cholera Bacillus," BAI Circular no. 41 (1903); de Schweinitz and Dorset, "New Facts Concerning the Etiology of Hog Cholera," Rept. for the Bur. Animal Industry, 1903, pp. 235‑268; 

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member (present at 1899, 1900); ; SAB council member 1900; Pres. Am. Chemical Society; member APHA, AMA; Vice‑President of Tuberculosis Congress, Berlin 1899, International Medical Congress 1900; International Congress of Hygiene, Paris 1900

Archive Files: "Emil Alexander de Schweinitz," Rept. Bureau of Animal Industry, 1904, p. 39; E.V. Wilcox, "Obituary, E.A. de Schweinitz," American Veterinary Review 28 (Nov. 1904): 779; Stalheim, Winning of Animal Health(Ames:  Iowa State University Press, 1944), 69‑71;


     De Schweinitz studied the biology and chemistry of bacteria.  He was one of the first to cultivate and report on the attenuated tubercle bacillus, thereby suggesting a possible immunization of animals.  He was primarily a chemist, and was working on field trials of a vaccine in 1904 when he died.

     He is best remembered for his work on developing a serum against hog cholera.  De Schweinitz began studying hog cholera in 1890, and by 1897 he prepared a serum for experimental immunizations.  His first serum was based on the bacterial origin, and he found modest protection.  He was disturbed, however, by the fact that recovered hogs had an absolute immunity.

     At the 1901 meeting of the SAB, de Schweinitz and Dorset submitted, but did not present, a paper on "Some Considerations in Regard to the Relations between Hog Cholera, Colon and Typhoid Bacilli."  BACT‑NOM

    De Schweinitz followed the model of diphtheria antitoxin and tuberculosis vaccines, isolating albuminoids and amines from cultures, injecting them into a series of experimental animals, and then exposing the same to the bacillus to test their immunity.  "Cultures of the bacillus, dead cultures, fractions of killed bacteria, and cell contents were given subcutaneous, intramuscular, and intravenous injections."  After years, he produced in horse an antiserum that protected swine against the bacillus. (69) 

     At the 1902 meeting of the SAB, de Schweinitz and Dorset reported on "A Preliminary Chemical Study of Various Tubercle Bacilli," pointing out that a chemical analysis indicates "a closer resemblance in the composition of the germs between the moderately virulent human bacilli and the bovine and swine, than between the moderately virulent human and the very attenuated human bacilli."  Moreover, they emphasized the importance of a chemical study, not only of the tubercle bacilli themselves, but also of their products.  The paper was discussed by Abbot, Welch, and Bergey.

     In 1903, Dorset and de Schweinitz reported that blood which had been passed through a Berkefeld and Chamberland filter could transmit the disease.  They were led to this conclusion initially by experimental transmissions that did not produce either the hog cholera bacillus or the swine plague bacillus. 

Defendorf (sp?), A. R.

[note on spelling: SAB documents like Chronicles of the SAB, original book of minutes and the 1900 directory have “Defendorf;” American Men of Science 1906 has “Diefendorf.”  Perhaps a spelling error was introduced and perpetuated when Mrs. Conn transcribed her husband’s notes into the minute book.]

Dates:          b. 1871; 1890's 1900's; d. 1943

Locations:    Pathologist, Conn. Hospital for the Insane, Middleton (1890's 1900)

Training:      Masters, Yale 1894; MD Yale 1896

Fields:          medical?


SAB Involvement:  charter SAB member; 


Dorset, F. Marion

Dates:          b. 1872; 1894 to USDA; d. 1935

Locations:    First Assist. Chemist, Biochemical Laboratory (1894‑1904); Demonstrator of Pathology, Columbian Univ. (1897‑1899); Bacteriologist, Emergency Hospital, Wash. D.C. (1898); Chief, Biochemical Division, Bureau of Animal Industry, USDA (1905‑1935);

Training:      BS Univ. of Tenn. 1893; Univ. Penn; MD Columbian Medical College (GWU) 1896

Fields:          veterinary; virology; biologics; BACT‑NOM

Publications: "A Variety of the Hog Cholera Bacillus which Closely Resembles Bacillus Typhosus," U.S. Bur. Animal Indus. Ann. Rept. 1901 (1902): 566‑571; de Schweinitz and Dorset, "A Form of Hog Cholera Not Caused by the Hog Cholera Bacillus," BAI Circular no. 41 (1903); de Schweinitz and Dorset, "New Facts Concerning the Etiology of Hog Cholera," Rept. for the Bur. Animal Industry, 1903 (1904): 235‑268; "Invisible Microorganisms," United States Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Animal Industry Circular no. 57 (1904); Dorset, Bolton, and McBryde, "Etiology of Hog Cholera," Report of the BAI for 1904, p. 138; "Recent Work of the Bureau of Animal Industry Concerning the Cause and Prevention of Hog Cholera," U.S. Dept. Agr. Yearbook 1908 (1909): 321‑332; "Hog Cholera Control and the Veterinarian," Am. Vet. Rev. 73 (May 1928): 55‑61; Dorset, McBryde and Niles, "Remarks on 'Hog Flu'," J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc15 (Nov. 1922): 162‑171;

SAB Involvement:  Charter member of SAB; American Chemical Society; and APHA

Archive Files: Clark, Pioneer Microbiologists of America (Madison:  Univ. of Wisc. Press, 1961), 122; "Necrology, M. Dorset," Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (Sept. 1935): 232‑235; “Marion Dorset” Science 82:2119; Nat. Cyc. American Biog. 26, 1937


     Dorset was sent to Sidney, Iowa, in 1897 to administer doses of the old bacterial vaccine against hog cholera.  The trial was a complete failure.  Dorset and de Schweinitz studied the problem of hog cholera in early 1904, finding that the disease could be transmitted by bacteria-free filtrates of sera from infected animals, thus proving a viral etiology of the disease and implying the bacilli found by Salmon and Smith were pathogenic secondary invaders. 

     While conducting experiments in Iowa in 1903, Dorset's team of researchers determined that blood from immune hogs gave only temporary immunity to susceptible hogs.  However, the immune sera could be combined with a second injection of a live virus.   

     At the 1901 meeting of the SAB, Dorset presented on a "Variety of the Hog Cholera Bacillus which Closely Resembles Bacillus typhosus."  He noted that this organism fermented glucose without the evolution of gas, and as such was culturally closer to B. typhosus than to the hog cholera group of bacteria.  Still, the "author concludes that when the source and pathogenic properties of this variety are considered, it should be classed among the hog cholera bacteria." BACT NOM   Also at the 1901 meeting of the SAB, de Schweinitz and Dorset submitted, but did not present, a paper on "Some Considerations in Regard to the Relations between Hog Cholera, Colon and Typhoid Bacilli."  BACT NOM

     At the same 1901 meeting, Dorset also presented a "Note on Branched Forms of Tubercle Bacilli Found in Cultures," (which was discussed by Moore, Novy and Sedgwick) and at the 1902 meeting he summarized his paper from American Medicine (5 April 1902) in which he described an "Egg Medium for the Cultivation of Tubercle Bacilli."  De Schweinitz and Dorset also presented "A Preliminary Chemical Study of Various Tubercle Bacilli," which was discussed by Abbott, Welch and Bergey.  At the 1904 meeting of the SAB, Dorset and Emery submitted some "Notes on the Chemical Constitution of Bacillus tuberculosis," which was read by Emery.  Dorset did not present again at the SAB, until reappearing in 1911 as the supervisor of the session on "Human and Animal Pathologic Bacteriology."

     Discovered the commercially viable serum for hog cholera control in 1907, developed a method of culturing viruses in eggs, and developed many of the early techniques of modern virology.  Dorset's egg medium was a real innovation, used in a variety of pure culture contexts, including tuberculosis. 

     Dorset also produced a synthetic medium for the growth of tubercle bacilli, more efficient than Koch's broth that increased the production of tuberculin. 

     Dorset was rarely active in the AVMA, presenting a paper on hog cholera in 1927.

Dunham, Edward K.

Dates:          b. 1860; 1890's; d. 1922

Locations:    Bacteriologist for the Massachusetts Board of Health; Prof. General Pathology, Bacteriology and Hygiene, and Director, Carnegie Laboratory Bellevue and New York University Medical College (1890's 1900's)

Training:      PhB School of Mines, Columbia 1880; MD Harvard 1888; at Hygienic Institute in Berlin under Koch; and Hamburg

Fields:          medical; water; sanitation

Publications: "The Bacteriological Examination of the Recent Cases of Epidemic Cholera in the City of New York," Am. Journal of Medical Science n.s. 105 (Jan. 1893): 72 77; Park and Dunham, "A Clinical and Bacteriological Study of a Number of Outbreaks of Disease Due to the Dysentery Bacillus of Shiga," New York Univ. Bull. Med. Sci. 2 (Oct. 1902): 166 187.

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member; SAB Council Member 1901; member SAB Comm. on Publication 1903 1904;

Archives Files:  Nat. Cyc. American Biog. 30, 1943


     In Winslow's 40th anniversary address, he described Dunham as one of New York City's elite, "wise counselor to many."  

     Dunham worked closely with Biggs during the cholera scare in 1892, and his descriptions of the cases represented the most modern methods of the day.  At the Carnegie, Dunham extended Prudden and Park's studies on electrolyzed sea water to determine its effect on the Spirillum asiaticae, and with Beebe and Biggs, evaluated the effectiveness of sulfurous acid gas as a disinfectant.

     At the 1902 SAB meeting, he presented on "The Influence of Physical Conditions on the Character of Colonies on Gelatin Plates:  A Preliminary Communication," in which he describes the profound influence in the "stiffness" of gelatin.  He concludes, that "the physical properties of gelatin and temperature of incubation should receive fully as much attention as the ingredients and reaction in the standardization and use of gelatin, particularly when employed for plating with reference to species."  The paper was discussed by Sedgwick and Conn.

Ernst, Harold Clarence

Dates:          b. 1856; d. 1922

Locations:    Demonstrator in Bact. (1885‑1891); Assistant Professor (1891‑1895); Professor of Bacteriology, Harvard Medical School (1895‑1920?); Bact. Lab., Boston City Health Dept. (1894‑)

Training:      AM; MD Harvard 1880; 1879 and 1890 in Koch's laboratory

Fields:          medical; milk

Publications: "How Far May a Cow be Tuberculous before Her Milk Becomes Dangerous as an Article of Food," Bull. Hatch Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 6 (1890); Infectiousness of Milk (1895); editor of J. of the Bost. Soc. of Med. Sci. which became Journal of Medical Research

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member; SAB council member 1900; resigned SAB 1917 but reappeared at the 1919 meeting; Secretary and Pres. Assoc. Am. Pathologists and Bacteriologists (1901, 1909)

Archive Files: 2‑IXC, Fold 77, Hist of Dept. by Hon H. Hanks, 1952;  See also, his Obit in The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal 187 (1922): 424‑425; J.W. Farlow, "Harold Clarence Ernst," Bost. Mass. Hist. Soc. 1922; D.H. Bergey, "Early Instructors in Bacteriology in the United States," J. of Bact. 2 (1917): 595‑601; Nat. Cyc. American Biog. 20, 1929 (has birth date as 1855;) ANB; DAB


     In 1885, he was appointed as demonstrator in bacteriology, and conducted "unofficial" classes and studies, consisting of six lectures as an introductory class to general pathology.  The Chair of Bacteriology was established in 1891, and Ernst became Assistant Professor.  In 1895, he rose to full professor.  He engaged in private practice until 1895, and served in the out patient department of MGH until 1900.  

     Appointed an agent of the Boston Board of Health in Oct. of 1894.  Published in 1895 an extended report on The Infectiousness of Milk, in which he argued that the tubercle bacillus is found in milk from reactors even when no lesions are apparent in the udder.  Most improvements in Pasteurization did not come about until 1900 1905.  Performed diphtheria diagnosis and produced antitoxin at Harvard in 1895, modeled after Pasteur Institute’s, until 1898.  

     At the 1899 SAB meeting Ernst presented a paper on "Demonstration of Actinomycosis and the Causative Fungus."   

     Ernst worked on immunization against rabies, the etiology of suppuration, the colon and typhoid bacilli, the morphology of the tubercle bacilli, cultivation of the gonococcus, cultivation of anaerobes, the viability of tubercle bacilli in natural environment, differences between human and bovine tubercle bacilli, and the techniques of sore throat diagnosis.  He developed an apparatus for sterilization of surgical dressings prior to Lister's book; demonstrated that tubercle bacilli may be transmitted through the milk of healthy cows; he produced all tuberculin used in Boston; pushed for the sterilization of milk; performed or supervised most diphtheria work, etc.

     With Smith and George Kinnell, Ernst issued a special commission report on the effectiveness of the tuberculin test.  The report, however, did not persuade the legislature.

     He also founded the Association of American Pathologists and Bacteriologists and the Boston Journal of Medical Sciences which in 1904 became the Journal of Medical Research.  The journal ceased publication with his death in 1922.

Flexner, Simon

Dates:          b. 1863; 1900 to Penn; 1903 to Rockefeller; d. 1946

Locations:    First Assistant and Assist. Prof. of Path. Anatomy, (1894‑1898); Prof. Pathological Anatomy, Hopkins (1898‑1899); Professor of Pathology, in both Medical and Veterinary Depts. University of Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Hospital (1899‑1904); Director, Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (1901‑1935)

Training:      MD Univ. Louisville 1889; under Welch at Hopkins; in Strasbourg under Recklinghausen; sent to Philippines and India to study Plague;

Fields:        medical; immunology; BACT‑NOM

Publications: "Mode of Infection, Means of Prevention, and Specific Treatment of Epidemic Meningitis," Rockefeller Inst. for Med. Res. (1917): 45; with P.F. Clark and Paul A. Lewis, Poliomyelitis Papers (New York:  Rockefeller Inst., 1909)

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member; SAB council member 1901, 1906; Added to SAB Comm. on Methods of Identification of Species 1910‑; possible session chair of human pathology 1916 meeting; resigned without paying dues 1916; Pres. AAPB 1905

Archive Files: See obit, by Eugene L. Opie, "Simon Flexner, M.D. 1863‑1946 (Obituary)," Arch. Path. 42 (1946): 234‑242; Stanhope Bayne‑Jones, "Simon Flexner (1863‑1946)," Yearbook of the American Philosophical Society (1946): 289‑297; “Simon Flexner and Medical Discovery” Science 107, June 11, 1948; “Recollections of a Street Corner Pump and the Progress of Sixty Years” (80th birthday testimonial) Science 98:2532, 1943; Encyc. American Biog. (1974); Nat. Cyc. American Biog. 52, 1970; ANB; DSB; DAB


     Flexner was a fellow of pathology under Welch for eight years at Hopkins, filling the position of first assistant and then Prof. of Pathology after Councilman left for Harvard.  With Gay and others, Flexner was part of a Hopkins expedition to investigate prevalent diseases in the Philippines among U.S. troops. 

     Succeeded Guiteras as professor of Pathology in both Medical and Veterinary Dept.  In 1901, Flexner was part of the Federal Commission to investigate plague in San Francisco’s Chinatown.  At Penn, Flexner studied summer diarrhea in infants.  While in Manila, he himself had isolated an organism from an American soldier in an epidemic of 1900, and thought that he had confirmed Shiga's findings.  However, time showed that the two organisms were dissimilar.

     At the 1900 meeting of the SAB, Flexner presented on "The Bacillus dysenteriae," which was discussed by Sedgwick.  At the 1906 SAB meeting, he outlined "The Enzymatic Properties of Diplococcus intracellularis," which was discussed by Winslow, Park, Ohlmacher, Kinyoun, and Hiss.  Apparently, the organism survived only a short while on culture media, with degeneration and loss of staining power, etc. coming quickly.  Flexner did note that the enzyme responsible for this auto degeneration also dissolved B. typhosis, B. coli, B. pyocyaneus, B. anthracis, M. catarrhalis, and to a lesser degree Staph. aureus.

     Flexner is best known as the first director of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, and the developer of the anti meningococcal serum.  His work on the experimental transmission of poliomyelitis in monkeys was not as successful, as he maintained that the normal route of human infection was nose and throat, not mosquitoes.  Additionally, Flexner and Noguchi reported finding globoid bodies in material extracted from monkeys suffering from poliomyelitis and also from human cases.  Injections of normal monkeys with such cultures produced the typical experimental disease.  However, few researchers could confirm these findings.

     The work on anti meningitis serum is instructive in that it shows the paradigmatic model of diphtheria anti toxin.  Flexner inoculated horses, building up anti toxin, and separated and concentrated the serum.  He tested the product in 1905 among the various types of experimental animals, and in 1908 began studies on humans.  At first, the success rate of the serum was in doubt.  In 1913, he studied the effectiveness of serum in 1,300 human cases, finding about a 70% recovery rate and fewer sequelae, and an even higher success rate when the serum as administered in the first three days of the disease.  

     Flexner also conducted extensive studies on experimental sarcomas, and experimental colitis.  His pathological studies included research on thrombosis in 1902.

Freeman, Rowland Godfrey

Dates:           b. 1859; 1890's; d. 1945

Locations:    College of Physicians and Surgeons; Professor of Pediatrics, New York University; Walker Gordon Milk

Training:      MD

Fields:          milk; medical; water

Publications: with Cheesman on water and milk sterilization; Elements of Pediatrics for Medical Students (New York:  Macmillan Co., 1917); "Milk as an Agency in the Conveyance of Disease," Medical Record no. 13 (1896).

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member;

Archive Files: See, "Recollection of the Early Days of Bacteriology in New York City," SAB Meeting, 1944 NYC.


     Freeman told of his early involvement in bacteriology, explaining that he left the field for private practice for financial reasons.  "I was very sorry to give up my laboratory work, but I had to earn my living, and on that account I gave it up."  Freeman was part of Coit, Leeds and Prudden’s early efforts to establish a Medical Milk Commission in 1892.  In 1898, Freeman showed that milk heated to 68 degrees C. for minutes, and chilled thereafter, was suitable for infant feeding.  Along with Jacobi, Strauss and North, he was responsible for the establishment of infant feeding depots in NYC, and favored pasteurization.  He also performed the studies that showed that pasteurized milk did not produce scurvy or rickets

Fuller, George Warren

Dates:          b. 1868; 1890's 1910's; d. 1934

Locations:    Dir. Lawrence Experiment Station; Experimental Station at Louisville, KY; Laboratory of the Commissioners of Water Works, Cincinnati; 1920's as Consulting Sanitary Engineer, NYC

Training:      SB MIT under Sedgwick, 1890

Fields:          water; BACT NOM; sanitation; public health

Publications: with Johnson, "The Classification of Water Bacteria," Journal of Experimental Medicine 4 (around 1899): 609;

SAB Involvement:  Charter member SAB; Member, APHA Comm. on Water Supplies 1894 1897; President APHA 1928 1929

Archive Files: Winslow, "There Were Giants in Those Days," AJPH 43 (1953): 15 19; ANB


     In Winslow's 40th anniversary address before the SAB, he described Fuller as a "dominant figure in the development of sanitary engineering, a mind of razor keenness in some 250 pounds of flesh."  

     While at the Lawrence Station, Fuller and others had a habit of using whiskey bottles instead of specially designed glassware.  It was, in fact, imbued with a workshop atmosphere.

     At the 1899 SAB meeting, Fuller was listed as "Consulting Sanitary Expert, NYC."

     Fuller and Johnson's classification proposed a three genera system, based mainly on morphological data, and hence they experience considerable difficulty in differentiating short bacilli from cocci.  However, Johnson and Fuller's report was a monumental publication, directing taxonomically minded bacteriologists to the problems of degenerative forms and a tentative plan for describing cultural characteristics.  More importantly, the report recommended the use of cards and tables to provide quick comparisons between samples.  

     Fuller was responsible for the "pioneering studies of water purification at Louisville and Cincinnati beginning in 1895." (Winslow 1953, 16)  Part of his work at Louisville was on chlorination in a Jewell Filter in 1896.  Fuller also studied improvements in mechanical filters at the Cincinnati station in 1898.  He was a consultant for the Army, and an advisor on water treatment and sewage disposal for Chicago, New York and 150 other cities.  According to Winslow he "more than any other one person" was responsible for the development of the Standard Methods of Water Analysis of the APHA.


Gage, Stephen DeM.

Dates:          b. 1874; 1890's 1910's; d. 1939

Locations:    Biologist, Lawrence Experiment Station and Massachusetts State Board of Health (1890's 1910's)

Training:      MIT under Sedgwick in 1896

Fields:          sanitation; water; BACT NOM; biology;

Publications: "Bacteriological Studies at the Lawrence Experiment Station with Special Reference to the Determination of B. Coli," 33rd Ann. Rept. of the Mass. Bd. of Health, 1901 (1902): 397 420; with Phelps, "On the Classification and Identification of Bacteria with Description of the Card System in Use at the Lawrence Experiment Station for Records of Species," Proc. Am. Pub. Health Association, 38 for 1902 (1903): 494 505; "The Quality of Water Supplies of Rhode Island, Present and Future," in The Water Resources of Rhode Island (Providence:  Oxford Press, 1928)

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member;


     Bug Club member.  Was one of the first to recommend and use a card and decimal system for the characterization and classification of bacteria.  They use the Fuller and Johnson system of pluses and minuses in tables to avoid the "verbose written descriptions of earlier investigators."

     Gage was listed, with Clark, on the first program of the SAB, in 1899, with the "Significance of the Appearance of B. Coli Communis in Filtered Waters."  The paper was, however, read by Clark.  At the 1902 meeting of the SAB, Gage reported "On the Relative Viability of B. Coli and B. Typhosus under Certain Conditions," a mostly technical paper relative to water bacteriology.  It was at the 1903 meeting that he suggested "Naming Species of Bacteria and the Indexing of Bacterial Names."  At the 1904 meeting of the SAB, he provided a technical discussion on "Laboratory Expedients."  The paper was devoted to the problem of increasing workloads placed on public health bacteriologists.  "The solution of this problem usually lies in systematizing the work and in the use of labor saving devices whereby the time consumed in routine work may be shorted."  His suggestions were discussed by Novy, Rosenberger, and Carroll.  At the 1905 meeting of the SAB, Gage and Stoughton submitted a paper on "A Study of the Laws Governing the Resistance of Bacillus Coli to Heat."  The paper also described (failed) attempts to produce a heat resistant variety of B. coli through successive selection.  It was read by title.

     Another example of the relationship between sanitary bacteriology and more fundamental issues was Gage's paper before the 1906 meeting of the SAB, "A Study of the Variation in the Biochemical Reactions produced by Cultures of the Colon Type."  The study sought to determine "how closely the variations in the intensity of certain biochemical functions of cultures usually included in the colon group by routine tests would agree with the law of biological variation."  Gage measured gas production, nitrate formation, etc. and found that variation was "normal," indicating that "the group was a true biological group and that the variations were normal biological variations." (807)  It was read by title and abstracts were distributed.

     Gage submitted another "Note on the Interpretation of a Bacterial Water Analysis," to the 1907 SAB, which was read in abstract.

     At the 1909 Boston SAB meeting, Gage reported on his "Methods for Testing Shellfish for Pollution," a mostly technical presentation.  He also described "Some Peculiarities in the Counts of Bacteria at 20 degrees C. and at 40 degrees C. from Waters Treated with Disinfectants."  Gage delivered another technical paper on "Studies of Media for the Quantitative Estimation of Bacteria in Water, Sewage, etc." in which he advocated using beef infusion of constant specific gravity as "a step toward media of more uniform composition, and toward increased accuracy in bacterial counts." (544)  Both papers were discussed by T. Smith, Pease, Conn, Rosenau, Winslow and Kinyoun.

Gehrmann, Adolph

Dates:          b. 1868; 1894 at U. Ill.; retired 1920; died 1923 (Who Was Who in America I, 1943, has death date of 1920.)

Locations:    University of Illinois, Prof. Bacteriology, College of Physicians and Surgeons; and Bacteriologist, Columbus Medical Laboratories (1890's); Chicago Health Dept. Labs (1893‑1902); Cook County Hospital

Training:      MD Chicago Medical College, 1890 under Holmes

Fields:          medical; hygiene; public health

Publications:Serum Diagnosis of Typhoid Fever 1897; Milk Inspection in Chicago 1893; Relations of the Health Department to Diphtheria 1899; Efficacy of the Fumigation Method 1900; Remarks on Railroad Car Disinfection 1900; Immunity as a Factor in Prevention 1901; Rapid Preliminary Testing of Water 1913; The Handkerchief as a Sanitary Appliance 1916; Counting of Bacteria on Surfaces 1913; Bacteriology of the Grippe Epidemic 1916

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member; Archive Files: 2-IXC, folder 73, "History of Bacteriology at the University of Illinois, Colleges of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmacy," by Milan Novak 1951; See also, Encyclopedia of American Biography for 1912.


     Appointed first "Professor of Bacteriology" in 1894; director of the Chicago Health Dept. Laboratories; and bacteriologist at Cook County Hospital.  Involved with Chicago Drainage Canal, and founded the Chicago Bureau of Food Inspection of which he was superintendent.  The EAB claims that he was "among the first to trace the indisputable connection between unhygienic conditions of living, carelessness in the protection of sources of food and water supply, neglect in their handling and distribution and the diseases....He preached the gospel of cleanliness as the first requisite of health... (He had a vision) that children should grow to maturity unhandicapped by physical conditions for which they were not responsible and which they could not improve." (5)

     In his Handkerchief study, he argued that they were a "nuisance to collect any kind of excrement about us and store it."   He chastised ladies who wiped the eyes of a lap‑dog, put the hanky back into a bag and then wave them in the wind in the presence of others.  "I think this distinctly dangerous, and the only waving of handkerchiefs that I would allow is when newlywed couples go away on the train and wave the handkerchief out the car window."  (8)

     While at the Dept. of Health Gehrmann mostly performed milk analysis and routine diphtheria examinations.   He also produced diphtheria antitoxin in 1894, and started water examinations in 1895, along with ice samples, and checks on smallpox vaccines and Widal tests.  He published a series of article dealing with the newly developed agglutination methods for diagnosis of typhoid fever, laboratory tests of smallpox vaccine, and for the control of the bacterial content of milk.  He authors one of the key reports for the "Streams Examinations" document used in the court case between Illinois and Missouri.

     At the 1900 meeting of the SAB, Gehrmann submitted "The Effect of Salt Solution and other Fluids on Bacteria Compared with Serum Reactions," which was read by title.

Gorham, Frederic Poole

Dates:          b. 1871; 1890's‑1920's; d. 1933

Locations:    Rhode Island Shellfish Commission; Dept. Milk Inspector for Providence; Bacteriologist, Providence Health Department; Assist. Prof. Biology (around 1900); Prof. of Zoology, Brown University; Later, Prof. of Bacteriology and Head of the Dept. of Biology, Brown (1910's)

Training:      AB from Brown, 1893; A.M. Brown 1894; graduate work at Harvard.

Fields:          Medical; public health; water; milk; BACT‑NOM; biology; industrial;

Publications: Editor of APHA Standard Methods for Water Analysis and Shell Fish Examination;  A Laboratory Course in Bacteriology, for the Use of Medical, Agricultural, and Industrial Students (Philadelphia:  W.B. Saunders & Co., 1901)

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member; Chair, SAB Comm. on Working Organization 1903‑; Sec. Treas. 1904, 1905; Chair then Member, SAB Comm. on Uniform Methods for the Identification of Bacterial Species 1904‑1910; SAB vice‑president 1906 (but absent first day of meetings), 1910; Member SAB Council 1907, 1908; president of SAB in 1911; committee member Identification of Bacterial Species; session chair for industrial bacteriology 1916 meeting.

Presidential Address: “Some Biochemical Problems in Bacteriology” Science 35: 357-362 (first page only; full text requires subscription) Archive Files: See, John W.M. Bunker, "Frederic Poole Gorham, 1871‑1933," from American J. of Public Health v. 23, 1933, 716; J. Bact. 26:5, 1933; Nat. Cyc. American Biog. 23, 1933

     Member of the Bug Club.

     Came to Brown in 1895, interested in distribution of sewage in Narragansett Bay with special effect on the oyster industry, but quickly added diphtheria studies.  His work on sewage was intended to save the failing shellfish industry and the sanitary reforms were able to bring back a dying industry.  He performed studies on bacterial variation, with reference to the pseudo‑diphtheria bacillus.  Quickly established a course in bacteriology.

     Worked for the Health Dept. of the City of Providence, performing the first diphtheria diagnosis and influencing Chapin's vision of Public Health.  He also worked on milk examinations, and mosquito eradication.  Interestingly, Gorham was a professor of zoology, and worked on phosphorescent bacteria.

     At the 1899 meeting of the SAB, Gorham presented a paper on "Some Varieties of Bacillus pyocyaneous Found in the Throat," and another on "Demonstration of Photogenic Bacteria."  At the 1900 meeting, he delivered a "Demonstration of Some New Laboratory Devices," including culture tubes with etched surface for writing (discussed by Robin, Hill, Sedgwick, Ward, Abbott and Park), and another "Demonstrations of Pathogenic Bacteria."  Gorham also submitted "Some Varieties of B. pyocyaneous Found in the Throat," which was discussed by Welch, Abbott, E. Smith, Ford and Blumer, and presented a demonstration of phosphorescent bacteria.  At the 1901 meeting, he discussed "The Morphology of Bacillus diphtheriae," in which he demonstrated that the long granular form could be modified, through a series of sections and platings, into the short, thick, solid‑staining form.  He also submitted three short technical papers, read by title:  "White Acid and its Use in the Laboratory," "An Electric Water Bath for Gelatin and Agar," and "Photographs Taken by the Light of Photogenic Bacteria."

     At the 1902 meeting of the SAB, Gorham described "A Mold Pathogenic to Lobsters" (discussed by Conn).  And, at the 1903 meeting, Gorham returned to the "Photogenic Bacteria" (discussed by Sternberg, Conn, Novy and Bergey).   He presented a purely technical paper on "A Germ‑Proof Filter," at the 1904 meeting (discussed by Houghton and Rickards).    

     Gorham submitted a report on "Azolitimin (sp?) as a Substitute for Litmus," to the 1907 SAB, which was read in abstract by the secretary.  The interest in non‑traditional media was extended in Gorham and Dolt's report on "A Synthetic Medium as a Substitute for Litmus Lactose Agar in Isolation of the Colon Bacillus from Water Supplies," which was read in abstract by the secretary.

     Gorham joined two of his juniors at Brown at the 1908 meeting of the SAB, to discuss synthetic media.  His paper was on "A Synthetic Medium as a Substitute for Loeffler's Blood Serum in the Diagnosis of Diphtheria."  The actual research was performed by Hadley.

     Gorham was a key figure in the laboratory section of the APHA.  In his 1911 presidential address before the SAB ("Biochemical Programs in Bacteriology"), Gorham issued a plea for greater use of synthetic media to determine, quantitatively, the physiological aspects of bacterial growth.  In addition, the address noted:  "Variation, selection, and heredity are factors of evolution in bacteria as elsewhere; they would provide an excellent field for the study of evolution." (Clark 141)

     At the 1912 meeting, Gorham supervised the session on "Systematic and Physiologic Bacteriology."  At the 1913 meeting of the SAB, Gorham, Hebden and Levine discussed the "Use of Bacterial Cultures in Treating Textile Fibers."  Also at the 1913 meeting, Gorham presented the "Report of the Comm. on Methods of Identification of Bacterial Species."

     Gorham was included in the 1914 SAB/AAAS joint session on "Lower Organisms in Relation to Man's Welfare,” and presented the "Use of Bacteria in the Treatment of Textile Fibers."  At the 1915 SAB, Gorham issued the "Rept. of the Comm. on Standard Methods of Bacteriological Analysis of Water," and delivered a paper on "The Collection of Milk Samples for Bacteriological Examination:  Presentation of Apparatus."

     Gorham was instrumental in the development of the Standard Methods for Water Analysis, and the Standard Methods for Shell Fish Examination. 

Harding, Harry Alexis

Dates:          b. 1871; 1898 to Geneva; 1913 to Illinois; death announcement in ASM NEWS 29:1, Jan., 1963

Locations:    Assistant Bacteriologist, Wisconsin State Agricultural Experiment Station and the University of Wisconsin; Chair of Bacteriology, and Bacteriologist, New York Agricultural Experiment Station and Cornell (1899‑1913); Bacteriologist, University of Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station (1913‑); Prof. and Head, Dept. of Dairy Husbandry, Univ. of Illinois (1913‑1921); Chief, Dairy Research Bureau, The Frederick C. Mathews Co., Detroit (1922‑1940's)

Training:      BS Wisc. 1896; MS Wisc. under Russell 1898; to Europe in 1898; PhD from Cornell 1910 on Classification

Fields:          dairy; agricultural; food; plant pathology; BACT-NOM; soil; milk

Publications: thesis on silage; in Russell 1921 volume, "The Development of City Milk Supply Problems."; Harding and L.A. Rogers "The Efficiency of a Continuous Pasteurizer at Different Temperatures," BNYAES no. 172 (1899): 509‑530; Harding, Smith and Rogers, "Notes on Some Dairy Troubles," BNYAES no. 183 (1900): 175‑193; Harding, L.L. Van Slyke and E.B. Hart, "A Study of Enzymes in Cheese," BNYAES no. 203 (1901): 216‑244; Harding and Smith, "Control of Rusty Spot in Cheese Factories," BNYAES no. 225 (1902): 303‑329; Harding and F.C. Stewart, "Combating the Black Rot of Cabbage by the Removal of Affected Leaves," BNYAES no. 232 (1903): 43‑65; "The Role of Lactic‑Acid Bacteria in the Manufacture and in the Early Stages of Ripening of Cheddar Cheese," BNYAES no. 237 (1903): 165‑180; Harding and J.F. Nicholson, "A Swelling of Canned Peas Accompanied by a Malodorous Decomposition," BNYAES no. 249 (1904): 155‑168; Harding, F.C. Stewart and Prucha, "Vitality of the Cabbage Black Rot Germ on Cabbage Seed," BNYAES no. 251 (1904): 179‑194; Harding and Prucha, "The Quality of Commercial Cultures for Legumes," BNYAES no. 270 (1905): 347‑385; Harding, Smith and Moore, "The Bang Method of Controlling Tuberculosis, with an Illustration of its Application," BNYAES no. 277 (1906): 83‑190; Prucha and Harding, "Quality of Commercial Cultures for Legumes in 1906," Bull. NY Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 282 (1906): 274‑279; Harding and Wilson, "Inoculation as a Factor in Growing Alfalfa," BNYAES no. 300 (1908): 139‑164; Harding and Wilson, "Inoculation and Lime as Factors in growing Alfalfa," Bull. NY Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 313 (1909): 53‑75;

More Pubs:  Harding, Wilson and George Smith, "Milking Machines:  Effect of Method of Handling on Germ Content of the Milk," Bull. NY Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 317 (1909): 254‑292; Harding, Wilson, and George A. Smith, "The Modern Milk Pail," Bull. N.Y. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 326 (1910): 249‑281; Harding and Prucha, "The Bacterial Flora of Cheddar Cheese," Tech. Bull. NY Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 8 (1908); Harding and Wilson, "Inoculation and Lime as Factors in growing Alfalfa," Bull. NY Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 313 (1909): 53‑75; Harding, Smith and Wilson, "Milking Machines:  Effect of Method of Handling on the Germ Content of Milk," BNYAES no. 317 (1909): 254‑292; "The Constancy of Certain Physiological Characters in the Classification of Bacteria..." Technical Bulletin of the NYAES no. 13 (1910): 1‑41; Harding, Smith and Wilson, "The Modern Milk Pail," BNYAES no. 326 (1910): 249‑281; "Publicity and Payment Based on Quality as Factors in Improving a City Milk Supply," BNYAES no. 337 (1911): 80‑114; Harding, Reuhle, Wilson and Smith, "The Effect of Certain Dairy Operations Upon the Germ Content of Milk," BNYAES no. 365 (1913): 197‑233; with J.D. Brew, "The Financial Stimulus in City Milk Production," BNYAES no. 363 (1913): 165‑178; Harding and Wilson, "A Study of the Udder Flora of Cows," Tech. Bull. NY Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 27 (1913); "What is Meant by "Quality" in Milk?" Circular of the University of Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station no. 205 (1917): 1‑16; with Prucha, "An Epidemic of Ropy Milk," BUIAES no. 223 (1920): 109‑124; with Prucha, " Elimination of Germs from Dairy Utensils," BUIAES no 23 (1920): 137‑168; "Effect of Temperature of Pasteurization on the Creaming Ability of Milk," BUIAES no. 237 (1921): 393‑408; with Prucha, "Germ Content of Milk," BUIAES no. 236 (1921): 361‑391.

SAB Involvement:  Charter member of the SAB; Added to SAB Comm. on Methods of Identification of Species 1910‑; Member Comm. on the Society's Classification Card 1916; SAB council member 1913; Member, Comm. on the Chart for Identification of Bacterial Species late 1910's; attended 1925 SAB meeting;

Archive Files: "Early Bacteriology," Harding, ca. 1938, from regional history folder, 7‑IIA, 10.16; H.A. Harding, Detroit, to Barnett Cohen, Baltimore, 27 February 1940, 3 pp., 7‑IIA, 9.12


     In a 29 page autobiographical account, Harding recalls that he was drawn to medicine after declining training in the ministry.  He enrolled at the Univ. of Wisconsin, intending 2 years of study before applying for the Rush Medical College.  Harding's account mentions the difficulty he experienced trying to reconcile evolutionary theory with his faith, but draws no inference to the place of bacteriology in this debate.

     Harding recalls that in 1892, Birge and Barnes taught a biology course which turned on the issue of complexity and evolution.  "Bacteria and yeast cells were indicated as the approximate point at which the lines of plants and animals separated.  We had yeast in our laboratory work, but coming at the beginning, before skill with the microscope had been acquired, I got only a vague idea of the structure of yeast cells."  (7)

     As an undergraduate, he was employed as a janitor to the Science Hall.  In 1893‑1894, Harding prepared the media used for bacteriological work, for both faculty and students.  His thesis was on silage, in the summer of 1895.  He found that germ life is "commonly abundant in the material while silage is being formed, however, silage without intervention of germ life is a possibility, inasmuch as good silage developed in a saturated atmosphere of sulphuric ether."  (Harding 1938, p. 24)  He isolated a white colony producing rod forms, but owing to its high temperature of growth could not plate it on agar.

     He spent the summers on botanical surveys of the North Wisconsin.  Returning to graduate studies in 1896, Harding decided not to concentrate on dairy bacteria at such an early date, and worked on pathogenic and water bacteria.

     At the 1899 meeting of the SAB, Harding presented two papers:  "On the Use of Steam for Sterilization," and "On the Utility of the Supply of Live Steam in the Laboratory."  This same title was repeated, with an abstract in the 1900 meeting.  Harding was not present, so the paper was read by Ward, and discussed by Conn, Park, Abbot, Hill and Prescott.

     At the 1901 meeting, Harding and Rogers presented on "Rusty Spot in Cheddar Cheese," in which they isolated Bacillus rudensis.  This study of a cheese fault followed the model of medical bacteriology, as they isolated the suspected organism, inoculated a sterile vat of milk, reproduced the "diseased" condition, and recovered the same organism.  They even suggest steam as a means of eliminating the bacillus.  This was truly isolate, identify and kill.

     At the 1904 SAB meeting, Harding and Prucha reported on "The Resistance of Pseudomonas campestris to Desiccation."  The Ps. campestris was a plant pathogen, and this might have the first such paper at the SAB.  They conclude that the organism could survive long periods.  "At a time when so much stress is being laid upon the quickness with which pathogenic organisms are destroyed in nature these observations should tend to check hasty generalizations."  The paper was discussed by Conn, Rosenau, Houghton and Duckwall, then published in Centralbl. f. Backt.  Harding also presented a technical paper, "Some Experiences with Test‑Tubes," at the same meeting, which was discussed by Rickards, Houghton, Novy, Rosenau and Bergey.

     At the 1905 SAB meeting, Harding and Prucha evaluated "Absorbent Cotton as a Medium for Distributing Pseudomonas radicicola."  Apparently, there were a number of "failures" with cotton inoculants, in contrast with the germs shipped in soil.  Like Chester, they suggested that the organisms did not survive desiccation.  Also at the 1905 meeting, Harding and Prucha reported on a joint research project between the Botany Dept. of the Univ. of VT, and the Geneva Station on the group of organisms responsible for soft rot of vegetables.  The paper is mostly technical, and was titled, "Variations in Gas Production by Bacteria Producing Soft Rot in Vegetables."  It did have some implications for taxonomy.

     Harding and Prucha returned in 1906 SAB meeting to discuss "Commercial Cultures of Pseudomonas radicicola," in which they discuss the commercial company practice of placing the cultures in metal containers, thus avoiding the problems of desiccation.  They examined 14 cultures, finding them just as worthless.  Kellerman commented.

     At the 1908 meeting of the SAB, Harding and Prucha evaluated "The Utility of the Society's Card in Classifying the Cheese Flora."  This article compares the card with Conn's botanical classification, and favors strongly the card.   At the 1909 SAB Boston meeting, Harding and Morse used "The Society Card as a Basis for Classifying the Bacteria Producing Soft Rot in Vegetables."  They concluded that the handful of separately described organisms were in fact identical in "all cultural characters except" gas formation, and that character was an artifact of poor fermentation tubes.  The paper was discussed by Jackson and Winslow.

     And, at the same 1909 meeting, Harding inquired "Does the Group Number on the Society Card Carry the Classification far enough to break up the Species?"  Harding's studies involved P. campestris, a well known chromogenic plant pathogen whose "limits of the species can be determined with the minimum chance of error."  He found with tests on several strains, there was no variation in the group number, save reduction of nitrates.  This paper was discussed by Winslow, Esten and Harris.

     Harding and Wilson reported on their work with regard to milk hygiene at the 1910 Ithaca SAB meeting, in a paper entitled the "Relation of Form of Milk Pail to Germ Content."  They admit that many improved pails had been suggested, but few were used widely, rejected due to their excessive height or restrictive opening.  Harding and Wilson also evaluated a "Method of Keeping Bacteria from Growing Plants."  At the same meeting, Harding delivered a scathing attack on quantitative tests, in "What is the Value of Quantitative Bacteriology Determinations in the Control of City Milk Supply?" He returned to this argument at the 1911 meeting, discussing "The Bacterial Improvement of a Milk Supply by other than Laboratory Examinations."  At the same 1911 meeting, Harding and Wilson reported on their research concerning "Udder Flora."

     Ruehle and Harding presented, at the 1912 meeting, a technical "Comparison of Two Methods for Bacterial Analysis of Air."  Harding himself discussed "Problems in Sanitary Dairy Inspection," in which he affords himself a few metaphorical liberties.  "Milk resembles the human race in that its value is determined by two forces, its inheritance and its environment."  Inheritance was the constituent of the milk, which of course meant that the environment could only worsen the genetic stock.  Harding reiterated these claims at the 1913 meeting, with "Bacteria in Relation to the Public Milk Supply."  Harding also returned to the "The Classification Card and the Type of Study which it Merits" at the 1913 meeting. Harding delivered the "Report of Committee on Revision of Society's Card," at the 1915 SAB meeting.

     Harding repeated his stance on milk hygiene at the 1915 SAB meeting, with the "Relation of Bacteriology to City Milk Supplies."  Harding maintained that "practically we have no method of determining the presence of such germs and protection must be sought through omnibus methods such as pasteurization..."  With regard to counts as an indication of cleanliness, he argues that "as soon as the elements of time and temperature enter, such counts no longer indicate the character or extent of contamination."  He concludes that standards, of any number, were mostly useless.  Also at the 1915 SAB meeting, Ritte and Harding discussed "Statistical Examination of Data on Bacterial Counts."  He returned to the SAB program in 1916, to report on the "Significance of Bacterial Counts in Judging Quality of Milk."

     At the 1920 SAB meeting, Harding and Prucha submitted three papers:  "Frequency of Ropy Milk Organisms in City Milk Supplies," "Destruction of Germ Life by Steam," and "Dirt as a Source of Germ Content in Milk."  None of these appears in the minutes of the meeting, and probably were not delivered. 

     Harding supervised the session on "Systematic Bacteriology," and I believe delivered the Report of the Comm. on Revision of the Society's card. 

     At Geneva, Harding and Prucha studied the bacterial flora of Cheddar cheese, emphasizing new methods of cold curing and storage.  A few years later, Harding studied the bacterial soft rot of certain vegetables.

     Harding also recalls that in 1916, he was directed to develop a course in City Milk Supplies.   That year, he again discussed "The Bacterial Count as an Index of Cleanliness in Milk" at the SAB meeting.

     At Illinois, Harding and Prucha indicated that dairy utensils were the principal sources of contamination of milk, and later experiments demonstrated that bacterial counts were greatly reduced when clean utensils were disinfected with chlorine.

     At the 1922 SAB meeting, Adams and Harding reported their "Test of Commercial Thionins for Staining Frost Little Plates."  Harding, on his own, described "Some Factors Leading to Variation in the Bacterial Count of Pasteurized Milk."  For the 1923 SAB meeting, Adams and Harding provided their "Observation on Thermophilic Bacteria in Milk from Farms."  Also at the 1923 SAB meeting, Hungerford and Harding offered a paper on "The Influence of the Period of Operation of the Pasteurization upon the Bacterial Count of Milk."  And, Harding and Archibald Ward discussed the "Thermophilic Bacteria in Composite Samples from Milk Plants." 

     Harding has a wonderful summary of dairy bacteriology in a letter to Cohen.  He implies that it was Conn who first suggested using total bacterial counts as legal standards.  "There was a period during which the bacterial plate count was taken as the most important available index of the desirability of milk supplies....It was maintained for a time that the bacterial plate count was markedly influenced by the physical cleanliness of the milk because the foreign matter getting into the milk carried germ life, sometimes in large quantities.  Later studies showed that the amount of foreign matter getting into milk was so small that the germ life carried on such dirt was relatively unimportant....It was shown that there was no apparent coordination between the foreign matter in milk and its plate count." (2) 

     Conn himself showed that there was little correlation between the bacterial plate counts and the keeping qualities of milk. 

     As for the issue of bacterial flora in milk, "it was shown that there was no single temperature at which plates could be incubated to develop colonies of all various types of germ life common in milk." (3)  Still, "plate counts had been clung to by milk supervising agencies because they lacked any other satisfactory test to cover safety." (3)  The phosphatase tests slowly replaced plate counts.

Harris, Norman MacLeod

Dates:           b. 1870; 1900's at Chicago; Left around 1920; d. 1953

Locations:    Assist. in Bacteriology, Johns Hopkins University (late 1890's); Assist Prof. Dept. of Path. and Bact., Univ. of Chicago, (1902‑1910's); Chief, Laboratory of Hygiene, Ottawa Canada (mid 1920's)

Training:      M.B.;

Fields:        medical; milk

Publications: Harris and Longcope, "Micrococcus zymogenes:  Some Additional Observations upon its Occurrence," Centbl. Bakt., Abt. 1 30 (1901): 353‑356; "The Relative Importance of Streptococci and Leucocytes in Milk," J. Infect. Dis. suppl. 3 (1907): 50‑62; SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member; SAB Council Member 1901, 1909; SAB President 1925; member SAB Comm. on Publication 1903‑1904; SAB Sec. Tres. 1908, 1909; Chaired Session on General Bacteriology 1924 SAB; attended 1925 SAB meeting

Presidential Address: “Our Society in Retrospect and Prospect” J. Bact. 11:153-164


     Harris assisted Jordan in his futile search for a bacterial agent responsible for milk‑sickness.

     While at Hopkins, Harris would perform the routine bacteriological examinations that were part of every autopsy. 

     At the 1900 meeting of the SAB in Baltimore, Harris described "A Preliminary Report upon a Hitherto Undescribed Pathogenic Anaerobic Bacillus," obtained from an autopsy, which was discussed by Welch.  At the 1902 meeting, Harris presented a "Demonstration of the Value of MacConkey's Medium for the Differentiation of B. Coli from B. Typhosus," a technical paper with implications for sanitary/water bacteriology. 

     At the 1904 meeting of the SAB, Harris submitted an abstract on "The Construction of a Thermostat‑Room," a purely technical description which was read in title only and later appeared in both the Centralblatt and the Journal of Experimental Medicine.  At the 1905 SAB, Harris discussed the "Value of the Voges‑Proskauer Reaction," as a means of differentiating members of the hemorrhagic septicemia group, and others.  Harris found the test of little value.

     At the 1908 meeting, Jordan and Harris reported on a new species, "Bacillus lactimorbi:  Its Relation to Milk‑Sickness and Trembles."  The organism was found in several cases from cattle, horses and lambs, and the pathological condition could be reproduced in experimental animals.  Their description was tentative, as the organism "was very prone to undergo considerable variation in morphology due to methods of cultivation, temperature and fluctuations in reaction of the media being chiefly responsible.

     Harris was included in the 1914 SAB program, with a short technical discussion of "Some New Applications in Synthetic Media."

     Harris finally returns to the SAB program in 1924, to report "Some Observations on Endo's Medium."


Hektoen, Ludvig

Dates:           b. 1863; member of pathology staff ULMC, 1892; retired 1941; d. 1951

Locations:    Intern, (1888‑1889); Pathologist, Cook County Hospital (1889‑1903); University of Illinois, College of Medicine; Lecturer in Pathology, (1890‑1892); Prof. Pathology, College of P & S Chicago (1892‑1894); Professor of Morbid Anatomy (1895‑1897); Prof. of Pathology, Rush Medical College (1898‑1900); Professor of Pathology and Head of Dept. of Pathology, University of Chicago (1901‑1931); Director, John McCormick Institute for Infectious Diseases (1902‑)

Training:      BA Luther College Iowa 1883; one year at Univ. of Wisc.; MD College of P & S Chicago 1887; between 1890 and 1895 at Uppsala, Prague and Berlin

Fields:          medical; virology; immunology

Publications: co‑editor of Journal of Infectious Diseases 1904‑1941; original editor of Archives of Pathology; "Is Scarlet Fever a Streptococcus Disease?" JAMA 48 (1907): 1158‑1160; "Bacteriology of Measles," JAMA 71 (1918): 1201‑1205; "History of Experimental Scarlet Fever in Man," JAMA 80 (1923): 84‑87; "Advances in the Study of Streptococci," J. of Bact. 19 (1930): 57‑72;

SAB Involvement:  charter member of SAB; Pres. of AAPB 1903 but resigned in the 1910's; Pres. SAB 1929; Pres. Am. Society of Immunologists 1927; SAB Honorary Member 1934

Presidential Address: "Advances in the Study of Streptococci," J. of Bact. 19 (1930): 57‑72

Archive Files: See Koser article; look for commemoration lectures at SAB meeting in 1947; Esmond R. Long, "History of the American Association of Pathologists and Bacteriologists," American Journal of Pathology 77 (1979); Paul R. Cannon, "Ludvig Hektoen, 1863‑1951," NAS Biog. Memoirs v. 28; Morris Fishbein, "Ludvig Hektoen ‑‑ A Biography and an Appreciation," Archiv. of Pathology 26 (1938): 1‑31; Paul R. Cannon, "Ludvig Hektoen, Pathologist, 1863‑1951," Archiv. Path. 52 (1951): 390‑394; James P. Simonds, "Ludvig Hektoen:  A Study in Changing Scientific Interests," Proc. of the Inst. of Medicine of Chicago 14 (1942): 284‑287; J. Bact. 62:5, November 1951; Nat Cyc. American Biog. 18, 1922; DSB; ANB; Current Biography 1947


     Graduated valedictorian from med school.  When at Rush, he was professor of morbid anatomy and director of the laboratory of bacteriology and hygiene.  He was also active in the Chicago Pathological Society.  Additionally, he was prof. of pathology and head of the dept. of pathology and bacteriology at the University of Chicago.  In 1902, he was appointed director of the McCormick Inst. and brought many of his associates from Rush and Cook.  Was the co‑editor, with Jordan, of the Journal of Infectious Diseases from 1903 on. 

     At the 1899 meeting of the SAB, Hektoen offered, but did not read, a paper on "A New Pathogenic Fungus ‑‑ the Sporothrix of Schenck."  He was listed as present at the 1901 meeting.  At the 1908 SAB meeting, he delivered one of the select papers before, or Chaired, the joint session with Section K of the AAAS.

     His involvement with the University of Chicago was limited, as he devoted most of his time and effort to the McCormick Institute.  Hektoen's chief research interests lay in common infectious diseases of childhood, particularly measles, where he searched for a causative agent and investigated aspects of immune reactions.  Hektoen suggested that the agent was a filterable virus.  He carried out work on various aspects of phagocytosis, such as the specificity of opsonins and mechanism of opsonic action, and the production and distribution of antibodies.  Along with Park, Hektoen presented a comprehensive review of serum therapies before the 1916 meeting of the AAPB.  He contributed to the studies of scarlet fever with Tunnicliff, and the Dicks.  Hektoen also studied fungal infections, including actinomycosis, blastomycosis, and sporotrichosis. 

     Hektoen was, however, primarily a pathologist, with studies on cardiovascular pathology.  Cannon mentions that Hektoen conceived of pathology as a part of general biology, "with no practical reference to its practical applications." (163)  His papers between 1903 and 1937 were mostly on immune‑body reactions, including their "nature, sites of formation, modes of action," etc. (Cannon 167) 

     Hektoen was also chair of the Div. of Med. Sciences at NRC in 1924, 1926 and 1929.  From 1936 to 1938 he was Chair of the NRC. 

Hill, Hibbert Winslow

Dates:          b. 1871; worked in 1890 and 1900's; d. 1947

Locations:    Water Bacteriologist, Rockville Center Brooklyn Health Dept. (1896‑1897); Mount Prospect Laboratory, City of Brooklyn (1898); Director, Bacteriological Laboratory, Boston Board of Health (1898‑1905); Minnesota State Board of Health Laboratories; Assist. Prof. Bact., University of Minnesota (1905‑1912?); Director, Institute for Public Health, Chief Div. of Epidemiology, Prof. of Pub. Health, London Ontario (1910's)

Training:      M.B.; MD from Toronto; D.P.H.

Fields:          public health; water; medical; BACT‑NOM; biology

Publications: "Report of the Rockville Center Laboratory...on the Investigation of the Brooklyn Water Supply," (1897); "The Epidemiological Diagnosis and Treatment of Typhoid Outbreaks," American Journal of Public Hygiene 19 (1909): 289; with Kenelm Winslow, The Production and Handling of Clean Milk, Including Practical Milk Inspection(New York:  W.R. Jenkins Co., 1909); "Non‑Relation of Natural Ice to Typhoid Fever and Dysentery," (1910); Sanitation for Public Health Nurses (New York:  Macmillan, 1919); The New Public Health (New York:  Macmillan, 1916‑1920); The New Hygiene for Schools of Nursing, Normal Schools, and Colleges (New York:  Macmillan Co., 1924); Measles: Care of Patients and Prevention (Chicago:  American Medical Association, 1928)

SAB Involvement:  Charter member SAB; member SAB Comm. Working Organization 1903; Member SAB Council 1909; Chair of the Comm. on Laboratories of the APHA; session organizer for sanitary bacteriology, Montreal 1913‑1914;

Archive Files: Arnold H. Eggerth, The History of the Hoagland Laboratory (Brooklyn, 1960)


     At Mt. Prospect, Hill studied the sanitary condition of the water supply in Brooklyn.  This was an extension of the job Hill held under Wilson at the Bur. of Pathology, Bacteriology and Disinfection.  He made daily chemical and bacteriological examinations of the city's water. 

     Director of Boston City Lab. and leader of Bug Club.  Described method of hanging block culture method for studying growth and cell division of individual bacteria.  Appointed director of laboratory in 1898 and left in 1905.

     At the 1901 meeting of the SAB, Hill presented two papers which did not appear in the program, but did appear in the printed abstracts:  "Branching in Bacteria, with Special Reference to B. Diphtheriae," in which he declared the problem to be "of fundamental importance, theoretical and, in its relation to diagnostic work, practical"; "'Hanging Block' Preparation for Microscopic Observation of Developing Bacteria," a purely technical paper.  At the 1902 meeting, he presented a similar discussion, not appearing on the Program, on a "Preliminary Note on Chromogenic Cultures of B. diphtheriae."  At the 1904 meeting of the SAB, Hill suggested some "Introductory Remarks on Morphology of Bacteria," which was read by Rickards.  He also demonstrated a "Porous Top for Petri Dishes," described "Staining Bacterial Fields under Microscopic Observation," and a "method for Obtaining Smears for Flagella Staining."

     At the 1908 meeting, Hill presented a provocative paper discussing "Bacteriology as an Important Non‑Technical Study."  This was a plea for bacteriology as biology, using it to demonstrate principles of sociology, hygienic living, and natural history. 

     At the 1913 SAB meeting, Hill organized the session on "Sanitary Bacteriology ‑‑ Including Water and Dairy Bacteriology."

     He is best remembered for his involvement in developing the Journal of the American Public Health Association. 

Hiss, Philip Hanson

Dates:           b. 1868; 1896 to NYCHD; 1899 to Columbia; d. 1913

Locations:    Temporary Assistant Bacteriologist, New York City Health Department (1896‑); Instructor in Bacteriology (1899‑1904); Adjunct Professor (1904); Full Professor and Executive Officer, Dept. of Bacteriology, Columbia University and College of Physicians and Surgeons (1905‑1913)

Training:      MD College of Physicians and Surgeons

Fields:          medical; public health; immunology; BACT‑NOM

Publications: textbook with Zinsser

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member;


     While at P & S in the early 1890's, Hiss developed a technique for staining the capsules of pneumococcus, which allowed a differentiation from streptococcus. 

     In the 1890's, Hiss, along with Park, Prudden and Fitzpatrick, published a long series of articles on diphtheria and anti‑toxin.  In the 1900's, Hiss and Wadsworth worked on the differential criteria between streptococcus and pneumococcus, developing a method using a serum with water and polysaccharide insulin, which is fermented by most pneumococci, but not streptococci.  And, in 1902, Hiss presented a paper at the AAPB meeting on the differentiation of colon, typhoid, and allied bacilli.  At the 1903 meeting of the AAPB, Hiss presented a paper on pyogenic cocci.

     At the 1901 meeting of the SAB, Hiss presented "A Contribution to the Physiological Differentiation of Pneumococcus and Streptococcus and to Methods of Staining Capsules."  The paper was not listed in the program, but appears in the published abstracts.  In it, he argues that morphological characteristics were essential as the "usual cultural characters are at the best not diagnostic, and are subject to variations.”

     Hiss was appointed as an instructor when the Dept. of Bacteriology and Immunology was formally recognized in 1900.  In 1905, the Dept. of Bacteriology became independent and Hiss was appointed Director.  He had many outstanding students, including Zinsser and Wadsworth.  Most of Hiss' work was on immunological topics, both humoral and cellular.  According to Gay, "Hiss's own studies in special media adapted to the separation of enteric organisms of the colon‑typhoid‑dysentery group marked the epoch of finer bacterial analysis, by means of metabolic studies," (Gay 1939, 205)  Hiss developed one of the early methods for distinguishing B. typhosus from B. coli, using a semisolid gelatin‑agar medium with glucose.  B. coli fermented the glucose and B. typhosus developed fuzzy threading colonies. 

Johnston, Wyatt Galt

Dates:          b. 1863; d. 1902

Locations:    Demonstrator in Pathology, McGill, under Osler (1884‑1894); Lecturer in Bacteriology, under Adami (1894); Lecturer in Medicolegal Pathology (1895‑1897); Assist. Prof. Public Health (1897‑1902); Prof. Hygiene, Head of Dept. of Public Health, McGill (1902); Director Municipal Laboratory, Montreal; Bacteriologist, Quebec Province Board of Health, Montreal (late 1890's)

Training:      MD McGill University 1884;

Fields:          BACT‑NOM; water; public health;        b. 1863; d. 1902

Publications: "A New Method for the Culture of Diphtheria Bacilli on Hard-boiled Eggs.."; "On the Application of the Serum Diagnosis of Typhoid Fever to the Requirements of Public Health Laboratories," Public Health Papers and Reports 22 (1896): 248‑253;

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member 1899‑1902; Secretary Laboratory Section APHA 1899‑1900; Chair, Lab. Section APHA 1900‑1901);

Archive Files: Anna Sexton, "Wyatt Galt Johnston and the Founding of the Laboratory Section," AJPH‑‑Yearbook 40 (1950); "Report of the Comm. on Resolutions on the Death of Dr. Wyatt Johnston," Public Health Papers and Reports 29 (1903); 416‑418;


     Johnston was the first to offer the Widal test, using dried blood, on a public basis.  He routinely argued against withholding diphtheria antitoxin pending bacteriologic diagnosis.  He was also the driving force behind the APHA Committee of Bacteriologists to the Committee on the Pollution of Water Supplies.  Johnston recommended that the committee draw up procedures for the study of bacteria in a uniform manner.  The committee made recommendations for standardizing media and culture techniques. 

     Johnston was one of the first to employ the Widal test as a diagnostic tool in 1896, and the first to show that it could be used on dried blood, and not merely blood serum.

     At the 1900 meeting of the SAB, he presented a talk on "An American Bacteriological Journal."

Jordan, Edwin Oaks

Dates:           b. 1866; at Chicago 1892; head 1913; retired 1933; d. 1936

Locations:    Consulting Biologist, Mass. St. Board of Health (1888‑1890); Chief Assist. Biologist Lawrence Experiment Station (1888‑1890); Instructor in Zoology, (1892‑1895); Assist. Prof. of Zoology (1895‑1898); Associate Professor, Bacteriology (1899‑1906); Professor of Bacteriology, University of Chicago (1906‑1931); Andrew McLeish Distinguished Service Prof of Bacteriology (11931‑1933); Head, Dept. of Hygiene and Bacteriology (1912‑1933); Head, Serum Division McCormick Institute for Infectious Diseases (1905‑1917)

Training:      BS, MIT 1888 under Sedgwick; two months study under Prudden at College of Physicians & Surgeons; PhD in Zoology at Clark under Whitman 1892; six weeks at the Pasteur Inst. 1895; year at Freiburg 1909

Fields:          water; milk; public health; biology; food; biology; BACT‑NOM

Publications: "The Habits and Development of the Newt," J. of Morphology 8 (1892): 269‑366; "The Identification of the Typhoid Fever Bacillus," JAMA 23 (1894): 931‑935; "The Production of Fluorescent Pigment by Bacteria," Bot. Gaz. 27 (1899); 19‑36; "The Chicago Drainage Canal," Am. Month. Rev. of Rev. (1900): 55‑58; St. Louis, Chicago, and the Typhoid Bacillus (1900); "Some Observations upon the Bacterial Self‑Purification of Streams," J. of Exp. Med. 5 (1900); "The Kinds of Bacteria Found in River Water," Journal of Hygiene 3 (Jan. 1903): 1‑27; Analysis of Chicago Market Milk (Chicago, 1904); Bacteriology 1908; "Production of Public Milk Supplies from Specimens Contaminated with Pus Organisms," Am. Jour. Pub. Hyg. 19 n.s. 5 (1909): 126‑130; "The Bacteriology of Ice," An Address before the Natural Ice Assoc. of Am. (1910);

More Pubs:  co‑editor of Journal of Infectious Diseases; editor of Journal of Infectious Diseases 1926‑1932; Food Poisoning and Food Borne Infection (Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 1917 & 1931); "Relations of Bacteriology to the Public Health Movement since 1872," AJPH 11 (1921): 1044; "The Differentiation of the Paratyphoid‑Enteritidis Group," J. of Infec. Dis. 33 (1923): 567‑575; Epidemic Influenza:  A Survey (Chicago:  AMA, 1927)

SAB Involvement:  Vice‑Chair, Laboratory Section, APHA 1900‑1901; Charter member SAB; SAB council member 1900, 1902, 1904, 1906; Vice Pres. 1901; SAB Sec. Treas. 1903; SAB pres. 1905; session chair of sanitary bacteriology 1916 meeting; SAB delegate to the AAAS 1920‑1921; Pres. Epidemiological Society; member of Board of Sci. Directors, International Health Div. of RF; Medical Fellowship Board of NRC; SAB Honorary Member 1935

Presidential Address: “Variation in Bacteria” Unpublished MS in ASM Archives

Archive Files: Koser article; obits by Hudson; William Burrows, "Edwin Oakes Jordan, 1866‑1936," NAS Biog. Memoirs 20 (1939): 197‑225; ANB; DSB; DAB


     In Winslow's 40th anniversary address before the SAB, he described Jordan as "frail and gentle, but full of rich accomplishment as a teacher, as investigator and as author of a great text‑book, tireless in service and wise in counsel."

     Jordan was one of Sedgwick's first undergraduates, and took an active interest in the biology of bacteria, as well as the immediate application to water sanitation.  Immediately upon graduation, Jordan spent two months under Prudden learning the technique for identification of the typhoid and colon bacilli, staining techniques, etc. 

     After graduating MIT in 1888, he worked at Lawrence for 2 years making daily examinations of samples of the polluted Merrimac River, isolating and indentifying bacteria, then comparing to non‑polluted water supplies.  He employed Koch's semi‑solid gelatin media, and sought to document the entire flora of water and sewage. Most importantly, Jordan was one of the first to suggest that the presence of colon bacilli could be used as a biological indicator of contamination.

      Studied nitrifying organisms in soil and water, with Ellen Richards.  Upon finding the inability of these organisms to grow on gelatin plates, they developed alternate means of cultivating the nitrifying bacteria. 

     Jordan spent a summer or two at Woods Hole, and there met Charles O. Whitman, and subsequently received a two year fellowship to study experimental embryology at Cark.  At Clark, he wrote a diss. on "The Habits and Development of the Newt."  Jordan also befriended Frank R. Lillie and William M. Wheeler at Clark.

     When Whitman brought Jordan to Chicago, Jordan was still interested in biology, brought Sedgwick's notion of applied biology to the new dept.  Although Jordan held the title of Instructor in Zoology, he taught Sanitary Biology, and the courses in bacteriology in addition to classes in biology.  His first course in 1893 featured the description, "The Sanitary problem.  The methods, objects, and results of the examination of drinking water; the examination of air, soil, milk, ice, etc.  Sewage disposal and water supply.  The filtration and precipitation of sewage.  The nitrification of organic matter.  Lectures and seminar."  (Burrows 202)

     In 1893‑1894, Jordan expanded the Sanitary Biology offerings to two courses, one in general bacteriology and another in advanced.  He also gave a course in general biology.  In 1895‑1896, Jordan split the general bacteriology offerings into two parts, one dealing with biological and sanitary aspects, and the other covering the pathogenic bacteria and disinfection.  His own investigations centered on typhoid bacilli.  In the summer of 1897, Jordan introduced a seminar in immunity. 

     In 1898, he was listed as Assoc. Prof. in Bact, and researched sanitary bacteriology, publishing on identification techniques for typhoid bacilli and conditions affecting their longevity in water, purification of public water supplies, and bacteria in sewage.  Jordan performed many of the important studies in connection with the Chicago Drainage Canal case around the turn of the century.

     According to Burrows, Jordan "became thoroughly convinced of the importance of bacteriology as a separate science rather than a branch of some other biological science, and felt strongly that bacteriologists should have a society of their own." (Burrows 204)  As a result, he collaborated with Conn on the formation of the SAB, serving as its president in 1905.

     When bacteriology was removed from the Dept. of Zoology in 1900, Jordan added another course in public hygiene, and embarked on studies of Bacillus pyocyaneus and its pigments, and another study on fluorescent bacteria.

     At the 1899 meeting of the SAB, Jordan presented "On the Detection of Bacillus coli communis in Water," in which he noted that fermentation tube tests were problematic in that other gas forming species overgrow B. coli and "obscure or falsify the typical reaction."  He points specifically to B. cloacae.  At the 1902 meeting, Jordan presented "On the Nature of 'Pyocyanolysin," (discussed by Abbott and Welch) and at the 1903 meeting he reported a "Note on the Non‑Identity of the Hemolytic and Gelatin Liquefying Properties of Certain Bacterial Filtrates," which was discussed by Novy, Winslow, Bergey and Gildersleeve.  At the 1905 SAB meeting, Jordan discussed the "Production of Acid and Alkali by Bacteria."  This paper drew discussion from Novy.

     At the 1908 meeting, Jordan and Harris reported on a new species, "Bacillus lactimorbi:  Its Relation to Milk‑Sickness and Trembles."  The organism was found in several cases from cattle, horses and lambs, and the pathological condition could be reproduced in experimental animals.  Their description was tentative, as the organism "was very prone to undergo considerable variation in morphology due to methods of cultivation, temperature and fluctuations in reaction of the media being chiefly responsible.”

     Jordan dabbled in epidemiology, largely in connection with his work on typhoid in surrounding communities.  Along with Heinemann in 1904, he performed agar plate counts on milk samples, showing that 50% had counts between one and 20 million per cubic centimeter, and an additional 16% had more than twenty million.

     In 1905, Jordan was asked by Hektoen to direct the Serum Division of the McCormick Institute.  Jordan personally purchased a farm in Barrington, Illinois, and soon produced better serum than was commercially available. 

     Jordan translated Ferdinand Hueppe's textbook on bacteriology, and then wrote his own text, General Bacteriology in 1908.  In 1905‑1907, Jordan undertook for the McCormick Institute the production of diphtheria antitoxin, which at the time was scarce and expensive.  In 1909, he took a year at Freiburg to study the sanitary organization and methods of German cities. 

     During the 1910's, Jordan devoted his efforts to problems of sanitation and public health.  He undertook specific investigations of typhoid fever outbreaks in Milwaukee, Detroit, Des Moines, St. Charles, etc.  "As a result of these and other pieces of work, he came to be regarded as one of the foremost authorities in the country on water‑borne disease and at the request of the United States Public Health Service, he set up bacteriological standards for drinking water supplied to the public by common carriers in interstate commerce." (Burrows 209)  Beginning in 1912, Jordan wrote (anonymous) articles on typhoid fever that were published annually in JAMA

     Jordan was also interested in typhoid via milk sources, and was a long‑time supporter of pasteurization.  He published a study on milk hygiene as early as 1904 as part of the Health and Sanitation Comm. of the Civic Federation of Chicago.  Jordan also published a number of popular articles on milk hygiene.  In the 1920's, Jordan prepared the standard methods of milk analysis for the APHA.

     One of Jordan's research failures involved studies on "milk‑sickness."  Along with Harris, they attempted to find a bacterial agent, but later studies performed elsewhere determined the cause as food poisoning from white snakeroot. 

     In the late teens, Jordan researched the cause of food poisoning, a phenomenon generally attributed to "tainted" food and "ptomaines."  According to Burrows, this interest arose from his contact with the large meat packing industries in Chicago, and Jordan had been asked by one of the companies to investigate an outbreak of typhoid fever in a subsidiary plant in South America.  At the 1916 SAB meeting, Jordan presented a broad survey of the "Bacteriology of Foods."

     At the 1920 SAB meeting, Jordan reported on the "Bacterial Changes in Stored Normal Feces."  This might have been a technical presentation related to his work on food bacteria.

     Along with Dack, Jordan found a filterable substance produced by staphylococci which produced the typhoid clinical picture of food poisoning, and later found similar substances from a variety of bacteria, including the presumably harmless colon bacillus, when cultivated under suitable conditions.  He also studied botulism, and finally published Food Poisoning in 1917, and revised in 1931.  According to Burrows, Jordan (along with Savage in England) was the world's authority on food poisoning.  Jordan served as a consultant to the packing industry until his death.

     Food bacteriology, in some ways, was connected to other basic research problems.  In 1915, Jordan traced the persistence of mutants in pure cultures that differed from their parent types in the ability to ferment certain sugars.  Jordan studied the paratyphoid group, advancing techniques for differentiating and identifying this confusing group, based on a combination of morphological, physiological, and immunological tests.  By the mid‑1920's, Jordan was considered the world's authority on this class.  His work on the paratyphoid group also led him to published a paper on the interconvertability of "rough" and "smooth" bacterial types.  At the 1915 SAB meeting, Jordan presented a paper on "Variation in B. Coli."

     Burrows contends that Jordan was always interested in the "pure" aspects of research, and points to his work on enzymes, and his papers on bacterial variation and dissociation.  Jordan's work on typhoid in water, led him later to the viability of typhoid bacilli in shell oysters.  Jordan showed that organisms introduced by floating in artificially contaminated sea water may survive for as much as 24 days.

     During WWI, Jordan directed one of the four Red Cross mobile diagnostic laboratories ("Lister".) The cars were built by the Pullman Company, and were operated by the Sanitary Service of the American Red Cross to perform field laboratory work.  Jordan's car never left this country, but did perform routine services for army training camps.  After a few months, the car was turned over to the Army, and Jordan was transferred to the only remaining Red Cross car, "Pasteur."

     Following the 1918 epidemic, he worked on respiratory illnesses.  The Pfeiffer bacillus' role had been challenged by 1920, and as a member of the Respiratory Commission, Jordan undertook a systematic investigation of the diseases, finally publishing in 1927 Epidemic Influenza.

     In years nearing his retirement, Jordan spent winters in Puerto Rico, Panama and Jamaica.  He also worked in the School of Tropical Medicine in the Canal Zone. 


Kinnicutt, Leonard P.

Dates:         b. 1854; 1890's; d. 1911

Locations:    Prof. Chemistry, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (late 1890's)

Training:      B.S. MIT, 1875; D.S Harvard 1882

Fields:        water

Publications: "Nephrite and Jadeite," Proc. American Antiquarian Society, Worster MA (1890): 84‑90; Kinnicutt, Winslow and Pratt, Sewage Disposal (New York:  John Wiley & Sons, 1910)

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member (present at 1902 meeting)

Archives Files: Science 33:649, April 28, 1911; Nat. Cyc. Am . Biog. 25, 1936; DAB


     In Winslow's 40th Anniversary address before the SAB, he mentions that Kinnicutt was a "gracious and aristocratic teacher of sanitary science at Worcester."

     With Eddy, he studied the effect of acid iron wastes of local wire mills upon sewage.  At the 1899 SAB meeting, he presented a paper "On the Changes of Opinion in England in Favor of Bacterial Purification of Sewage," in which he reports the trend to viewing bacterial treatment as the more efficient method.  


Leighton, Marshall O.

Dates:         b. 1874; 1890's; d. 1958

Locations:    Biologist, Board of Health, Montclair N.J. (late 1890's)

Training:      B.S. MIT 1896

Fields:        milk


SAB Involvement:  Charter member SAB;


     Leighton reported a paper at the 1899 meeting of the SAB on "The Importance of Bacterial Tests in the Sanitary Supervision of Milk Supplies."  In 1900, he submitted "Infection by Means of Modeling Clay," in public schools.  This paper was read in his absence.


Loew, Oscar

Dates:                        b. 1844; d. 1941


Training:                     Ph.D. Leipzig, 1867



SAB Involvement:   Charter member of SAB]


Mackenzie, John J.

Dates:            b. 1865; 1890's‑1900's; d. 1922

Locations:    Bacteriologist, Ontario Province Board of Health (late 1890's)

Training:      Leipzig with Karl Ludwig 1886-88; MD U. Toronto 1899

Fields:           public health


SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member;

Archives Files:   Nat. Cyc. American Biog. 19, 1926



McDonnell, M. E.

Dates:         b. 1873; 1890s‑1900's

Locations:    Bacteriologist, Pennsylvania Rail Road (late 1890's)

Training:      PhD Kiel, 1899

Fields:        public health; water


SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member (present at 1901 meeting); resigned without paying dues 1916;


McFarland, Joseph

Dates:         b. 1868; 1891 to Penn; 1894 to Board of Health; d. 1945

Locations:    Lecturer in Bacteriology, University of Pennsylvania Medical School (1896‑); Philadelphia General Hospital (Blockley); Dir. Biological Laboratories, H.K. Mulford Company (1894‑1900); Bacteriologist, Phil. Board of Health (1894‑1895); Chair in Pathology and Bacteriology, Medico‑Chirurgical College (1896‑); Park, Davis and Co. (1900‑1910); Prof. of Pathology, Woman's Medical College (1910‑1914); Director of Laboratories, Henry Phipps (1907‑1910);

Training:      MD at Penn 1889; Halle and Heidelberg, under Fraenkel 1895; Pasteur Inst. under Metchnikoff 1903

Fields:        pathology; medical;

Publications: Pathogenic Bacteria and Protozoa and Fighting Foes too Small to See; “The Beginning of Bacteriology in Philadelphia” Bull. Inst. Hist. Med. V:2, 1937

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member; SAB council member 1906‑; Member, SAB Comm. Standardization of Sera 1906‑;

Archive Files: see McFarland's own article; D.H. Bergey, "Early Instructors in Bacteriology in the United States," J. of Bact. 2 (1917): 595‑601; “Memoir of Joseph McFarland” by Stanley Reimann, Transactions & Studies of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia 4 ser. 14:3, 1946


     In 1892, McFarland was appointed lecturer in bacteriology of the Univ. Penn Medical School, and gave a lecture course with some lab instruction to 2nd year medical students.  According to Bergey, the course consisted of making hay infusions, studying saliva, urine and sputum, etc.  "The students were taught the ordinary methods of cultivation and staining, special attention being given to the staining of the tubercle bacillus." (Bergey 601)

     Lots of simultaneous jobs.  McFarland organized and directed a laboratory of biology for the H.K. Mulford Co. in 1894, located first in West Philadelphia and then in Glenolden Station.

     In 1894, McFarland was appointed bacteriologist to the Phil. Board of Health, and aimed to produce antitoxin for the whole city.  However, he was dissatisfied with the city's stables, and the shared laboratory at Univ. Penn.  Initially, he used stables provided by the Fire Dept., and then those of the Police Dept.  He left in frustration for the Mulford Co. in 1895. 

     At the 1900 meeting of the SAB, he presented a paper on "Immunization of Animals to Rattlesnake Venom, and Some Studies of Antivenine."  At the 1905 meeting, McFarland and Edwar M. L'Engle presented their "Observations upon the Phagocytic Power of the Blood of Normal Human Beings," using cultures of Staph. pyogenes aureus, which was discussed by Ruediger.


Meltzer, Samuel J.

Dates:         b. 1851; 1885 to the US and NYC; 1904 to RIMR; d. 1920

Locations:    Practicing Physician, NYC (late 1890s); Physiologist and Member, Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (1904‑1920)

Training:      MD in Germany under Helmholtz, Du Bois‑Reymond, and Hugo Kronecker

Fields:        medical


SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member (present 1900, 1902 meetings); resigned SAB 1917; Founder of NY Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine; Founder of Society for Clinical Investigation

Archives Files:   Nat. Cyc. American Biog. 15, 1916; DSB


     Meltzer was over 50 when appointed to the RIMR.  He was trained initially as a physiologist, and was appointed the first of that title.  He was trained in Germany, and left the country because of his being a Jew.  He was, according to Corner the epitome of the effort to combine laboratory work and medical practice.  His Soc. for Clin. Invest. was called the Young Terms.  Meltzer studied the effect of adrenaline.  He also had an odd notion of "factors of safety" or the general biological law of adaptation of the organism to environmental stress. 

     At the 1900 meeting of the SAB, he presented "A Few Experimental Data on Hypodermic Injections," which was discussed by Sedgwick and Park.  At the 1908 SAB meeting, Meltzer discussed the "Mechanical Destruction of Tetanus Toxin."    


Moore, Veranus Alva

Dates:           b. 1859; to Cornell 1896; retired 1929; d. 1931

Locations:    Bureau of Animal Industry (1887‑1895); Professor of Pathology, National Veterinary College (1895); New York Agricultural Experiment Station; Professor of Veterinary Pathology, Bacteriology and Meat Inspection, New York State Veterinary College, Cornell University (1896‑1906); Professor of Medical Bacteriology, Cornell University Medical College, Ithaca (1906?‑1929); Prof. of Comparative and Vet. Pathology, Bact. and Meat Inspect. and Dean of Veterinary College, Cornell (1908‑1929)

Training:      B.S. Cornell; MD Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons 1890

Fields:        dairy; veterinary; medical; milk

Publications: "Observations on the Morphology, Biology, and Pathogenic Properties of Twenty‑Eight Streptococci Found in the Investigation of Animal Diseases," (Wash. D.C.; GPO, 1893); "Pathogenic and Toxicogenic Bacteria in the Upper Air Passages of Domesticated Animals," (1893); with T. Smith, "The Hog Cholera Group of Bacteria," Centr. Bakt. 16 (1894): 231‑241; "Inefficiency of Milk Separators in Removing Bacteria," (1896); "Infectious Leukaemia in Fowls ‑‑ A Bacterial Disease Frequently Mistaken for Fowl Cholera," (1897); Moore and Ward, "An Inquiry Concerning the Source of Gas and Taint Producing Bacteria in Cheese Curd," Bull. Cornell Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 158 (Jan. 1899); Bacteria in Milk:  A Summary of the Present Knowledge Concerning their Source and Significance (Albany:  J.B. Lyon Co., State Printers, 1902);  "Bovine Tuberculosis," (1905); "The Morbid Anatomy and Etiology of Avian Tuberculosis," J. Med. Res. 11 (1904): 521; Bovine Tuberculosis and its Control (New York, 1913); Pathology and Differential Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases of Animals; Laboratory Directions for Beginners in Bacteriology:  An Introduction to Practical Bacteriology for Students and Practitioners of Comparative and of Human Medicine (Boston:  Ginn, (1900), 2nd ed. (1901) 3rd ed. (1905);

More Pubs:  "Bovine Tuberculosis," Bull. NY Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 225 (1905); with Smith and Harding, "The Bang Method of Controlling Tuberculosis, with an Illustration of its Application," BNYAES no. 277 (1906): 83‑190; The Pathology and Differential Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases of Animals 2nd ed. rev. & enl. (Ithica:  Taylor & Carpenter, 1906); "The Elimination of Tubercle Bacilli from Infected Cattle, and the Control of Bovine Tuberculosis and Infected Milk," Bull. Corn. Univ. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 299 (1911); Moore and Fitch, Exercises in Bacteriology and Diagnosis for Veterinary Students and Practitioners, (Boston:  Ginn and Co., 1914) Principles of Microbiology: A Treatise on Bacteria, Fungi and Protozoa Pathogenic for Domesticated Animals (1916);

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member; Vice Pres. SAB 1909; Pres. of SAB 1910; possible session chair on comparative pathology 1916 SAB meeting; member SAB Comm. on Corresponding Members 1919; Pres. AVMA 1918‑1919; member Central New York State Branch of SAB 1910's‑1920's; SAB Honorary Member ca. 1919

Presidential Address: “Bacteriology in General Education” Science 33: 277-284 (First page only: full text requires subscription)

Archive Files:  Clark, Pioneer Microbiologists of America (Madison:  Univ. of Wisc. Press, 1961): 182‑183; Simon Gage, "V.A. Moore," J. of Bact. 22 (1931): 1‑5; Nat. Cyc. American Biog. 22; DAB; ANB


     Moore had worked with Theobald Smith and D.E. Salmon in the Laboratories of the BAI, mostly on hog cholera and swine plague.  He also studied blackhead in turkeys, and Smith and Salmon believed that the agent was an amoeba.  When Smith left for Harvard, Moore was promoted to director of the BAI, only to be recruited back to Cornell in 1896.  Moore was the first to give instruction and conduct research on bacteriology at Cornell.  He gave courses in general bacteriology to students from all colleges and a course on pathogenic bacteriology for veterinary and medical students.

     At the 1899 SAB Meeting, Moore and Wright delivered a paper on "A Comparison of B. coli communis from Different Species of Animals." In 1901, the two presented "Preliminary Observations on B. coli communis from Certain Species of Animals," in which they found the organism to be fairly stable across different hosts.  At the 1910 meeting of the SAB, Moore's presidential address was on "Bacteriology in General Education."  Interestingly, he presented another broad paper on "The Past and Future of Comparative Bacteriology" before the 1919 SAB meeting.

     Moore was recruited from the Veterinary College to serve as the first professor of medical bacteriology when the Ithaca campus opened for medical students.  His own work included studies of avian tuberculosis, and the persistence of tubercle bacilli in cow's milk and feces (1906).  Moore and Giltner continually presented bacteriological papers before AVMA meetings, on such topics as glanders (1906), tuberculosis (1908), rabies (1909), communicable diseases (1912), but in the teens he mostly worked on hog cholera and swine plague.

     Moore's service role featured some official appointments, from Roosevelt to the International Conference on Tuberculosis, and from Hoover as a member of the Conference on Child Life.  In addition, he was active in the organization of the veterinary corps of the US Army.

     In the 1920's, Moore with Carpenter studied the relationship between undulant fever and contagious abortion, finding a bacteriological equivalence, and some fifty cases in central New York.  See the annual reports for 1925‑1927.

     There is a listing of a paper that Moore delivered before the Local Central New York Branch of the SAB, Nov. 1921, on the "Historical Development of Bacteriology in the United States."  There was no abstract, but I would love to have a copy of it.  For the Oct. 1923 meeting of the local branch, Moore discussed the "Problem in Commercial Pasteurization."  The concern was that pasteurized milk was still causing diphtheria, typhoid fever, and septic sore throat.


Novy, Frederick George

Dates:           b. 1864; 1887 to Michigan; retired 1934; d. 1957

Locations:    Assist. Prof. (1891‑1893); Junior Prof. (1893‑1902); Prof. and Chair of Dept. of Bacteriology (1902‑1934); Director, Laboratory of Hygiene (1909‑1935); Dean, Medical School University of Michigan (1933‑1935); member, Michigan St. Board of Health (1897‑1899); founder Pasteur Inst. at Ann Arbor (1903)

Training:      BS in chem. 1886; MS in chem. 1887; ScD 1890 U of Mich; MD 1891 from U of Mich.; 1888 went to Koch's and Pasteur's Lab and studied under Fraenkel; 1897 to Pasteur Inst.

Fields:          general; veterinary; medical; biology; protozoology

Publications: editorial staff of Journal of Infectious Diseases; Direction for Laboratory Work in Bacteriology (Ann Arbor:  George Wahr, 1894 and 1899); Novy and MacNeal, On the Cultivation of Trypanosoma lewisi, Contributions to Medical Research (Michigan, 1903); "On Trypanosomes," Harvey Society Lectures 1 (1906): 33‑72; and R.S. Knapp, "Studies on Spirillum obermeieri and Related Organisms," J. Infect. Dis. 3 (1906): 291‑303; "Disease Carriers," Science 36 (1912): 1‑10; Novy and de Kruif, "Anaphylatoxin and Anaphylaxis:  Trypanosome Anaphlyatoxin," J. Infect. Dis. 20 (1917): 499‑535

SAB Involvement:  Charter member of SAB; 5th SAB Pres. 1904; SAB Council Member 1905, 1907; possible session organizer for protozoology 1916 meeting; Pres. Am. Society for Experimental Pathology 1921; Pres. Am. Assoc. of Immunologist 1924; Vice President of the International Congress on Microbiology in London 1926; SAB Honorary Member 1937

Presidential Address: “Hematazoa in Birds” Science 21:481 Abstract only. “An abstract or partial summary of the results obtained in this study appeared in American Medicine, November 26, 1904. The work in full will come out in two papers, the first of which, dealing with the Trypanosomes in birds, will appear in the second number (1905) of the Journal of Infectious Diseases; the second paper, dealing with the Cytozoa, may be expected in the third number of that journal.”

Archive Files: 2‑IXC, folder 53, "Bacteriology at the University of Michigan," Malcolm Soule, 1946 roundtable; Winslow in 1950 refers to a manuscript prepared by William K. Emery, and in the possession of Soule; Winslow, "Some Leaders and Landmarks in the History of Microbiology," Bact. Rev. 14 (1950): 99‑114; Esmond R. Long, "Frederick G. Novy, December 9, 1864‑August 8, 1957," NAS Biog. Memoirs 33 (1959): 326‑350; Routh Good, "Frederick G. Novy:  Biographic Sketch," Univ. of Michigan Medical Bulletin 16 (1950): 257‑268; Walter J. Nungester, Science 127 (1958): 274; J. of Bacteriology 74 (1957): 545‑547; ANB; DSB; DAB; Archives and Manuscripts held at Michigan 13 linear ft., includes correspondence, research notes, and student notebooks. 


     Novy was trained in chemistry as an undergraduate, and took a modest post in the Univ. Dept. of Organic Chemistry upon completing his BA.  His MA was on cocaine and its derivatives.  Within a year, Vaughan convinced Novy to teach in the Dept. of Physiological Chemistry.  Novy became interested in bacteriology from his work with Vaughan on Ptomaines in 1888.  The two made a journey to Paris and Berlin in the summer of 1888, and Novy took a course under Fraenkel. (His notebooks from this course are in the ASM Archives.)  Novy wrote his doctoral thesis in 1890 on the chemistry of the hog cholera bacillus.

     Mostly under Vaughan, taught general Bacteriology from 1891 to 1934, from a very chemical `point of view.  Taught tons of students.  Worked on spirochetes, trypanosomes, anaerobic bacteria, microbial respiration, bacteriophage, and microbial dissociation with Hadley.  Most of Novy's early studies were in organic chemistry, but incidentally he discovered an anaerobic organism responsible for septicemia in rabbits, named Bacillus novyi in Migula's classification.  Such organisms had been known as far back as the 1870's, mostly notably identified by August Gaertner of Jena, but Novy's organism was recognized as a key agent. 

     As for his work in protozoology, he failed to cultivate the parasite of malaria, but did succeed with some trypanosomes isolated from the blood of rats in 1903.  According to Winslow, he produced the first case experimental infection with Leishmania, and in 1904 he cultivated Trypanosoma brucei, and identified the spirochete of American relapsing fever (1906) called Spriochaeta novyi.  Novy and Knapp demonstrated that several different strains of spirochetes were responsible for relapsing fevers in different regions. 

     Most importantly, Novy (with MacNeal) was the first to develop methods of cultivating trypanosomes (in the condensation water of blood agar tubes), and his methods were used extensively in the study of T. brucei, the etiological agent of nagana.  In their attempts to produce artificial immunity to trypanosome infections, Novy and de Kruif noted a number of cases of anaphylaxis. 

     In 1901, he and Flexner were part of the Federal Commission sent to study plague in San Francisco.  But his main public service role was in his popular writings on hygienic and public health topics.  He also reported on diphtheria antitoxin production.

     Responsible for the "Novy Apparatus" for culturing anaerobic bacteria under hydrogen. It was a two jarred system, with the culture plate placed between, and hydrogen filled and then sealed by a valve. 

     Novy apparently was a key motivator in the formation of the SAB.  At the 1901 meeting of the SAB, Novy presented "On the Germicidal Action of the Organic Peroxides," in which he tried to detail the exact mechanism by which certain substances inhibit some bacteria.  The paper was discussed by Welch and was later published in Journal of Experimental Medicine and the American Journal of Chemistry.   At the 1903 meeting, Novy and MacNeal demonstrated the "Cultivation of Trypanosomes," which was discussed by Park, Carroll, Smith, Rickards and Kinyoun.  For his presidential address in 1904, Novy delivered a paper "On the Hematozoa of Birds," discussing trypanosome infections and cytozoa, which was then published in American Medicine 26 Nov. 1904 and the second number of J. of Infectious Diseases 1905.

     At the 1905 meeting, Novy and R.S. Knapp gave a demonstration on "Spirochaete obermeieri," obtained by Norris of Bellevue, which was to be published in J. of Infectious Diseases.  Also at that meeting, Novy, MacNeal and H.N. Torrey presented on "Mosquito Trypanosomes," and Novy and Knapp discussed the "Isolation of Trypanosomes from Accompanying Bacteria."  The last paper suggested that bacteria, once introduced into a culture of trypanosomes, tended to outgrow and check the development of flagellates.  However, "in exceptional instances, however, the bacteria thus introduced exert little or no interference and may be even apparently beneficial."  This was particularly relevant for mosquito trypanosomes, which were always accompanied by bacteria and yeasts.  Later that afternoon, Novy provided a "Demonstration of Living Cultures of Trypanosomes from Birds, Mammals, and Mosquitoes in the Bacteriological Laboratory."  Novy and Knapp submitted "The Cultivation of Spirillum obermeieri," at the 1906 meeting in NYC.  Both were absent, and the paper was ready by title.

     Offered the first lecture‑lab course in the United States.  Called, "Practical Bacteriology" offered as a 5 times a week, 4 hour class for 12 week course.  In later years, he divided the lecture course from laboratory instruction, and from 1913 to 1920 gave different versions for medical, dental and engineering students. 

     In the late 1910's and the 1920's, Novy began studies on microbic respiration, one of the key developments in bacterial physiology.  Novy and Soule published a number of papers on the respiration of tubercle bacilli, delineating the gas exchange conditions.  He presented a paper at the 1922 AAPB meeting on the gas changes in cultures of bacteria.

     Novy held a life‑long interest in bacteriological chemistry, searching especially for the toxic products of bacterial growth responsible for disease characteristics.  In this way, he was very much like Vaughan. 


Pammel, Louis Herman

Dates:           b. 1862; to Iowa 1889; d. 1931

Locations:    Prof. and Head, Dept. of Botany, Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts (1889‑)

Training:      BSA Wisconsin 1885 under Trelease; MS Wisc. 1889; PhD in Botany Wash. Univ. under Trelease 1897

Fields:        biology; agricultural; veterinary; domestic; plant pathology; water

Publications: report on bacteria in butter, Bull. Iowa Exp. Sta. no. 21 (1900?): 801; Pammel and Lummis, "The Germination of Weed Seeds," 24th Ann. Meeting for the Soc. Prom. Agr. Sci. (1903): 82‑92; A Manual of Poisonous Plants (1910); Weeds of the Farm and Garden (1911); The Weed Flora of Iowa (1913, 1926)

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member;

Archive Files: D.H. Bergey, "Early Instructors in Bacteriology in the United States," J. of Bact. 2 (1917): 595‑601; Pammel, "Prominent Men I have Met," around 1926 or so; R. Allen Packer, "Early History of the Teaching of Veterinary Bacteriology at Iowa State University," (1983); archives held at Iowa State


     Pammel was a student of Trelease, and in 1886 he began to include bacteriology as part of a course in cryptogamic botany for veterinary students.  In the spring of 1889, Pammel established a general bacteriology course for senior veterinary students and students in home economics.  It was a required course for vet. students, and Pammel continued to teach the course until 1905.

     Pammel also worked on black rot of cabbage in 1895.  His own research interests lay in medicinal and poisonous plants. 

     At the 1900 meeting of the SAB, Pammel submitted a paper on "Bacteria in the Ames Sewage Disposal Plant," but there was no evidence that he delivered the paper, or was in attendance.  He submitted again at the 1901 meeting with the exact same paper, and it was read by title.  At the 1904 SAB meeting, he discussed "The Bacteriology of Some Railroad Water Supplies," and it appears that he was in attendance, as the paper was discussed by Rettger and Harding.


Park, William Hallock

Dates:         b. 1863; retired 1936; d. 1939

Locations:    Surgical Dressor (1886); Senior Assistant to House Surgeon (1887); House Surgeon, Roosevelt Hospital (1888); Assist. College of P & S (1890‑1892); Attending Laryngologist and Assist. Attend. Laryngologist, Bellevue and Roosevelt Hospitals (1890‑1892); Inspector and Bacteriological Diagnostician of Diphtheria, NYC Board of Health (1892); Dir. Div. of Pathology, Bacteriology and Disinfection then Head, Bureau of Laboratories, New York City Department of Health (1894‑1936); Visiting Bacteriologist, Willard Parker Hospital (1892‑1932); Instructor in Contagious Diseases (1895‑1897); Adjunct Professor (1898); Assoc. Prof. (1899); Professor of Bacteriology and Hygiene, New York University and Bellevue Medical Hospital (1900‑1933); Co‑Director of the Carnegie Laboratory (1898‑); Dean of NYU‑Bellevue (1914‑1915); Director of Bacteriological Laboratories, NYU (‑1937); Consulting Bacteriologist, NY State Dept. of Health (1915‑1939)

Training:      BA City College of NY 1883; MD under Prudden, College of Physicians and Surgeons 1886; internship at Roosevelt Hospital (1885‑1898); to Ireland and Germany 1889‑1890; back to Europe 1897

Fields:        medical; public health; milk; biology;

Publications: "Diphtheria and Pseudo‑membranous Inflamations," Medical Record (30 July and 6 August 1892); Park and Beebe, "Diptheria and Pseudodiptheria," Med. Rec. 46 (1894): 385‑401; Park and Williams, "The Production of Diphtheria Toxin," J. Exp. Med. 1 (1896): 164‑185;  Park, Beebe, and Williams, "Study of a Bacillus Resembling the Bacillus diphtheriae, Found in Milk and American Cheese," Scientific Bulletin, NYC Health Dept. no. 2 (1893‑1895); with Guerard, Bacteriology in Medicine and Surgery:  A Practical Manual for Physicians, Health Officers, and Students (New York:  Lea Brothers and Co., 1899); Park and Dunham, "A Clinical and Bacteriological Study of a Number of Outbreaks of Disease Due to the Dysentery Bacillus of Shiga," New York Univ. Bull. Med. Sci. 2 (Oct. 1902): 166‑187; Park, K.R. Collins, and M.E. Goodwin, "The Dysentery Bacillus Group and the Varieties which should be Included in It," J. Med. Res. n.s. 6 (May 1904): 553‑568;

More Pubs:  "Typhoid Bacilli Carriers," JAMA 51 (19 Sept. 1908): 981‑982; Park and Krumwiede, "The Relative Importance of the Bovine and Human Types of Tubercle Bacilli in the Different Forms of Human Tuberculosis," J. of Med. Res. n.s. 18 (Oct. 1910): 205‑208; with Ravenel, J.A. Anderson, H.J. Conn, and R.S. Breed, "Standard Methods of Bacteriological Analysis in Milk," Am. J. Pub. Health 7 (1916): 4‑11; Park, Williams, and Cooper, "The Results of the Use of Absorption of Agglutination on the Identification of Strains of Influenza Bacilli," Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. & Med. 16 (1919): 120;

SAB Involvement:  SAB charter member; member SAB Comm. on Standardization of Sera 1906‑; SAB vice-president 1911; Pres. SAB 1912; session chair of immunity 1916 meeting; member SAB Comm. on Corresponding. Members 1919; Chair of Lab. Section APHA; Pres. AAPB 1917; SAB Honorary Member ca 1918

Presidential Address: “The Applications of Bacteriology in the Activities of a City” Science 38:369 (Abstract only)

Archive Files:  see obit in JAMA (13 April 1939): 1522; Zinsser, "William Hallock Park," J. Bact. 38 (1938): 1; Wade Oliver, The Man Who Lived for Tomorrow (New York:  E.P. Dutton & Co., 1941); James Alexander Miller, "William Hallock Park," Trans. Assoc. Am. Physicians 54 (1939): 13‑14; City College Alumnus 35:4, n.d.; “Un Eminent Microbiologiste et un Grand Hygieniste Americain, William Hallock Park” by G. Ramon, typescript in ASM Archives; Am. J. Pub. Health 29:5, May 1939; ANB; DAB


     Park came from a successful and long lineage of farmers in CT and NY.  His education was unremarkable, and Park himself was not an outstanding pupil.  Like Prudden, Park was an outdoor sportsman, choosing fishing and tennis.  He also was a lover of opera. 

       Park was a graduate of P & S, mostly interested in otolaryngology, working in private practice and several New York Hospitals and asylums.  Others at P & S were writing theses on bacteriology.  He traveled to Europe in 1889 to take post‑graduate courses in Nose and Throat, and two months of graduate work in Obstetrics and Gynecology in Dublin.  It was during his stay in Europe that Park witnessed a great influenza pandemic.

     Upon returning from Europe in 1891 as a Nose and Throat specialist, he argued with Prudden over the role of the diphtheria bacillus as the cause of true diphtheria.  Prudden offered him a position as a volunteer, then a paid fellowship.  He spent two years in the lab in the late afternoon after dividing his time among four hospitals (as Attending Laryngologist in three and Assist. Attending Surgeon in the other).  Park was included in an informal Review Club, founded by Charles M. Dowd, Rowland G. Freeman, and others.  Prudden suggested that Park study diphtheria.  It was while making his daily rounds at the wards of the Willard Parker Hospital (a NYCHD facility) that he collected his data on diphtheria.

     Park was curious as to why so many cases clinically diagnosed as diphtheria, with the typical pseudomembranous inflammation showed no Klebs‑Loeffler bacilli.   He prepared smears from 159 patients and discovered that only 54 showed the presence of the bacilli.  The others were presumably streptococcal infections, which he labeled as "pseudodiptheria."  His follow up studies showed that the true dip. group had a mortality rate of 47% while the pseudodip. group was below 6%.  Park concluded that there were at least two different diseases, caused by two distinct species of bacteria.  He coined the term pseudo‑diphtheria.  Moreover, he strongly advocated the bacteriological diagnosis in order to "take measure more effectually" in the prevention of the disease, including animal inoculations.  There was also the problem of non‑virulent true diphtheria bacilli, which was morphologically identical, and produced acid in bouillon.  (Pseudodiphtheria bacilli produced alkali in broth). 

     The landmark article also defined the authority of bacteriological experts: "The amount of familiarity with bacteriological work and the appliances necessary, although not very great, are still enough to prevent the great majority of physicians from under‑taking it themselves."  (quoted in Oliver 1941, p. 62)  Park advocated cultural diagnoses be performed by the Boards of Health.

     In 1893, Park was recruited by Biggs to be the bacteriologist for the Department of Health.  The rationale was purely economical, as the correct diagnosis would save the Dept. work and money.  Park's initial salary was $1,200 a year.

     Oliver describes Park as a bacteriological "missionary." When a case of diphtheria was reported, one of Park's inspectors would visit the physician, and "explain the philosophy underlying the work being undertaken by the Board of Health.  But not until the physician's consent was obtained did an inspector take cultures..."  (Oliver 1941, p. 80)  Between May 1893 and May 1894, the Dept. performed 5,611 culture examinations, conducting an average of 14.6 daily cultures in 1893 and 36.1 in 1894. 

     In a study in 1894, Park and Beebe reported throat culture findings from over 5,000 cases of suspected diphtheria, producing results that implicated a small but still important role for the diphtheria carriers.  Their work was an extension of early reports by Roux and Yersin in 1890, and Tobiesen in 1892.  The study by Park and Beebe was, however, the first large scale investigation of the carrier problem.  The research was conducted to determine the persistence of virulent bacilli following infection.  They found that a notable percentage of healthy children harbored virulent diphtheria bacilli, and that all members of an infected household "should be regarded as under suspicion..." (Quoted in Oliver 1941, p. 87)

     At the 1899 meeting of the SAB, Park presented two papers:  "Exhibition of Cultures and Stained Specimens of Plague Bacillus from Two Cases of Bubonic Plague Admitted to New York Harbor, November, 1899" and "Notes on the Effect of Blood Serum from Tuberculous Animals and Men on the Tubercle Bacillus When Mixed with it in the Culture Tube and Hanging Drop."  At the 1900 meeting of the SAB, he delivered "The Bacterial Condition of City Milk and the Need of Health Authorities to Prevent the Sale of Milk Containing Excessive Numbers of Bacteria," (discussed by Abbott, Sedgwick, Hill and Harding) and another paper on the "Duration of Life of Typhoid Bacilli, Derived from Twenty Different Sources, in Ice:  Effect of Intense Cold on Bacteria," (discussed by Robin and Sedgwick) and another on "The Use of Paraffin to Exclude Oxygen in Growing Anaerobic Bacteria."  He returned to the milk issue at the 1901 meeting, with "What Groups of Bacteria in Milk are Dangerous?"  The paper did not appear in the printed abstracts. 

     Around 1900, Park began to address the question of serum sickness, which he took to be a problem of serum purity.  He also begins documenting the length of immunization from preventative antitoxin treatment.  This work led to the determination of the antitoxic portion of the sera, noting that it was carried by the globulin fraction.

     Also in 1902, Park and Williams reported the persistence of both diphtheria and pseudodiphtheria bacilli in the nose and throat.  They discounted the suggestion of the transmutation of the two organisms.  All diphtheria-like organisms were indeed suspect pathogens.  Park later introduced a classification of diphtheria organisms based on morphology and on dichromatic staining with Loeffler's alkaline methylene blue.

     Park, in 1894, headed the Hospital Laboratory of the Div. of Pathology, Bacteriology and Hygiene, which was located in the upper stories of the Disinfecting Station (for a salary of $1,200 a year).  According to this division, Park oversaw production of antitoxin and experimental work, while Beebe directed the Diagnostic Laboratory, which performed most of the routine work.  Still, Park’s career is best described as one who shunned pure biological approach to bacteria, choosing instead to devote himself to the tediousness of practical, less theoretical, laboratory work.  (Blancher 100).  He began his career by devising diagnostic outfits for use by physicians for making throat cultures, and this style of work characterized his career.

     Park and William's antitoxin was far more potent than that produced in Europe.  This success was achieved by culturing a more potent toxin.  Williams discovered the No. 8 strain, which when transplanted to fresh bouillon every two or three days, produced uniquely strong and consistent toxin.  Even though it was isolated from a mild strain, it survived well in artificial culture. The potency of the toxin was essential as the horses could take only so much fluid subcutaneously.  Additionally, Park and Williams reduced the culture time from four weeks (Roux's recommended time) to four days.

     Park and Williams also documented the importance of culture reaction.  It was Smith who suggested that the variability of diphtheria toxin might be due to the acid produced from glucose in culture broths.  Park therefore recommended the addition of alkali to the cultures.

     The most dramatic instance of his defense of practical methods was in the public debate with Dr. Joseph E Winters, the attending physician to the Health Dept. Hospitals of NYC and Prof. of Pediatrics at Cornell, over the value of antitoxin.  Winters contended that antitoxin was not only ineffective, but actually harmful through the dissolving action on red blood cells, and the production of "antitoxin septicemia," followed by pneumonia.  The debate was public spectacle at the 1895 meeting of the NY Acad. of Med. and again at a meeting of the Mass. Med. Soc.  Winters claimed that if any patient had been isolated and cared for properly, he would recover.  Winters, according to Oliver, was still smarting from Koch's wrongful announcement of tuberculin treatments.

     In 1896, Park contracted a very severe case of typhoid fever, which put him out of work from Aug. to November.  During this time, Park fretted about his position as director, actually implicating Williams.  He also began work on his textbook by translating and abstracting Kolle and Wasserman's text.  Park recalled, in later years, that at the time "he really knew only two microorganisms, the diphtheria bacillus and the cholera vibrio."  (Oliver 1941, 176)

     In 1898, Park became Adjunct Professor of Bacteriology as well as Co‑Director of the Carnegie Lab, personally teaching through 1933. 

     In 1902 and 1903, Park turned his attention to dysentery bacilli, as well as diphtheria toxin‑antitoxin injections.  The dysentery research was in response to three epidemics in 1902, and Park determined that the causative agent was the Shiga type.  Park also found two related bacilli, which he gave the name para‑dysentery, and distinguished them on their ability to produce indol, and the great range of fermenting activity (thus resembling other colon bacilli).

     The milk collaborative work was continued in 1908, via a Rockefeller Fellowship to complete a study of milk used in infant feeding.  On a different research line, Park and Prudden in the early 1890's studied the effect of electrolyzed sea water on the typhoid bacillus.  With Emmett Holt, an authority on children's diseases, Park in 1903 studied the cause of cholera infantum or infantile summer diarrhea, a disease which had been the cause of many thousands of deaths among infants in the city each summer.  Also, in an unrelated area, Park studied methods of diagnosing paratyphoid fever in 1902.

     The toxin‑antitoxin studies confirmed Smith and Ehrlich's hypothesized use for immunity. 

     In 1914, Park was elected to the Deanship of New York University/Bellevue, without his consent.  He reluctantly accepted, only to find a resolution passed by the Health Commission that all Board of Health Directors were to devote their entire time to the Dept.  Park relinquished the deanship.

     At the 1912 meeting of the SAB, Park delivered his presidential address on "The Applications of Bacteriology in the Activities of a City."  Park and M.C. Schroeder returned to the SAB program in 1917, to discuss the "Bacterial Content of Cream Separated from Milk at Different Speeds."  For the 1923 SAB meeting, Park and Schroeder were listed on the program to describe "New Procedures for the Determination of Antitoxic Immunity to Diphtheria."  There was no abstract listed.


Parker, W. H.

Dates:         b. 1869; 1890's‑1900's

Locations:    Instructor in Chemistry, Yale Medical School (late 1890's); Associate Chemist and Bacteriologist, Conn. State Board of Health (late 1890's)


Fields:        public health; medical


SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member;



Pease, Herbert D.

Dates:           b. 1870; 1884 at Hopkins; 1895 at Phil. Bur. of Health; 1896, Phil Policlinic; 1898 to Buffalo; 1901 to Yale; 1901 NY State Dept. of Health; d. 1950

Locations:    Assist Instructor, Hopkins Undergraduate Medical School (1894‑1895); First Assist. Bacteriologist, Laboratory of Hygiene, Bureau of Health, City of Philadelphia; Instructor in Bacteriology, Philadelphia Polyclinic; Bacteriologist, New York State Pathological Laboratory (1899); NY State Path. Lab, Buffalo (1898-1900) Instructor in Sanitary Bacteriology, Sheffield Scientific School, Yale (1901); Bacteriologist, New York State Department of Health, Albany (1901‑1910); Maybe at Albany Medical College (1901‑); Lederle Labs (1910‑1919); Dir. Lederle Laboratories (1919‑1940's)

Training:      MD or M.B. from University of Toronto; Hopkins under Welch

Fields:          medical; public health;

Publications: "An Investigation of Epidemic Typhoid Fever in Montreal, in 1927," (1931); "Reports Concerning the Significance of Bacterial Counts and Bacillus coli Tests," and "Bacteriological Investigations Regarding Rates of Growth in Pasteurized Milk," in Rept. of Experiments Referred to at Hearings on Ice Cream... (1914); "A Carrier of Disease," Good Housekeeping (1913)

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member; Member, SAB Comm. on Standardization of Sera 1906‑; Recorder of the Laboratory Section of the American Public Health Association 1900‑1911; founding member of the Section of Pathology and Bacteriology of APHA; SAB council member 1912; member, American Association of Pathologists and Bacteriologists.

Archive Files:  See, "Recollection of the Early Days of Bacteriology in New York City," SAB Meeting, 1944 NYC; correspondence with Barnett Cohen and others concerning early days in Phil. And beginnings of APHA Lab Section in 7-IIA, Folder 9.8


     Pease was the first assistant under Flexner at Hopkins in 1894. 

     While a graduate student under Welch and Meade Bolton, Pease took the civil service exam for the new Laboratory in Philadelphia.  As first assistant, he performed numerous examinations for diphtheria and typhoid, and investigated water samples for contamination.  He also worked on the production of tetanus anti‑toxin.  In 1896, he was instructor at the Philadelphia Polytechnic, but had few students.

     Pease recalls that in 1895, there was a meeting at Jefferson Medical College for those interested in water bacteriology.  Surgeon General Sternberg presided, and Welch opened the meeting.  Meade Bolton and Pease were up from Baltimore to present papers.  The conference considered the problem of bacteriologists reporting typhoid bacilli in water samples when they had merely found motile bacteria.  The participants at the conference urged the formation of a committee to standardize methods and procedures, and Cheesman was the Sec. of that committee.

     In 1898, he left Philadelphia for Buffalo to join Gaylord and Roswell Park in their cancer research.  In 1901, Pease delivered instruction to the first class of undergraduate students majoring in Sanitary Engineering at Yale, along with a small number of graduate students.  He set up Rettger's laboratory at Yale. 

     In 1901, Pease went to Albany to work for the State Dept. of Health, where he worked until 1910.  He claims responsibility for establishing branch laboratories in area counties.  Pease was an active participant in the 1908 International Congress on Tuberculosis. 

     Pease was recorder of the laboratory section of the APHA, and he was responsible for collecting archives for their history. 


Prescott, Samuel Cate

Dates:           b. 1872; retired 1942; d. 1962

Locations:    Assist. Prof. (1895‑); Professor of Biology (1900's‑1942); Head, Dept. of Biology and Public Health (1921‑); Dean of Science (1932‑1942)

Training:      S.B. MIT under Sedgwick 1894

Fields:          food; industrial; water; biology; dairy; BACT‑NOM; milk; teaching

Publications:  with Breed, "The Determination of the Number of Body Cells in Milk, by a Direct Method," J. of Infect. Diseases 7 (1910): 632‑640; Enzymes and their Application translated Jean Effronts 1902 book; Elements of Water Bacteriologywith Winslow (1904); "Report on Ice Cream Examinations," in Alsbergs 1914 hearings;;

SAB Involvement:  Charter member of the SAB; SAB Sec.‑Treas. SAB 1907; SAB Council Member 1905, 1908; Chair, Comm. on Microbiological Teaching and Education 1911; SAB delegate to AAAS council 1913; Sec‑Treas of Bug Club, 1911‑1915; organized SAB session on Dairy and Food Bact. 1917 meeting; Chair SAB Comm. on Resolutions, 1919‑; President of SAB, 1919; Chair of Laboratory Section of APHA

Presidential Address: "Some Bacteriological Aspects of Dehydration” J. of Bact. 5 (1920): 109‑125

Archive Files: 2‑IXC Folder 77; "A History of Bacteriology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology," M.P. Horwood approx 1952; Eric ‑‑ look for exhibit records from Food Processing exhibit at the Boston Museum of Science in the 1960's or 1970's; obit in J. Bact. 83:6, 1962 and NYT March 21, 1962; Nat. Cyc. American Biog. 1930 and 1968; ANB; DAB


     Member of the Bug Club.  Taught "Industrial Biology" course as early as 1895, with emphasis on applications of microbiology to dairying, vinegar making and food preservation.  Was co‑instructor with Sedgwick in water and sewage bacteriology in 1896.  In 1897, he assumed major responsibility for instruction in bacteriology, and continued until 1916, offering two courses, General and Sanitary Bacteriology.  He became head of Dept. of Biology and Public Health in 1921.  In the 1920's, Prescott moved the department more and more to Industrial Biology and Food Technology.

     At the 1899 SAB Meeting, he presented, with W.L. Underwood, a paper "On the Bacteriology of Canned Goods, with a Detailed Account of Bacteria Detected in Sour Corn."  At the 1901 meeting, Prescott spoke "On the Apparent Identity of the Cultural Reactions of B. coli communis and Certain Lactic Acid Bacteria."  This was a highly suggestive paper, but he only intimates that the category of "B. coli" or "lactic acid" needed to be precisely defined, not entirely re‑worked.  The paper was discussed by Moore, Vaughan, Sedgwick, Harding and Jordan.

     At the 1902 meeting, Prescott delivered "Further Evidence of the Apparent Identity of B. coli and Certain Lactic Acid Bacteria," using evidence of fermentation, inoculation tests, etc.  "As a result of the experiments the author believes that the organisms studied are not merely alike in certain characteristics, but are absolutely identical, and thus that organisms having the same characteristics as B. coli are very widely distributed in nature, and their presence, unless in considerable numbers, is not necessarily indicate of recent faecal contamination." (Science 17, 6 March 1903, p. 378‑379)  BACT‑NOM  The paper was discussed by Conn and Welch.

     At the 1904 meeting of the SAB, Prescott described "Some Large but Inexpensive Incubators for Teaching and Working Laboratories," which drew questions from Conn, Novy, Houghton, Rosenau and Winslow.  In 1905, Prescott delivered a preliminary communication, or "A Note on the Indol Producing Bacteria in Milk," and suggested that their presence suggested "the possibility of some connection between these organisms and the intestinal diseases often so prevalent in children fed on raw milk."  The paper was discussed by Prucha.

     Prescott returned to the problem of milk bacteriology at the 1906 SAB meeting, discussing the "Commercial Bacterial Inspection of Milk and its Results."  In these inspections, Prescott advised the farmers on how to reduce bacterial counts.  The paper was discussed by Park, Rosenau, Rogers, Harding, Bergey, Conn and Stocking.  Prescott presented a "Note on Sugar Fermenting Organisms on Grains" at the 1907 SAB, which was discussed by Jordan.  Prescott also reported on "Some Bacteriological Tests of a Milking Machine," which drew comment by Stocking and Edwards, and "A Note on the Occurrence of Leucocytes and Streptococci in Milk," which was discussed by Harris and Pennington.  At the 1908 meeting, Prescott evaluated the "Types of Bacteria Found in Fermented Milk Products Prepared for Therapeutic Use."

     Breed and Prescott presented a technical paper, at the 1909 Meeting in Boston, on "The Determination of the Number of Leucocytes in Milk by a Direct Method," that argued the centrifuge method varied greatly from sample to sample (discussed by Harding, Rosenau, Rettger, Bergey and Stocking).  At the 1909 meeting, Prescott and Hoyt reported on "The Bacteriology of Condensed and Evaporated Milk" (discussed by Conn and Marshall)  At the 1911 meeting of the SAB, Prescott, Colson and Magoon presented a paper describing their "Study of a Surviving Types of Bacteria in Milk Pasteurized in the Final Package."  Prescott returned to this topic at the 1912 SAB meeting, discussing "Problems in Sanitary Milk Production," and again at the 1913 meeting with two papers:  "The Occurrence of Colon Bacilli in Certified Milk," and "Bacteriological Changes in Certified Milk at Low Temperatures."

     Prescott was president of the SAB in 1919, and delivered an address on "Some Bacteriological Aspects of Dehydration." 

     Taught courses in general bacteriology, bact. of water and sewage, dairy, bact. of foods, mycology, industrial microbiology, zymology, industrial biology, Tech of Food Supplies, Tech of Food Products.

     Prescott delivered a paper at the first SAB meeting on the bacteria of sour canned corn.  Interestingly, it was Prescott who recommended in 1905 to the APHA, that a committee be created to establish a set of standard methods for milk analysis.

     Studied microbiology of dehydrated, refrigerated and quick frozen foods; microbiology of textiles and fibers, production of organic solvents; but mostly on foods.  For example, he studied diseases of the banana in 1902, and was constantly in South and Central America.

     He authored a statement for the course catalogue in 1926 articulating a vision of industrial biology:  "Biology in a broad sense includes those sciences dealing with the study and control of living things, both plants and animals, from the invisible microbe to man himself.  Our food supply, clothing, leather, timber and paper are products of biological activity, and the great problems of the health of communities through sanitation and the control of diseases are questions of biology.  Great industries have been built through the applications of biological knowledge and the products of these industries amount to billions of dollars annually.  Pasteur's work led to the development of the new science of Bacteriology which has revolutionized medicine and sanitation and led to the development of new industries.  This opened a new and important era in science, the era of Applied Biology, including Industrial Biology and Food Technology." 

     He then mentions the economic nature of food production and distribution, the development of Fermentation and Biochemical Industries.  Prescott noted that WWI created a demand for rubber which spawned the butyl alcohol industry. 

     At the 1916 SAB meeting, Prescott and Ingham presented "Some Comments on the Scope of a General Course in Bacteriology," in which they argue for a broadening of topics beyond pathogens, and a consideration of bacteria as a "biological group" with attention to "their distribution, morphology, and physiology...." Prescott, Philbrick and Burrage submitted to the 1916 meeting a discussion of "Some Sources of Error in the Microscopic Method of Examination of Foods for Sanitary Quality."  At the same meeting, Prescott and E.A. Carleton submitted "Some Notes on the Indol Reaction."

     At the 1917 meeting, Prescott discussed the wartime considerations for the "Prevention of Spoilage in the Control of Food for the Army." 

     Prescott's connection to the canning industry was solidified early in his career, partly growing from his friendship and collaboration with William Lyman Underwood. 

Prudden, Theophil Mitchell

Dates:         b. 1849; 1878 to College of Physicians and Surgeons; retired 1909; d. 1924

Locations:    Assist. in Pathology and Dir. of the Laboratory of the Alumni Assoc. of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, (1878); Dir. of the Laboratory, (1882‑1892); Consulting Pathologist, New York Board of Health, (1887); Prof. of Pathology, Columbia University, (1892‑1909); Consulting Pathologist, St. Luke’s Hospital (1896‑1922); Member of Board of Scientific Directors, Rockefeller Institute, (1901); Member of the Public Health Council of State of New York (1914); Member of International Health Board, 1921

Training:      PhB Sheffield Scientific School, 1872; MD Yale 1875; in Heidelberg under Arnold 1876; with Koch in 1885

Fields:        medical; public health

Publications: with Delafield Handbook of Pathological Anatomy and Histology 1st ed. 1885; called A Text‑book of Pathology by the 6th ed. in 1901; "Glimpses of the Bacteria," Harper'sMagazine (1891); The Story of Bacteria (3 editions); Dust and Its Dangers (2 editions); Drinking‑water and Ice Supplies and their Relations to Health and Disease (2 editions); "A New Outlook in the Conquest of Disease," Review of Reviews Jan. 1921; Find, "Glimpses of Bacteria," in Harper's in 1891; On the Great American Plateau (1904) [in ASM Prudden Honorary Member File.] “On Koch’s Methods of Studying the Bacteria, Particularly those Causing Asiatic Cholera,” in Report of Conn. State Bd. Health for 1885

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member; elected honorary member 1901;

Archive Files: See, Lillian E. Prudden's biography, published in 1927.  Also, Simon Flexner's obit. Science Nov. 1924.  Most of his letters and archives were originally stored at the Rockefeller Inst.; the New York Academy of Medicine; and Yale University; Ludwig Hektoen, "Biographical Memoirs of Theophil Mitchell Prudden," Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Science 12 4th memoir (1928): 73‑97; ANB; DSB; DAB; obit in NY Dept. Health Health News 1:16, April 21, 1924


     Prudden comes from an established, puritan descendant family in Milford Connecticut, who had only moderate means.  At the Sheffield School, he wrote a thesis on "The Anatomy and Habits of the Larger Fiddler Crab".  After graduation, Prudden was part of a dredging expedition at the Bay of Fundy, and participating in a rather typical naturalist study.  In 1873, he accompanied a westward expedition with Professor Marsh, who discovered the prehistoric three‑toed horse.  The expedition was during the Modoc Indian War, and the naturalists were accompanied by an escort of soldiers, and Prudden wrote of this account for the New York Tribune.

     In 1874, he went with George Hawes on a trip through the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina, gathering rare plants and studying rocks and human nature.  "After they had succeeded in disarming the suspicion which their vagaries in going about with hammers and long tin boxes had aroused, they even penetrated into the haunts of the secret stills."  (Prudden 1927, p. 22)  This is an odd mix of exploration, and Appalachian culture.

     Prudden arrives at the College of Physicians and Surgeons via Welch, who himself was offered the job, but could not leave Bellevue.  Prudden worked under Francis Delafield, and after a few short years had many students visiting his laboratory to learn to stain the tubercle bacillus (e.g., Hodenpyl and Trudeau).  Trudeau's autobiography describes the process whereby one had to "bring out the bacillus on the slides."  During that time, the examinations and counts were hardly routine.  The lab always ran in the red, and Prudden covered the deficit out of his own pocket.

     In a Report of the Laboratory from 1886‑1887, Prudden notes the role of Koch's methods on the introduction of bacteriology to pathology.  "When Koch's paper on tuberculosis was published, in 1882, tuberculosis tissues and sputum became at once the centers of interest, and were demonstrated in the pathological courses with the practical teaching of technique.  We began cultivating on solid media along in 1883‑1884, with such improvised utensils as we could muster."  (L. Prudden 71)

     Prudden was involved in Biggs production of antitoxin, paying for the room and horses which were given to Biggs and Park.  The list of part or full‑time pupils is impressive:  James Ewing, W.H. Park, Francis Carter Wood, Augustus Wadsworth, Mathhias Nicoll Jr., John Winters Brannan, J. West Roosevelt, Walter B. James, John S. Thacher, Charles Norris, David Bovaird, George Tuttle, Rowland G. Freeman, John S. Ely, Alvah H. Doty, George A. Soper, and Hans Zinsser.

     At the request of the Connecticut Board of Health, Prudden returned to Germany in 1885, in an attempt to study with Koch and Hueppe, and returned with a mastery of Koch's technique for cholera study and treatment.  He urged the Board to appoint a bacteriologist and establish a laboratory for examination of water, milk, food, and for research on a plan similar to that of agricultural experiment stations, possibly connected to some existing institution like a medical school.  In fact, Prudden claimed that the "physical well‑being of the race" depended on the application of preventive and prophylactic methods that could be derived only from bacteriological research.

     In 1885, Timothy Matlack Cheesman began to give instruction in Prudden's laboratory, under a course entitled "A Study of Bacteria in their Relations to Disease."  It was given to a few qualified workers.  In 1887, the course was offered to graduates in medicine, and Cheesman delivered a course that was essentially a duplication of Koch's 1885 course.  In 1887, a "Course in Pathology and Bacteriology" was offered to undergraduates, and bacteriology became a required theme for medical students.

     This was also the time when Prudden authored a series of popular writings on the relations of water and ice supplies and dust to health and disease:  "they were read eagerly; and served effectively in spreading the knowledge on which public health, hygiene, and the modern diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases are based." (L. Prudden, quoting Hektoen 61).  These writings were "lightened and even made amusing by many an apt allusion or judicious pleasantry."  (L. Prudden 90).  He devoted considerable effort to studying the bacteriology of ice, and demonstrated the necessity of controlling ice fields and artificial ice.  Frederick Gay contends that Prudden was drawn to popular writing to support his very meager income. 

     In Flexner's obituary, he claims that Prudden brought bacteriology to New York, "research was begun and courses of instruction in the subject were at once offered to students; and the tenets of the new science were made practically potent through the influence which Prudden exerted upon the officials of the city department of health and by a well‑considered newspaper campaign carried out anonymously over a period of years.  It is no accident, therefore, that the department of health of New York presented itself as well advanced in applying to public health measures the teachings of new hygiene."  (L. Prudden 53) Prudden was carrying about 20 advanced students per year, and was the focus a new medical social world.  "For a long time he was the central figure in the scientific medical life of New York City."  (L. Prudden 65)

     Wadsworth remembers Prudden as rare individual, one with a talent for "pure research combined with the ability and desire to apply the latest results of scientific investigation to the amelioration of conditions which affect the welfare and happiness not merely of individuals, but of the human race as a whole."  He was a disinterested expert, one who "carried the spirit of true scientific investigation" to public affairs. (quoted by L. Prudden 80)  His influence was almost always behind the scenes.  Prudden was the embodiment of public hygiene and preventive medicine.  He was a consulting bacteriologist for the city health dept; a member of the Board of Scientific Directors of the Rockefeller Inst. and of the International Health Board; and a member of the New York State Public Health Council.  He submitted reports to city officials, drafted bills, prepared resolutions, framed amendments to sanitary codes, and wrote many editorials for the leading New York newspapers.  "On occasions he was appointed as a representative of some scientific or municipal body to appear before the United States Senate or the Legislature in Albany to offer a formal protest against the passage of some bill inimical to public health."  (Wadsworth in Prudden 82)

     Additionally, Prudden was active in the framing of quarantine measures.  As a member of the New York Quarantine Station Consulting Board, he opposed the deportation of tuberculous individuals.  This move was prompted by the Treasury Dept. acting upon recommendation of the Surgeon‑General of the Marine Hospital Service, and the New York Academy of Medicine "deeply deplores this decision, which is not based either on clinical experience or on scientific experiments."

     More than later bacteriologists, Prudden shared the hygienic vision of the Progressive Era, issuing public announcements that ice cut from the Hudson River is filled with bacteria which may cause disease, especially typhoid fever, and that these imprisoned bacilli may live for 103 days.  He also stated that it was the "duty of the hour to clean and sprinkle the streets."  He was a public health reformer, insisting that even hospitals sweep and dust wards and assembly rooms according to sanitary methods.   He answered letters concerning what amount of air was desirable for sleeping rooms, what is the best method of disinfection, what kind of microscope a young doctor should purchase, etc. Prudden urged the adoption of a city sanitary code authorizing the inspection and licensing of milk dealers.  But this was still very scientific, as he employed an exceedingly delicate instrument, called the koniscope, for the accurate determination of the ultimate number of dust particles in the atmosphere. 

     He and Biggs pushed for signs posted in all public places warning against spitting on the floor, as well as the prohibition of common knives, forks and spoons on free lunch counters, or roller towels in saloons and restaurants.  In articles for magazines such as Outlook, the Christian Herald, and Harpers, Prudden informed readers on the best ways of sweeping and dusting, obtaining a pure water supply for the rural households, and how to live beyond three score and ten.  His goals were two‑fold, to instruct persons of authority and to build up an intelligent public opinion which would demand improvements and support those who were trying to introduce them.  Prudden firmly believed that health was secured through improving and ameliorating the surroundings in order to safeguard the requirements for healthy living.

    Prudden had an oddly democratic image of bacteriological work.  When given new quarters in 1887, he remarked:  "We have reached the period when our efforts need no longer be confined chiefly to the instruction of undergraduate students in elementary themes, but can enlarge the scope of our work by more determined and systematized efforts toward the fostering of research, not alone by the official worker in the laboratory but by any competent person who can find time to avail himself of the facilities of an established and well‑furnished laboratory."  (L. Prudden 71.)

     His own studies were varied.  In 1889, Prudden published a study of 24 asylum and hospital children with throat infections resembling diphtheria.  He found, however, only streptococci, and determined that they were the cause of illness.  In fact, he concluded that there were a whole range of mixed membranous throat infections secondary to measles, scarlet fever, and the like.  But, two years later, Prudden confirmed Loeffler's findings, only to suggest that secondary infections of pneumonia and streptococcal infections were the cause of many fatalities.  This was a difficulty for those trained on the isolation basis of diphtheria diagnosis.  In all, of the 74 articles or books, only 28 dealt directly with bacteriology.

     In Hektoen’s obituary for the NAS in Nov. 1925, he has a great description of the GOLDEN AGE:  "And the epochal discoveries of Pasteur and Koch just at this time (early 1880's) were bringing in the microbic era with its wonderful progress in knowledge of infection and of prevention and treatment of infectious disease.  It was a glorious period for medical science." (L. Prudden 55)

     In 1891, the College was turned over to Columbia, and in 1895‑1896, a laboratory course, entitled Bacteriology and Hygiene, was required of all first year medical students.  Prudden gave a great definition of a skilled pathologist at that time, one who "must know accurately and fully the structure of the body, both gross and microscopic, so that he may be able to determine all the changes in every part caused by disease or injury...For this reason he must have a practical knowledge of germs and their action in causing disease; of poisons, their nature and how they act; of various mechanical injuries and their effects; and of the many social conditions and habits which may lead to disease and death."  However, the skilled pathologist also had a knowledge of "modern chemistry which alone will enable him to recognize various diseases" and must be "an experienced observer of all the marks of disease and injury in the body and be able to coordinate, summarize and record his observations in a form suitable for scientific and legal purposes."  (L. Prudden 73)

     In 1899, Prudden, Biggs and Loomis, pathologists to the Board of Health of New York City, delivered a report on the nature and mode of spread of infection in tuberculosis, documenting the principles that tuberculosis could be prevented, as it was a contagious and not hereditary disease.

     There's a recognition of the importance of biology to medical science in the 6th edition of the textbook, as the preface stated that it was wise to dwell on the relationships of pathology to allied phases of biological science and to view pathology as one aspect of the diverse manifestations of life and of energy, rather than as belonging to a special and exclusively human domain."  (L. Prudden 59, quoting Hektoen)

     Prudden was consulted by the Rockefeller folks regarding the development of an Institute.  He called for an institute along the lines of Pasteur Institute, but also linked "to a far reaching system of public education in sanitation and hygiene" and might be called "an Institute of Hygiene and Medical Research."  "It is safe to say that four‑fifths of the existing suffering from disease and its attendant discomfort and misery are avoidable through the diffusion and application among the people of the knowledge of disease and its causes, which science has recently brought to light and which is now largely ignored.  Such an institute if founded in a great city would find some of its most immediate as well as beneficial achievements along the line of popular instruction by museums, by text, by lectures on the ways of securing and maintaining health."  (From Prudden to Seth Low, Spt. 19, 1900 and reprinted in L. Prudden 282‑283)

     His devotion from 1892 onward was not really to bacteriology, but archaeology.  He acquired by exploration and purchase a collection of about nine hundred articles illustrative of the life of cliff dwellers, which he carefully labeled and arranged for exhibition to his friends.  Prudden endeavored to establish himself as a legitimate explorer and outdoorsman.  He published a number of articles in Harpers from 1896 to 1898, resembling a travelogue or exploration narrative.  Lillian Prudden suggests that it "is a real contribution to the literature of travel, since it pictures vividly what impressed a keen‑eyed observer."  This was the combination of the taxonomic eye of bacteriology with the acquisitive drive of exploration and travel.  Prudden even had an article published in American Anthropologist on the "Prehistorical Ruins of the San Juan Watershed”.  This travel narrative cum scientific account has all the elements of the genre.  "You must command a certain hardiness to face the long miles of arid trails, the fierce sudden storms, and the relentless sun.  You must know how to make a little food go a long way...You must be able to find the meager springs and waterpockets...You had better know the point of view of the owner of large tracts in this vast waste, the Indian, who is prone to make merry in no pleasing fashion with the obvious tenderfoot.  If you can make it plain to the brown brother that you are not less at home in the open country than he is, and still possess the somewhat mysterious capacities of the white man, you may find in him a helpful and interesting companion in your untrammeled holiday."  (L. Prudden 132)

     The venture into the wilderness was an escape from the filth of the industrial city:  "In fact, your risks of being sandbagged on the streets some night in New York, or of contracting typhoid fever through the criminal carelessness of a New England dairyman, or of acquiring tuberculosis in a Pullman sleeper, or in the average hotel, are far greater than the hazards of reptiles in the Southwest."  (L. Prudden 133)  

     All the trials of conquest were present.  Prudden cured a severe case of malaria with quinine.  When confronted by angry medicine men, Prudden went to smoke with his doubting challenger.  After four hours of silent pipe smoking, "Prudden drew from an inner pocket a mysterious biconvex reading lens," and lit his tobacco.  "This was too much for the Indian medicine man; his mysteries were outclassed!"  (L. Prudden 135.)  Conversely, Prudden cherished the abandonment of his lab persona. 

     In an address to the Yale Medical School in 1897, Prudden recounted his "wandering" to the great Southwest "where still fast dwindling groups of the real Americans cherish quaint customs and linger among the superstitions of vanished centuries.  And Fortune made me for a time a guest in a small tribe of these Indians, as yet almost untouched by the blighting finger of what to us is civilization.  I was drawn to them in this way."  He then tells of a "woebegone dark fellow," seized by spirits, who, with his squaw, was heading off for some quiet place to die.  "All this was gathered from lip and gesture and pantomime as he lingered with us."  Prudden cured his malaria, and the grateful Indian was astonished by his curative powers without chant, rattle or dance.  (L. Prudden 138) 

     Prudden also recounts taking a Navajo Indian to the Grand Canyon.  The Indian, having never seen the gorge, walked to the edge, let out an exclamation, turned his back, smoked a cigarette and went to sleep.  The rest of the trip, he never paid attention to the grandeur of nature.  (142) 

Reed, Raymond Clinton

Dates:         b. 1868; late 1890's at Cornell; d. 1940

Locations:    Assist. in Veterinary Pathology and Bacteriology, Cornell University and Instr. in Comparative Pathology, New York State Veterinary College (1890's‑1900's)

Training:      PhB. [Ithaca Journal obit has Ph.D. Cornell 1896 and DVM NY State Veterinary College in 1901]

Fields:        veterinary


SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member;


     At the 1900 meeting of the SAB, Reed and Ward presented "Persistence of Streptococci in the Healthy Udder of a Cow," which was discussed by Bergey, Conn and Welch.  They suggested that healthy cows could harbor the streptococci associated with mammitis in a similar fashion to diphtheria or pneumonia organisms in healthy throats.

Robin, Albert

Dates:           b. 1875; 1900's; d. 1927

Locations:    Pathologist and Bacteriologist, State Board of Health, Newark Delaware (late 1890's); City Water Department Laboratory, Wilmington DE (1900's)

Training:      MD West. Penn. Med. Sch. 1897

Fields:           public health


SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member;


     At the 1900 meeting of the SAB, he presented technical discussions on "Preservation of Sputum for Microscopic Examination, and A New Fermentation Tube, and Simple Devise for Distributing Equal Quantities of Culture Media," which were discussed by Chester, Welch, Abbott and Hill.  At the 1903 meeting of the SAB, Robin presented a technical paper on "An Approach to Uniformity in the Composition of Nutrient Substances for Media," which was discussed by Conn, Novy, Chester, Park, Winslow, Rickards and Smith.  At the 1904 meeting, he provided demonstration of "An Efficient Thermo‑Regulator," and "A Simple Method of Making Anaerobic Plates."


Russell, Harry Luman

Dates:         b. 1866; 1890‑1892 in Europe; 1893 to Wisconsin; d. 1954

Locations:    Fellowship in Biology, Dept. of Zoology, Univ. of Chicago (1892‑1893); Assist. Prof. of Bacteriology and Staff of the Agr. Experiment Station (1893); Chair, Bacteriology Dept. of College of Letters and Sciences (1893‑); Full Professor of Bacteriology and Bacteriologist, Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Station (1897‑1907); Member, State Live Stock Sanitary Board; Dir. Hygienic Laboratory, Wisc. State Board of Health (1903‑1908); Dean, College of Agriculture, University of Wisconsin (1907‑1931); Dir. Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (1939‑)

Training:      undergrad U. Wisc. 1888 under Birge; MA under Trelease and Birge; 2 years with Pasteur, Koch and in Naples; PhD at Hopkins 1892 under Welch

Fields:        biology; plant pathology; veterinary; milk; food; water; soil

Publications: BS thesis on "Bacteria of Ice from Lake Mendota,"; PhD Thesis on "Bacteria and their Relation to Vegetable Tissue," Johns Hopkins Hospital Reports 3 (1893): 223‑263; first paper on "Preliminary Observations on the Bacteria of Ice from Lake Mendota," Medical News (1889);  "The Bacterial Flora of the Atlantic Ocean in the Vicinity of Wood Hole, Mass:  A Contribution to the Morphology and Physiology of Marine Bacteria," Botanical Gazette 18 (1893): 383‑447; "The Fixation of Free Nitrogen by Plants," Botanical Gazette 19 (1894): 284‑293; "The Infectiousness of Milk from Tuberculous Cows," 11th Annual Rept. Wis. Agr. Exp. Sta. (1894): 196‑200; "The Source of Bacterial Infection of Milk and the Relation of the Same to the Keeping Qualities of Milk," 11th Annual Rept. Wis. Agr. Exp. Sta. (1894): 150‑155; with W.G. Clark, "Tuberculosis at the Wisconsin Experiment Station," Veterinary Magazine (Aug. 1894); "Investigations on Bacteria," Botanical Gazette 20 (1895): 4198‑422; "Pasteurization of Milk and Cream for Direct Consumption," Bull. Wisc. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 44 (1895); "Typhoid Fever Disseminated through the Milk Supply," Science (15 Nov. 1895): 682‑683; "The Pasteurization of Milk," Pharmaceutical Review 14 (May 1896); "Tainted or Defective Milks:  Their Causes and Methods of Prevention," Bull. Wisc. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 62 (1897); with Babcock, "The Cheese Industry:  Its Development and Possibilities in Wisconsin," Bull. Wis. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 62 (1897); "A Bacterial Rot of Cabbage and Allied Plants," Bull. Wis. Agr. Exp. Station 65 (1898); with E.H. Farrington, "Pasteurization as Applied to Butter Making," Bull. Univ. Wisc. Ag. Exp. Station no. 69 (1898); "Eradication of Bovine Tuberculosis," Hoard's Dairyman 28 (1898): 953;

More Pubs:  with Hastings, "Bovine Tuberculosis in Wisconsin," Bull. Univ. Wisc. Agr. Exp.Sta. no. 84 (1901); with Frost, "Outlines Regarding the Nature and Cause of Communicable Disease," in School Hygiene by the Wisc. Dept. of Public Instruction (Madison:  Democrat Printing, 1901); Public Water Supplies (Madison:  Turneaure and Russell, 1901); with E.D. Roberts "Anthrax Outbreak at La Crosse: in 1902," Report of the Live Stock Sanitary Board of Wisconsin, 1903 (1903): 42‑52; with Hastings, Outlines of Dairy Bacteriology:  A Concise Manual for the Use of Students in Dairying 3rd ed., 192 pp. (1898); 5th ed. 199 pp (1902), 8th ed. rev. 199 pp. (Madison:  Russell, 1905), 9th ed., 214 pp. (1910); 10th ed., 223 pp. (1914); 11th ed., 231 pp. (1920); 12th ed., 238 pp. (1928); with V.H. Bassett, "The Significance of Certain Gas‑producing Bacteria of Non‑Colon Type in Sanitary Water Analysis," Trans. Am. Pub. Health Assoc. 25 (1900); with Hastings, "A Swiss Cheese Trouble Caused by a Gas‑Forming Yeast," Bull. Univ. of Wisc. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 128 (1905); with Hastings, "Distribution of Tuberculosis in Suspected and Non‑Suspected Herds in Wisconsin," Bull. Univ. of Wisc. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 133 (1906); with Hastings, Agricultural Bacteriology (Madison, Wis.; H.L. Russell, 1909), 2nd ed., 304 pp. (1915); 3rd ed., 368 pp. (New York:  Century Co., 1921); with Hastings, Experimental Dairy Bacteriology (Boston:  Ginn & Co., 1909); Russell and Hoffman, "Vaccination against Tuberculosis in Cattle with Bovovaccine (Von Behring)," Bull. Wisc. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 165 (1908); with Hastings, "A Catechism on Bovine Tuberculosis," Circular of Information, Univ. of Wisc. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 23 (Jan. 1911); with K.L. Hatch, "Carrying Agricultural Science to the Farm," Bulletin of the Univ. Wisc. Agr. Exp. Station no. 275 (1917); with K.L. Hatch, "Serving Wisconsin Farmers in War Time," Bulletin of the Univ. Wisc. Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 294 (1918); check bibliography and review of work by Hastings, in Papers on Bacteriology and Allied Subjects (Madison:  Univ. Wisc. Press, 1921); John Muir, America's Great Naturalist (n.p. 1935) 15 pp;

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member; SAB council member 1902, 1903; member SAB Comm. on Publication 1903‑1904; SAB president 1908; resigned without paying dues 1916;

Presidential Address: Program lists title as “Ecology of Microorganisms.” From Clark’s “Half Century of Presidential Addresses:” No record of his address in the literature or in the archives. Russell has no defined memory of the occasion but believes he discussed “Mixed associations of bacteria, their interaction, and the final establishment of the dominant organism as occurs in other forms of life.” (personal communication).

Archive Files: See, Edward Beardsley's, Harry L Russel and Agricultural Science in Wisconsin (Madison:  University of Wisconsin Press, 1939); "Early Bacteriology," Harding in Regional History, 7‑IIA, 10.16; See, obit by J. Roger Porter in Journal of Bacteriology in 1954 or 1955; Sarles' unpublished manuscript in ASM Archives: 13:II J, Folder 3; Kremers Reference Files, 1828, 1 folder; Hastings, "A Review of the Scientific Work of H.L. Russell," 1921. ANB; Nat. Cyclopedia Am. Biog. 43:32-33, 1961; in Wisconsin Magazine of History: “Harry L. Russell in Europe” (XLIX:1, 1965) and “Russell, Babcock and the Cold Curing of Cheese” (XLIX:2, 1965-66)


     In many respects, Russell exemplifies a wonderful combination of basic and applied research.

     Russell was introduced to bacteriology by Trelease and Birge during graduate study.  He spent two years in Europe, studying in Paris, Berlin and Naples.  Upon returning he completed his graduate work under Welch, writing a thesis on bacterial plant diseases.  Up until that time, bacteriology at Hopkins had been limited to diseases of humans and animals, and many thought that the environment within the plant was such that no bacteria could develop. 

     Along with Jordan, he held a fellowship in Biology at Chicago, "well illustrating the way in which early bacteriology was handed over to any department in the University which chanced to be interested in the subject."  (Harding 1938, p. 11)

     In 1893, he was brought back to Wisconsin by Dean Henry to develop the bacteriology of milk and its products and to provide instruction in bacteriology.  He provided informal coursework in the fall of 1893 for the newly created department of bacteriology, but offered the formal course of lectures and laboratory work in 1894.  Russell was appointed as the first chair of the Dept. of Bacteriology within the College of Letters and Sciences in 1893, while he had a joint appointment at the Agricultural Experiment Station.

     Harding recalls that Russell's course was the one of the first of its kind, and "left something to be desired regarding perspective.  At the close of the course we understood that bacteria were the most important factor in the scheme of the universe...Russell had been trained as plant physiologist and tended to discuss the physiological aspects of bacteriology.  However, B. coli and the pathogens were about all the forms which had been studied sufficiently to present workable material for illustration.  At that time the germs responsible for the souring of milk had not been recognized and made available for class demonstration."  (Harding 1938, p. 16)

     BACT‑NOM  "There was just the beginning of a flora of air, soil and water.  However, as there was no recognized system of classification the flora of a region was limited to the forms with which the worker became personally familiar."  (Harding 1938, p. 16)

     CHAPT‑ONE  "The thing we acquired, which was of permanent value, was an appreciation of the many points at which germ life touch our ordinary activities and a burning desire to add to the scanty stock of information in this field."  (Harding 1938, p. 17)

     In contrast, Hastings claims that "The broad training which Dr. Russell had had under Dr. Birge convinced him of the desirability of presenting bacteriology as a general biological subject."  (Hastings 1937, p. 9)  In fact, his course was given in connection with the College of Letters and Science, not the College of Agriculture.  Many of his students were pre‑med.  "This course was the first in general bacteriology to be presented in this country and among the first of any type course in bacteriology in the United States."  (Hastings 1937, p. 10)  As Russell and Frost were trained in botany, "the early instruction in bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin was more general in its nature than at most of the other centers where instruction was being given at that time, the tendency being to limit the instruction in most places almost wholly to the relation of bacteria to diseases of man, and incidentally of the lower animals." (Hastings 10)

     When Russell came to Wisconsin, he took an active interest in tuberculosis, and upon testing the University Herd found 28 out of 30 cows infected.  Russell was studying in Berlin at the time that tuberculin was announced.  His studies on the tuberculin test were published in the 11th Ann. Rept. of the Wisc. Ag. Exp. Station in 1894, and documented the first series of tests applied west of the Alleghenies.  The crux of Russell's argument was that the tuberculin test was vastly superior to a veterinarian's physical examination.  (Alexander 124)  Russell and Hastings lobbied for a law requiring that all cattle "imported for breeding or dairy purposes should be subjected to the tuberculin test, before shipment, or as soon as they were brought into the state."  (Alexander 205).  In 1908, Russell and Hoffman advised the enactment of a law requiring a clean bill of health to go with each sale of cattle, and of a law requiring the pasteurizing of factory milk products.

     By the first decade of this century, Russell was using a great deal of the demonstration/illustration methods described by Latour.  In Bulletin No. 126 of 1905, Russell recounts a tale of two herds, where one owner did nothing to "stay the ravages" of tuberculosis, and later found that 69 of his 72 head contracted the disease.  "Early application of the test might have saved the owners of these herds thousands of dollars."  Another owner, who had "followed the correct policy,” found but one cow affected, eliminated the animal, and so prevented spread of the infection.  "His herd was saved in the nick of time." (Alexander 263)

     The Bulletins were laden with resonant metaphors.  MILITARY  No. 33 from Feb. 1906 claimed that "an enemy in ambush is more feared than one in the open, because there is always an element of uncertainty as to the strength of the opposing force."  So it was with the struggle against tuberculosis.  Tuberculin could "unmask" the presence of the foe for final eradication.  (Alexander 282)  In this connection, the Live Stock Sanitary Board issued special bulletins on barn disinfection, and the USDA prepared supplies of tuberculin for free distribution, "under certain conditions."

     Russell and the department shipped out some 5,500 doses of tuberculin in 1905, resulting in the detection and elimination of 600 reactors.  In 1907, that number reached 12,000 and the station had given special direction by mail for the application of 10,740 tests.  By 1909, they calculated that a total of 72,638 animals had been tested since 1892, and that there had been a decline in the percentage of reactors from 17.7 in 1906 to 5.6 in 1908.  The public demonstrations of testing and slaughter were conducted by Russell and the State Veterinarian on the State Fair Grounds in Milwaukee.  Similar demonstrations were given at the Experiment Station before assemblages of members of the State Legislature, agricultural students and the general public. (Alexander 279)  In 1909, these demonstrations moved to the extension service, and post‑mortem demonstrations of reactors were held at county agricultural schools in addition to the state and county fairs.

     In 1907, he studied infected udders and determined a causal relationship with a group of streptococci.  He might have suggested a possible link to septic sore throats.

     By 1911, Hastings’s and Russell's bulletins on bovine tuberculosis were less research and more extension.  No. 43 was a "Catechism on Bovine Tuberculosis," a truly odd title.  Around 1900, Russell became active in the campaign against human tuberculosis, serving as president of the advisory board of the State Tuberculosis Sanatorium at Wales. 

     His early work on diary bacteriology was on determining the avenues from which bacteria enter milk: "the bacterial technique of that day did not enable him to get a very accurate estimate of the relative importance of these various avenues."  (Harding 1938, 18).  In the mid 1890's, Russell concluded that not only must milk "be secured and handled with scrupulous cleanliness after it is drawn from the cow, but the care of the animal and her surroundings must be of such a nature as to diminish to the greatest extent the possibility of contamination....The milk must also be stored at the lowest possible temperature." (Alexander p. 116)

     In Bulletin No. 62 of 1897, Russell reported on how microorganisms gained access to milk, and the conditions that favor their development.  He detailed the various kinds of infection, such as lactic acid fermentation, gassy milk, sweet curdling and digesting fermentation, slimy fermentation, bitter fermentation, etc.  This report also discussed taints due to absorption of odors, and recommended procedures for their treatment (e.g., pasteurization).  The report concluded with practical advice regarding the hygienic and sanitary care of cows, milking, storage and transportation, and care of milk utensils.

     Russell was an early advocate of pasteurization, first and foremost for concerns of the transmissibility of tuberculosis, but also due to the documented cases of typhoid, scarlet fever and diphtheria from infected milk.  Russell helped determine the temperatures at which milk takes a "cooked" taste, and then recommended means of rapid cooling.  In 1905, he evaluated the Miller "continuous flow" machine, determining that it heated milk for approx. 30 seconds, far too short.  When the temperatures were raised to above 175 degrees, the bacteriological results were adequate, but resulted in a pronounced cooked taste, and eliminated creaming properties.  The trick was to increase the time, and find a temperature that allowed for quality taste and creaming.

      In 1895, Russell also worked on the flora responsible for the ripening of cheese, and the pasteurization of milk.  He found that cheese could be cured at temperatures near 50 degrees F., which were far lower than commonly applied, with the result that the quality of cheese was much improved.  The cold curing studies were carried out in cooperation with the Dairy Division of the USDA and the NY Exp. Station in Geneva.  "It has saved and is saving every year large sums of money to the industry through the prevention of abnormal cheese."  (Hastings 1921, p. 17)

     Russell also advocated the use of pure lactic acid ferments, in the place of homemade starters in cheese making.  By their use, a greater uniformity could be secured, without the danger of undesirable bacteria which sometimes enter the homemade starters. In Bulletin No. 60 (1897) Babcock and Russell argued that the State of Wisconsin owed much of its prosperity to the development of the dairy industry, and that cheese makers were advised to "study their business more thoroughly, and thereby acquire a more complete insight into the why and the wherefore of many of the processes that go on in cheese making." (Alexander p. 151)

     In the fourteenth annual report of the station, Russell and Babcock reported that the ripening of hard cheese was not due solely to bacteria, but rather caused by the joint action of both organized (bacteria) and unorganized ferments (enzymes).  The breaking down of the casein was due to the action of enzymes, which may have been derived from bacteria.  This conclusion was a product on the work of cold curing cheese.  The next year, Babcock and Russell, with assistance of Alfred Vivian, isolated the enzyme responsible for the ripening of cheese, deeming it "Galactase."  The following bulletins determined the distribution of galactase at different periods of lactation, measured by the amount of soluble proteins formed.

    In 1895, at the request of a local leading cannery, Russell studied the gaseous fermentation of the pea canning industry, finding two different bacterial species in the cans.  One was capable of fermenting the soluble sugars and produced the gas.  Cooking the cans under a steam pressure of 18 pounds, and at a temperature of 250 degrees F ended the trouble.  He had an aborted study on silage, but found little or nothing.

     In a tangential study, Russell and Babcock investigated in 1896 pasteurized cream, which had the unfortunate characteristic of a cooked taste and an inability to whip.  They discovered the clumping of fat globules in milk and cream which caused the whipping effect.  They then devised a mixture of lime water and sugar, which, when added to the pasteurized milk, restores its fat clumping ability.  They called it viscogen, but were criticized for inventing a way to make light cream look like heavy cream.  Their work paved the way for methods of adjusting the body of cream after pasteurization.

     At the 1900 meeting of the SAB, Russell and Babcock presented "Concerning the Theories of Silage Formation."  Actually, the paper was read by Conn.  At the 1901 meeting, Russell and Hastings reported on the "Conditions Affecting the Thermal Death Point of Bacteria in Milk," in which they confirm Smith's finding that the death point was raised when heated in contact with air.   At the same 1901 meeting, Russell independently presented on the "Toxicity of Water toward Pathogenic Bacteria and the Possible Significance of the Same in the Spontaneous Purification of Polluted Waters."  In this paper, he suggests that some pathogenic organisms could not survive long in natural water, and discussion followed by Novy, Vaughan and Jordan.

     At the 1905 meeting of the SAB, Russell and Hastings reported on "Abnormal Cheese Troubles due to Lactose Fermenting Yeasts."  Interestingly, his presidential address before the SAB in 1908 was on the "Ecology of Microorganisms."  BIOLOGY?

     Russell was also responsible for the bacteriological examination of water (with E.G. Smith of Beloit College) for the Hygienic Laboratory of the State.  He was director of the Lab from 1903 to 1908.

     Interestingly, Russell conducted a joint study with R.A. Moore, from the Agronomy Dept. on "Inoculation Experiments with Alfalfa and Soy Beans," published in the22nd. Ann. Rept., 1905.   The study compared the soil transfer method with that of pure cultures.  They found that most Wisconsin soils already contained sufficient legume bacteria for peas.  Moreover, they found that the commercial cultures and BPI cultures were poor.  "However desirable the culture method of inoculation would seem when considered from a theoretical point of view, our present knowledge lends us to recommend the more reliable method of soil inoculation..." (261)

     Upon becoming dean of the College of Agriculture, Russell pushed for a consolidation of bacteriology courses from Letters and Sciences and Home Economics.  He succeeded in 1914, and appointed Hastings as Chair.  Russell was instrumental in integrating bacteriological work to the extension service of the Ag. Station. 

Sedgwick, William Thompson

Dates:         b. 1855; at Yale 1874; at hopkins 1881; at MIT, 1883; died in 1921.

Locations:    Johns Hopkins (1881); Prof. Biology, Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (1883‑); Mass. State Dept. of Health; Lawrence Experiment Station; Advisory Board of the Hygienic Laboratory

Training:      Sheffield Scientific School PhB 1877; two years of medical school; PhD in Biology from Hopkins 1881

Fields:        sanitation engineering; public health; water; milk

Publications: Principles of Sanitary Science and Public Health (1902); The Human Mechanism with Theodore Hough (1906); General Biology with E.B. Wilson 1886; A Short History of Science with H.W. Tyler (1917); editorial staff of Journal of Infectious Diseases

SAB Involvement:  chairman of the SAB organizing committee; Charter SAB member; 1st SAB president 1900; Chair, SAB Comm. on Publication 1903‑1904; SAB Council Member 1904; SAB delegate to AAAS 1906; Sec. of the Lab Section of APHA 1901; SAB Honorary Member 1911

Presidential Address:  “The Origin, Scope, and Significance of Bacteriology” Science 13: 121-128. (first page only; full text requires subscription)

Archive Files: 2‑1XC, Fold 77 (Boston Regional File); "Symposium on History of Bacteriology in Northeast", by S.C. Prescott; See also, Jordan, Whipple and Winslow's biography, and "The Life and Works of William Thompson Sedgwick," by Prescott in Technology Review April 1921; Biological Studies, by the Pupils of William Thompson Sedgwick, Published in Commemoration of the Twenty‑Fifth Anniversary of his Doctorate ed. Calkins. (1906); Sedgwick's "From Peace to War, from War to Victory, From Victory to Just Judgment," Journal of the New England Water Works Association 32 (1918), p. 189; S.C. Prescott, "Professor Sedgwick ‑‑ His Life and His Work," Journal of the Boston Society of Civil Engineers (Jan 1948): 79‑81; E.O. Jordan, "William Thompson Sedgwick," J. of Infect. Dis. 28 (1921); i‑ii; ANB; DAB J. Bact. VI:3, 1921; Nat. Cyc. American Biog. 13, 1906


     Educated at Yale's Sheffield, Sedgwick was a close friend of E.B. Wilson, and a student of Brewer and R.H. Chittenden, serving as an assistant in the latter's chemistry course.  On graduating, he enrolled in the Yale medical school.  In 1879, he and Wilson applied for fellowships at Hopkins.  From 1881 to 1882, he was an associate at Johns Hopkins, studying yeasts and molds.  At Hopkins, Sedgwick was persuaded by Martin to abandon his medical studies, and complete a PhD in 1881.  For the next two years, he served as Associate in Biology.

     Jordan et al. claim that "Throughout his career, it was to the fundamental science of biology that Sedgwick owed his primary intellectual inspiration.  He was at bottom not a physician, not an engineer, not a social worker, not even a bacteriologist or a sanitarian.  He was in a measure all of these things, but he was above all a biologist; and through all his work, in theory and in practice, the biologist’s viewpoint of the human machine and its relation to its environment was a dominant motif."  (20)  Sedgwick was strongly influenced by Huxley's A Liberal Education and The Physical Basis of Life, and he passed this on to his students, who "were not mere technicians who regarded the diphtheria bacillus as a bacillus which produced diphtheria toxin and let it go at that; they were biologists, trained to consider the life processes of a fascinating group of living things.  The sanitarians who graduated under his guidance were taught to look beyond technical requirements and administrative procedures to the psychological problems involved in the makeup of a complex social organism."  (20)  This says as much about Jordan et al's vision as it does anything else.

     In 1882, Sedgwick (at Hopkins) delivered a lecture on fermentation to the members of the B. & O. Railroad, noting that "new" microbes were the cause of infectious disease.  When he came to MIT in 1883 as an associate professor of biology, he taught his students some bacteriology in an informal manner.   Delivered lectures on Germs and Germicides to senior students in the Department of Natural History who were preparing to enter the medical profession.  Similar lectures, with lab work, were given under different titles in succeeding years.  No full course was present until 1887.  Then it was a required subject for all senior students in biology.  Mostly interested in practical side of water and milk bacteriology.  By 1888 he argued strongly for training water and sewerage engineers in the fundamentals of biology and bacteriology, and as a result, Course XI, Sanitary Engineering was established.

     His 1886 General Biology was a programmatic vision of biology along Thomas Huxley's notion of the discipline devoted to study the underlying phenomena of protoplasmic action.  Jordan et al claim:  "It is probable that no other single work has exerted so large an influence upon the teaching of the biological sciences in the United States." (115)

     In 1887, he was appointed Consulting Biologist to the State Board of Health of Massachusetts and Lawrence Experiment Station, making weekly visits to advise on new research projects.  In 1890, Sedgwick studied the typhoid epidemic that swept down the Merrimac, personally making 2000 house‑to‑house visits in Lowell and Lawrence to accumulate data.  He also studied typhoid transmission in Springfield and the danger of contact infection in 1892.  His most notable contribution was the development of laboratory methods for the study of microbiology of air, water, ice and milk.  In 1887, he invented an apparatus for the quantitative bacterial examination of air, the 1888 establishment of the Sedgwick‑Rafter method of water analysis; the 1892 study with J.L. Batchelder of the bacterial content of Boston milk, the first use of bacterial counts to evaluate an American supply of milk.

     Among his students were Jordan, Greenleaf R. Tucker, Sidney R. Bartlett, George C. Whipple, George W. Fuller, John L. Batchelder, Severance Burrage, Alpert P. Mathews, Garry N. Calkins, Simeon C. Keith, and Daniel D. Jackson.  Later students were Samuel C. Prescott, Horatio N. Parker, Charles Gilman Hyde, Winslow, Burt R. Rickards, Arthur I. Kendall, S.H. Ayers, H.G. Dyar, Simon deM Gage; Clara E. Ham, M.O. Leighton, E.B. Rickards; Augustus Wadsworth, A.P. Mathews, and Edith A. Beckler.

     In 1893, Theodore Hough came from Hopkins to the Inst. as Assistant Prof. of Physiology, and continued through 1907 to be Sedgwick's closest friend and ally at the Institute.  (He later was Dean of the Medical School at U Va.)  Sedgwick himself taught many differing courses, including:  "General Biology," "Sanitary Science and Public Health," "Comparative Physiology," "Anthropology" and "Natural History."  His personal emphasis on personal hygiene was part of his foremost interest on "the management of the human machine and its adaptation to its changing environment."  (Jordan et al., 41)

     He worked on the studies for the Chicago Drainage Canal.  ERIC ‑‑ check to see if he testified.  Participated in the four years study of typhoid fever in Washington (1906‑1909) with Rosenau et al; good friends with John F. Anderson, Dir. of the Hygienic Laboratory in 1910‑1913; and helped plan the studies of the Potomac and Ohio Rivers in 1913 by the USPHS.  Believed that the USPHS should issue bulletins for distribution among the general public, much in the same vein as the Farmer's bulletins.

     Sedgwick's Principles of Sanitary Science received almost universal praise, the exception being the London Lancet, which published a brief and scornful dismissal of the work as practically worthless.

     At the 1899 meeting of the SAB, Sedgwick and Winslow presented a paper on the "Experimental and Statistical Studies on the Influence of Cold upon the Bacillus of Typhoid Fever, and its Distribution," in which they downplay the importance of contaminated ice.

     Sedgwick, H.W. Hamilton, and F.J. Funk submitted to the 1916 SAB meeting, a paper on "Experimental Studies on the Effects of Various Media upon the Viability of Bacteria at Low Temperatures."

     Interestingly, he was president of the American Society of Naturalists in 1901.  Other offices were:  Pres. Sharon Sanitorium for Consumptives, 1902‑1921; member school Committee, Brookline 1904‑1906; VP and chair Section K (Physiology and Experimental Medicine) of AAAS, 1904‑1905; President of Am. Pub. Health Assoc., 1914‑1915; member International Health Board, 1919‑1921.  As chairman of Pauper Institutions Trustees of the City of Boston, 1897‑1899, Sedgwick had a unique opportunity "to preach the gospel of personal hygiene and this connection had much to do with broadening his conception of the importance of civic health." (Jordan 119)

    He served as chairman of the Executive Committee for the original Simmons Corporation, and established a program in bacteriology.  He and Prescott gave a lecture course on "Sanitary Science and Public Health" from 1902‑1912. 

     Sedgwick was a bit of a nationalist, and a mild militarist.  Speaking before the International Health Conference in Brussels in the summer of 1920, he was quick to praise "brave little Belgium and faithful France for saving the world."  (Jordan et. al., 113)   He rejoiced when the United States, "at last, and for a too‑brief period, emerged from its atmosphere of complacent self‑satisfaction to take its part in the affairs of the world." (Jordan 137)  Sedgwick organized and taught war courses for the training of laboratory technicians, especially young women, to meet the demands created by the national emergency. 

Smith, Erwin Frink

Dates:         b. 1854; 1890's‑1910; d. 1927

Locations:    Harvard?; Pathologist in Charge of Laboratories of Plant Pathology, Division of Vegetable Physiology and Pathology, Bureau of Plant Industry, USDA (1886‑); Dir. Div. Plant Pathology, BPI (1910's‑1920's)

Training:      BS Univ. Mich. 1886; PhD or D.Sc. Univ. Mich.

Fields:        botany; plant pathology; BACT‑NOM;

Publications: "The Bacterial Diseases of Plants," American Naturalist 30 (1896): 626; "Destruction of Cell Walls by Bacteria," Science 15 (1902): 405;  Bacteria in Relation to Plant Diseases (Washington:  Carnegie Inst., 1905‑1907); "Studies on the Crown Gall of Plants, it Relation to Human Cancer," J. of Cancer Res. 1 (1916): 231‑302;  Bacterial Diseases of Plants (1920); "Crown Gall and its Analogy to Cancer," J. Cancer Res. 8 (1924)

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member; Member SAB Comm. on Method for the Ident. of Bact. Species 1904‑; Member SAB Council 1905, 1908; Pres. SAB 1906 (but absent at meetings); SAB Delegate to AAAS 1907, 1910; Member and then Chair of the Committee on the Identification of Bacterial Species and SAB delegate to Int'l Botanical Congress 1910; session chair on phytopathology 1916 SAB meeting; Pres. Botanical Society of America 1911; Pres. Am. Association for Cancer Research 1915; Pres. Am. Society of Phytopathology 1916

Presidential Address: Title listed as “Advances in Bacteriology;” Smith didn’t attend due to the death of his wife (Rodgers)

Archive Files: L.R. Jones, "Memoir of Erwin Frick Smith," NAS Biog. Memoirs 21 (1939): 1‑71; Paul Clark, Pioneer Microbiologists in America (Madison:  Univ. Wisc. Press, 1961), 229; Andrew D. Rodgers, III, Erwin Frink Smith:  A Story of North American Plant Pathology (Philadelphia, 1952); ANB; The Official Record (USDA) VI:19, April 20, 1927; Mycologia XX:4, 1928; Nat. Cyc. American Biog. 20, 1929; ANB; DAB; DSB; J. Bact. XV:1, 1928


     In his 40th Anniversary address before the SAB, Winslow described Smith as the "father of plant pathology in the United States."

     Smith was originally employed in the Section of Mycology of the Division of Botany of the USDA in 1886, assigned to the problem of peach yellows.  His method resembled that of the cancer surgeon, cutting out diseased parts of the orchans and grafting them on healthy plants. 

     Smith worked on the organism responsible for yellow disease of hyacinths and olive rot.  He also worked out the cause of black rot of cabbage, and other diseases of melons, cotton, cowpeas, potatoes, tomatoes, and bananas.  In 1893, Smith studied the wilt of cucumbers, squashes, and other cucurbits, caused by a bacterium Bacillus tracheiphilus which was spread by a beetle.  He also identified Bact. savastani as the cause of a tubercle disease of olives, and in 1907 Smith and Townsend studied crown galls and Bacillus tumefaciens.  Smith was often embroiled in controversy with European pathologists who maintained that bacteria were not causative agents of plant diseases.  Alfred Fischer was his most vocal opponent, and Fischer later committed suicide. 

     At the 1899 meeting of the SAB, Smith presented a paper on the "Generic Nomenclature of Bacteria," and another on "Dependence upon the Supposed Antiseptic Properties of Thymol and Chloroform as a Source of Error in Certain Biochemical Investigations."  He returned to this topic at the 1900 meeting, in "Growth of Bacteria in the Presence of Chloroform and Thymol," (discussed by Harris) and presented a paper in the joint session with the Society of Botanists on "The Morphology and Physiology of Bacterial Diseases of Plants."  At the 1904 meeting of the SAB, Smith and Swingle discussed "The Effect of Freezing on Bacteria," in which they suggest that the "effect of very low temperatures has been greatly overestimated."  At the same 1904 meeting, Smith proposed the "Exhibition of Cultures on Starch Jelly and on Silicate Jelly," which was read by Prescott, and discussed by Conn, Winslow, Kinyoun, Prescott, Sullivan, Marsh, and Harding.

     At the 1908 SAB meeting, Smith presented a series of demonstrations on "The Etiology of Plant Tumors," "Seed Corn as a Means of Disseminating Bacterium stewarti," "Occurance of Bacterium pruni in Peach Foliage," and "Two Sources of Error in the Determination of Gas Production by Micro‑Organisms."

     By 1920, Smith listed some twenty plant diseases of bacterial origin, including:  Bacillus tracheiphilus (1893‑1895) for bacterial wilt of cucurbits; Bacillus solanacearum (1896) for the brown rot of cabbage; Bacillus phaseoli (1897) for bean blight; Pseudomonas sterwarti (1898) for bacterial wilt of maize; Bacillus tumefaciens (1907‑1926) for crown galls.

     A less successful debate led Smith to argue for a similarity between plant and animal tumors.  In fact, his presidential address before the 1911 meeting of the Botanical Society of America (joint with SAB) was on "the Relation of Crown‑Gall to Human Cancer." 

Smith, Theobald

Dates:           b. 1859; 1884 to USDA; 1895 to Harvard; 1914 to Princeton; retired 1929; d. 1934

Locations:    Dir. Pathological Laboratory, USDA Bur. of Animal Industry (1884‑1895); Prof. of Bacteriology, Columbian University (G.W.) (1886‑1895); Pathologist and Dir. of Laboratories, Mass. State Board of Health (1896‑1915); Professor of Applied Zoology, Harvard (1895); Professor of Comparative Pathology, Harvard Medical School (1896‑1915); Bussey Institute Laboratory for Antitoxin Production; Board of Directors, Rockefeller Inst. for Medical Research (1901); Dir. Dept. of Animal Pathology, Princeton (1915‑1929)

Training:      BS at Cornell; MD 1883 Albany Medical College; one semester at Hopkins in 1882

Fields:          medical; veterinary; milk; water; biology

Publications:  with D.E. Salmon, "Bacterium of Swine‑Plague," Proc. Am. Ass. Adv. Sci. 34 (1886): 303; "Parasitic Bacteria and Their Relation to Saprophytes," Am. Nat. 21 (1887): 1‑9; "Relation of Bacteriology to the Discovery and Prevention of the Causes of Infectious Disease among Man and Animals," 1888; Smith and Kilborne, "Hog Cholera:  Its History, Nature and Treatment," USBAI (1889); with V.A. Moore, "The Hog Cholera Group of Bacteria," Centr. Bakt. 16 (1894): 231‑241; "Comparative Study of Bovine Tubercle Bacilli and of Human Bacilli from Sputum," J. Exp. Med. 3 (1898): 451‑511; "Thermal Death Point of Tubercle Bacilli in Milk," Journal of Experimental Medicine 4 (1899): 217; T. Smith and E.W. Smille, "Note on the Coccidia in Sparrows and their Assumed Relation to Blackhead in Turkeys," J. Exp. Med. 25 (1917): 415;

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member; SAB council member 1900, 1902, 1904; Member SAB Comm. Standardizing Sera 1905‑; 3rd President SAB 1903; Chairman Lab. Section of APHA (1899); SAB Honorary Member 1922

Presidential Address: Untitled; published by Claude Dolman in ASM NEWS 47:6, 1981

Archive Files: D.H. Bergey, "Early Instructors in Bacteriology in the United States," J. of Bact. 2 (1917): 595‑601; Anna Sexton, "Theobald Smith:  First Chairman of the Laboratory Section," AJPH‑Yearbook 41 (1951); Zinsser, "Theobald Smith, 1859‑1934," NAS Biog. Memoirs 17 (1936): 261‑303;  Esmond R. Long, "History of the American Association of Pathologists and Bacteriologists," American Journal of Pathology 77 (1979); Philip Lillyer Smith, "Theobald Smith," The Land 8 (1949): 363‑368; some biography written by Frederick B. Bang, Federick F. Ferguson, and Norman R. Stoll; Paul F. Clark, "Theobald Smith, Student of Disease," J. Hist. Med. 14 (1959): 490‑514; "Letter from Dr. Smith," J. of Bacteriology 27 (1934): 19‑20; William Bulloch, "Obituary Notice of Deceased Member:  Theobald Smith, 1859‑1934," J. Path. and Bact. 40 (1935): 621‑635; Simon H. Gage, "Theobald Smith, 1859‑1934," Cornell Vet. 25 (1935): 207‑228; Earl B. McKinley, "Theobald Smith," Science 82 (1935): 575‑586; Simon H. Gage, "Theobald Smith:  Investigator and Man," Science 84 (1936): 117‑122; E.E. Tyzzer, "Theobald Smith," New Engl. J. of Med. 212 (1935): 168‑171; T. Mitchell Prudden, "Theobald Smith and a New Outlook in Animal Pathology," Science 39 (1914): 751‑754; ANB; DSB; “Dr. Theobald Smith’s Work in the Bureau of Animal Industry” by W. E. Cotton, 1938 (typescript in Smith Presidential File, 18pp.); obit: Harvard Medical Alumni Bulletinby S. Burt Wolbach; J. Bact. 30:1, by J. Howard Brown; JAMA 103:25; Am. J. Public Health Feb. 1935; Science 80:2086 by Charles Stockard; “Theobald Smith: Personal Reminiscences” by Thomas Ordway, Albany Medical Annals; Nat. Cyc. American Biog. 1934, 1949; “Theobald Smith, 1859-1934: Life and Work” by Claude Dolman, NY State J. Med. 69:21, 1969; “Theobald Smith: First Chairman of the Laboratory Section, 1900” by Anna Sexton, Year Book, Part II of Am. J. Public Health 41:5, 1951; obit, Arch. Path. 19: 234-238, 1935; “Theobald Smith (1859-1934), Pioneer American Microbiologist” by Claude Dolman, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 25:3, Spring 1982; DAB; ANB; DSB


     Smith was conducting post‑graduate work in histology at Cornell when Salmon of the BAI wrote to Simon Gage in 1884 at Cornell for an assistant.  Smith knew no bacteriology and little pathology, being trained in the biology of the Darwin‑Huxley tradition.  Smith became director of pathological laboratory at the age of 24, and within a year became the first professor of bacteriology in America.  Smith, unlike most American bacteriologists, did not study in Europe.  Instead, he developed techniques at home, and soon published on gelatinous media for bacteria (1883); a method of staining tubercle bacilli (1885); and the bacterial flora of the Potomac River (1885).  Smith returned to Cornell in May of 1887 and May 1888 to deliver a course of lectures on "Bacteriology and its Relation to Hygiene."

     In the 1880's, Salmon and Smith studied hog cholera, and in 1885 isolated and described a motile, Gram negative, easily cultivable bacillus that seemed to reproduce the disease in experimental hogs.  However, a year later, they found another bacterium, this one a non-motile rod, that Loeffler had suggested caused swine plague.  Moreover, Salmon and Smith found cases of hog cholera that did not reveal either organism.  In an 1891 report Smith reported on cases of hog cholera that were due to one organism, both, or none. Only later did de Schweinitz and Dorset transmit hog cholera from filtered sera, implying that the bacilli were pathogenic secondary invaders.

     Smith’s first internationally famous paper, in collaboration with Salmon, was in 1889, was on the microorganisms of Texas Cattle Fever and the role of the tick in the spread of the disease.  He was the first to demonstrate the transmission of a disease by an external parasite, thereby providing a new approach to the study of communicable diseases.  In the longer report with Kilborne in 1891, he reported on a series of experiments that the organism (Piroplasma bigeminum) could be passed from mother to offspring in ticks. 

     All the while, Smith emphasized the importance of studying from fresh cultures.  Apparently, Smith noted the characteristics that might have been called dissociation some years later, mostly in connection with studies on the capacity of different strains of diphtheria bacilli to produce toxin.  Smith also documented the intermediate forms of tubercle bacilli that spanned the gap between human and bovine types.

     Smith began a short course of lectures on hygiene and bacteriology at Columbian University (GWU) in 1886, but did not teach full‑time until 1896 at Harvard.  He took an interest in water bacteriology, developing the fermentation tube that adapted a long used apparatus in biochemical laboratories for bacteriology.  This was known as the Smith Fermentation Tube, which was an enlarged bulb for the storing of excess bouillon.  Its application to water bacteriology allowed for the "determination of gas production by bacteria, for preliminary gas analysis, for the study of reducing powers and for the cultivation of anaerobic organisms in fluid media." (Zinsser 268)  The fermentation work also produced one of the key tools (1889) for differentiating colon from typhoid bacilli ‑‑ the former fermented glucose.  Later in 1892, Smith documented the value of lactose and saccharose in the classification of the colon‑typhoid group.

     In 1891, Smith reported on means of distinguishing two often confused diseases of swine ‑‑ swine plague and hog cholera.  The first was due to the Bacillus suisepticus and the second due to a motile bacillus of the paratyphoid B group.  Smith, of course, was wrong about hog cholera.  Still, Smith and Salmon published two papers in 1886 and 1887 on hog cholera vaccines.

     Smith worked another economically important disease of animals in 1895, the "black‑head" in turkeys.  Smith studied the problem at the Experiment Station in Kinston RI, and found a parasitic amoeba, which he named Ameoba meleagridis.  Some years later, armed with better equipment and seeking to respond to criticism by workers that confused blackhead with coccidiosis, he reconfirmed his findings but changed the name.  In 1895, Smith published a general bulletin on "Infectious Diseases of Poultry."

     In 1895, Smith accepted the invitation of Walcott of the Mass. Dept. of Public Health, and Eliot of Harvard to come to Boston.  In the years that followed, Smith worked on control of water supplies, sewage disposal, typhoid fever from milk, cultivation of anaerobes, indol formation, the adaptation of bacteria to animals, etc.  Smith was one of the first bacteriologists to note chemical differences in related or identical bacteria, such as the ability of B. coli to ferment glucose and B. typhosum not.   His major studies were devoted to diphtheria and tuberculosis.  Smith published some 14 papers on diphtheria during his early years in Boston. 

     In 1901, Smith was approached by Welch to head the newly created Rockefeller Institute.  He declined, felling that the post should go to a person more "intimately connected with the field of medicine as it pertained to man."  Smith's work in the 1900's concentrated on discovering the etiological routes for infection, such as the transmission of Sarcocystis muris through feeding (1905).

     Smith, with Ernst, issued a report in 1897 on the effectiveness of the tuberculin test in Massachusetts.  In fact, he was a strong advocate for milk pasteurization, publically opposing dairymen's claims that pasteurization concealed dirt.  Smith argued that bacteria coming from dirt are spore bearers, and are not killed by pasteurization and would therefore continue to be detected.

     Smith's interest in tuberculosis began in earnest in 1893, and within a year he was struck by the dissimilarity of the organisms responsible for different types of tuberculosis infections.  When he arrived at Harvard, Smith took advantage of the Mass. Cattle Commission's experiments on bovine types.  Smith demonstrated in Journal of Experimental Medicine 3 (1898), that while the bovine and human varieties of B. tuberculosis differed in virulence for experimental animals (guinea pigs, pigeons, rabbits), the bovine type was far more severe.  Smith also described morphological differences.   His work on bovine tuberculosis opposed two misconceptions:  the dangerous and widespread public belief that bovine tuberculosis could not be transmitted to man; and Koch's insistence that there was no difference between the bovine organism and that transmitted from man to man.  By 1901, Smith’s extensive data convinced Koch.

     Interestingly, by 1902, Smith was backing away from an absolute distinction between bovine and human types.  "...the bovine bacillus present certain traits which serve to distinguish it from the great majority of bacilli isolated from the human subject.  These traits or characters are not the exclusive property of the bovine bacillus..."  (Zinsser 277)  Also during 1902, Smith directed studies conducted under the Direction of the Div. of Animal Pathology of the BAI, to determine the frequency of tubercle bacilli in dairy products, including butter and cheese.

     At the 1903 SAB meeting, Smith was president, and delivered a paper, not listed on the program, on "Further Distinctions between the Human and Bovine Tubercle Bacilli," which was discussed by Park.

     The article on thermal death points was a turning point, for he suggested that the scalding layer of milk in most pasteurizers increased the survival of tubercle bacilli.  When pasteurization was carried out in a closed container, the organism was killed at 140 degrees after 15 to 20 minutes, instead of 160 for 40.

     In 1915, Smith and Brown studied streptococcus from sore throats in five Massachusetts cities and found that these types would not produce inflammations when inoculated into cows udders.  They concluded that septic sore throats were not likely to be caused by infected milk.

     Always interested in the shared bacterial diseases of man and animals.  In 1934, in a essay reprinted in Microbiology in New Jersey:  Origins and Developments by Waksman, Starkey and Donovick, Smith suggests that there are two lines of research in pathogenic microbiology, one "trying to dig beneath the observations toward more fundamental concepts embodied in physics and chemistry, and the medical or practical striving towards the surface to bring research into use...The knowledge of the function of microorganisms has had to fight its way to recognition step by step..." (p. 31) For Smith, fundamental research in pathology would investigate the relationship between pathogen and the body.  This knowledge would aid in the prevention of disease even after infection.  He strove throughout his career to forge a general theory of parasitism, with the understanding that pathogens often adapt to their hosts. 

     Interestingly, Smith was the first to suggest that a mixture of diphtheria toxin and anti‑toxin might be used for immunization, a method not developed until Behring’s report of 1912.  Smith's paper in 1909 was directed at describing the most efficient manner to induce immunity in horses used for antitoxin production.  

     Smith took directorship of the Division of Animal and Plant Pathology at Princeton in 1914.  Most of the early work was on Smith's previous research projects, such as blackhead in turkeys (caused by a protozoan), Vibrio foetus (causing infectious abortion in sheep), and paratyphoid in hogs.

     Zinsser has an interesting assessment of Smith's part in the service role of bacteriology:  "...he took problems as they were spread out before him by questions crying to be solved....he was never a pure research worker but held position in which the currents of his activities were to some extent directed by specific duties which had to be performed and from which his problems took origin." (Zinsser 283‑284)

     Beeson provides a nice list of Smith's major scientific accomplishments, including:  the fermentation tube; use of gas production to differentiate between the typhoid bacillus and coliforms; studies on indol formation; the determination of the thermal lability of tubercle bacilli in milk; differentiation between human and bovine forms of tubercle bacilli; discovered a second etiological agent in bovine abortion, Vibrio fetus; use of toxin and anti‑toxin mixtures in immunization; observed intracellular localization of Brucella organisms, and described the porcine type; and devised an increased CO2 atmosphere apparatus for culturing Brucella.  (Beeson 1976, 111‑113)

Sternberg, George Miller

Dates:         b. 1838; 1861 to Surgeon General's office; Surgeon General 1893; retired, 1902; d. 1915

Locations:    Assistant Surgeon General (1861‑1865); Medical Director, Government Hospital, Cleveland (1865‑); Walla Walla, Washington (1878); Fort Mason, San Francisco (1881‑1884); Honorary Fellow, Johns Hopkins University (1884‑1892); Director, Hoagland Laboratory (1888‑1893); Deputy Surgeon General United States Army, and Consulting Bacteriologist to the New York Quarantine Station (1892); Surgeon General, (1893‑1902)

Training:      MD College of P & S 1860; 1886 in Koch's Laboratory

Fields:        medical

Publications: winning paper of Lomb Prize of APHA Disinfection and Individual Prophylaxis Against Infectious Disease, (Concord:  Republic Press, 1886); Malaria and Malarial Diseases; "Etiology and Prevention of Yellow Fever," (1890); Manual of Bacteriology (1892); Text Book of Bacteriology (1892 & 1896).

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member; elected honorary member 1900; pres. APHA 1885

Archive Files: See, Martha L. Sternberg, George Miller Sternberg:  A Biography (Chicago:  American Medical Association, 1920); D.H. Bergey, "Early Instructors in Bacteriology in the United States," J. of Bact. 2 (1917): 595‑601; Clark, Pioneer Microbiologists of America (Madison:  Univ. of Wisc. Press, 1961), 50‑51. ANB; Malkin, Harold: “The Trials and Tribulations of George Miller Sternberg (1838-1915) – America’s First Bacteriologist” Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 36:4, 1993; Gibson, John M. Soldier in White: The Life of General George Miller Sternberg (Durham, NC: Duke University Press 1958); Bibel, Debra Jan: “Sternberg, Metchnikoff and the Phagocytes” Military Medicine 147:550-553, 1982; Nat. Cyc. American Biog. 4, 1897; ANB; DAB


     As an officer for the Surgeon General, Sternberg visited the cholera epidemic at Fort Harker, KS in 1867, the yellow fever outbreaks at Ft. Columbus NY and Barrancas Florida in 1873 and 1875, and in 1879 he was sent to Cuba as a member and Sec. of the commission of the National Board of Health.  In 1880, Sternberg was sent by the National Board of Health to New Orleans to study microorganisms in air in connection to Yellow Fever.  He was a delegate to the International Sanitary Conference in Rome (1885), and in 1887 was detailed by order of Congress to study yellow fever in Central and South America.  He was later responsible for organizing the Yellow Fever Commission in 1900 headed by Walter Reed.  His chief contribution was to disprove many of the suspected microbial agents of Yellow Fever. 

     Sternberg was also the founder of the Army Medical School in Washington in the 1890's.

     This former Surgeon General, translated and published Magnin's textbook, possibly the first such book in America.  Was working on bacteria as early as 1871.  Around 1878, while at Walla Walla, he began his work on the thermal death point of pathogenic organisms and the germicidal value of certain chemical and physical agents.  While at Fort Mason, CA, he equipped a bacteriological laboratory in 1881, and demonstrated the tubercle bacillus and obtained photomicrographs.  The research on disinfectants was continued at D.C. and then Johns Hopkins, published in 1888 for the Transactions of the APHA

     Sternberg was the first to introduce to the American medical profession the bacillus of typhoid fever in a paper delivered before the Association of American Physicians in 1881.  He was also the first American to demonstrate the plasmodium of malaria (1885) discovered by Laveran.

     In 1885, he served on a APHA committee established to evaluate the practice of disinfection.  Sternberg, Vaughan, and Leeds, conducted research at the biological laboratories of JHU, issuing a final report as Rept. of the Comm. on Disinfectants of the Am. Pub. Health Assoc.   In 1886, Sternberg worked for sometime in Koch's laboratory in Berlin, where he repeated the demonstration that he was a "carrier" of a pneumococcus virulent for mice. (51) 

     Around 1886, the directors of the Hoagland Laboratory sought Sternberg as its new chief.  Sternberg, up until 1883, pursued his own investigations at various army posts, often at his own expense.  In 1884, Sternberg was detailed as Attending Surgeon and Examiner of Recruits in Baltimore, and was made an honorary fellow at Hopkins.  Hoagland offered to pay him $500 to give a course of 10 lectures and direct laboratory instruction.  Sternberg, however, was rarely available due to army assignments to study yellow fever in Cuba, Brazil, Mexico, Alabama, etc. 

     Sternberg studied the etiology of yellow fever, malaria, syphilis and discovered the pneumococcus in normal sputum in 1881, but did not comment on the etiological importance.

     Sternberg was recalled to New York Harbor in 1892.  He published some six papers on the etiology, epidemiology and prevention of cholera. 

Vaughan, Victor Clarence

Dates:         b. 1851; 1881 to Michigan; retired 1921; d. 1929

Locations:    Assist. Prof. Physiological Chemistry (1881‑), Prof. Hygiene and Physiological Chemistry and Chair Hygiene Dept. (1891‑1921); Dir. State Hygienic Laboratory (late 1890's); Dean Medical School, University of Michigan (1891‑1921); Bacteriologist, Mich. State Board of Health (1883‑1895, 1901‑1919); National Research Council (early 1920's)

Training:      BA Mt. Pleasant College 1872; MA Univ. Mich. 1875; Ph.D. Univ. of Mich. 1876; MD from Univ. of Mich.; 1888 to Berlin under Koch and Frankel

Fields:        hygiene; sanitary; food; public health

Publications: Lomb Prize paper for APHA, "Healthy Homes and Food for the Working Classes," (1885); with Novy, Ptomaines, Leucomaines and Cellular Toxins (1888); with Reed, and Shakespeare, Abstract of Report on the Origin and Spread of Typhoid Fever in U.S. Military Camps during the Spanish War of 1898 (Washington:  GPO, 1900); on water bacteriology, JAMA (9 April 1904): 304; with Novy, Cellular Toxins (1902); with Wheeler, "The Split Products of the Tubercle Bacillus," (1907); with V.C. Vaughan Jr. and J. Walter Vaughan, Protein Split Products (1913); with Henry F. Vaughan and George T. Palmer, Epidemiology and Public Health (1922);

SAB Involvement:  Charter member of SAB; SAB Council Member 1906; active in AAPB but resigned in 1910's; Pres. American Medical Association; SAB Honorary Member 1911

Archive Files: 2‑IXC Folder 56, " Bact. at the University of Michigan," by Malcolm H. Soule;  D.H. Bergey, "Early Instructors in Bacteriology in the United States," J. of Bact. 2 (1917): 595‑601; Novy, "Victor C. Vaughan:  An Appreciation," Michigan Alumnus 36 (1929); 171‑173; Novy, "Victor Clarence Vaughan," Science 70 (1929); 624‑626; Gay, "Dr. Victor Vaughan and his Relations to the National Research Council," J. Lab. Clin. Med. 15 (1930): 888‑890; Vaughan, A Doctor's Memories(Indianapolis:  Bobbs‑Merrill, 1926); Nat. Cyc. American Biog. 29, 1941; ANB; DAB


     ERIC ‑‑ Vaughan is really a chemist before a bacteriologist, and interested in physiological aspects of bacterial metabolism.  He researched the poison of bacteria, some of which he termed ptomaines.  For example, Vaughan isolated from poisonous cheese a ptomaine which he called tyrotoxicon, which while appearing only rarely, resembled other poisons in cheese.  Vaughan held that a bacterium from the colon group played an important part in producing poisons in dairy products.

     In 1881, as assist. prof. in physiological chem., taught elective course in school of political science on "Sanitary Science," which included discussion on germs, filth, disinfectants, vaccines, etc.  The course emphasized "the mastery of man over his environment and his fate." (Soule 6), and was given to literary students.  In 1883, his title was listed as "medicinal chemistry."  He also gave a practical course, "Sanitary Examinations" in the chemistry dept. from 1884, and then transferred to the Hygienic Lab. after 1892 and titled "Methods of Hygiene."  Vaughan also taught hygiene to med students until his retirement in 1921.

     His early research interest was in poisons, and he believed that bacteria caused disease by a similar poison process.  His most famous work was on bacterial fractions (ptomaines) and anaphylaxis.

     Vaughan was appointed to the State Board of Health in 1883 which he held until 1919 (save a period between 1895‑1901) when the Board was abolished and the office of the State Health Commissioner created.  In 1885, he served on a APHA committee established to evaluate the practice of disinfection.  Sternberg, Vaughan, and Leeds, conducted research at the biological laboratories of JHU, issuing a final report as Rept. of the Comm. on Disinfectants of the Am. Pub. Health Assoc.

     In 1887, he helped set up the Dept. of Hygiene, and was given the chair of Prof. of Hygiene and Physiological Chemistry and Director of the Hygienic Lab.  In 1889, Vaughan and Novy offered the first formal course in bacteriology in Hygienic Laboratory.  The course was elective for both medical and Arts & Sciences students.  From 1890 to 1902 he taught "Hygiene" a lecture course to medical and dental students.

     Vaughan had several students (and a few children) who also became bacteriologists.

     In 1900, Vaughan served with Shakespeare and Reed on the Typhoid Commission, and wrote the majority of the report that followed, emphasizing the role of personal contact and flies, rather than water supplies.  During World War I, Vaughan worked with the National Research Council.

     At the 1901 meeting of the SAB, Vaughan discussed "A Tank for the Growth of Germs in Large Numbers," which was designed to produce toxins on a commercial basis.  At the 1904 meeting of the SAB, Vaughan presented on "The Intracellular Toxins," a paper that was discussed by Rosenau and Bergey and later published in JAMA.

     At the 1921 SAB meeting, Vaughan delivered an "address" on Epidemiology.  At this time he was listed at the NRC.

Ward, Archibald Robinson

Dates:         1898 to Cornell; 1902 to Berkeley; 1910 to Philippines; 1919 to USDA

Locations:    Assistant in Dairy Bacteriology, College of Agriculture, Cornell and Dairy Bacteriologist to Experiment Station (1898‑1901); Veterinarian, Calif. Experiment Station, Univ. of Calif., (1902‑1906); Assist. Prof. of Bacteriology and Dir. of State Hygienic Laboratory (1906‑1910); Veterinarian and Bacteriologist to the Alameda County Medical Milk Commission; Instructor in Bacteriology at San Francisco Veterinary College; Territorial Veterinarian for Philippine Islands (1910‑1914, 1915‑1919); Dir. Div. of Pathology, Bureau of Animal Industry (1915, 1919); Goshen Laboratories, Goshen, NY (early 1920's); some where in Chicago (early 1920's); Dairy Research Laboratory, Frederick C. Mathews Co., Detroit (mid 1920's);

Training:      B.S.A. Cornell 1898; DVM Cornell 1901; under Moore

Fields:        dairy; veterinary; milk; poultry pathology

Publications: Moore and Ward, "An Inquiry Concerning the Source of Gas and Taint Producing Bacteria in Cheese Curd," Bull. Cornell Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 158 (Jan. 1899); "Ropiness in Milk and Cream," Bull. Cornell Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 165 (1899); "The Invasion of the Udder by Bacteria," Cornell Univ. Agric. Exp. Sta. Bull. no. 178 (1900); "Ropiness in Milk and Cream," Cornell Univ. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bull. no. 165 (1900); "Further Observations upon Ropiness in Milk and Cream," Bull. NY Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 195 (1901); with Reed, "The Significance of the Presence of Streptococci in Market Milk," American Medicine (14 Feb. 1903); "Hog Cholera," Cir. Calif. Agr. Exp. Station no. 3 (1903); Ward and Haring, "Bovine Tuberculosis," Bull. California Agr. Exp. Sta. no. 99 (1908); "Fowl Cholera," Bull. Calif. Agr. Exp. Station no. 156 (1904); with Haring, "Bovine Tuberculosis," Bull. Calif. Agricultural Experiment Station no. 199 (1908); Pure Milk and the Public Health (Ithaca:  Taylor and Carpenter, 1909); Ward and George S. Baker, "Experiments with the Intradermal Test for Tuberculosis in Cattle," Am. Vet. Rev. 38 (1910): 184; "Bacterium pyognes and its Relation to Suppurative Lesions in Animals," J. of Bact. 2 (1917): 619; with B.A. Gallagher, a textbook on poultry diseases (1917)

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member; Ward was abstract editor for Comparative Pathology of Abstracts in Bacteriology

Archive Files: "Reminiscences in Dairy Bacteriology," SAB archives, 7‑IIA.9.9; Two scrapbooks containing clippings relating to dairy bacteriology, tuberculosis, etc


     At Cornell, Ward was an instructor in dairy bacteriology and researcher in the Agricultural College, while taking classes as a student of V. A.  Moore in the Veterinary College.  Moore offered that, after a year of general bacteriology, Ward could do advanced work on the problem of the bacterial flora of udders while taking his senior courses.  The study involved making cultures from freshly slaughtered dairy cows resulting from tuberculosis work. 

     At the 1900 meeting of the SAB, Ward presented a paper on "Bacillus lactis viscosus, a Cause of Ropiness in Milk and Cream," which was discussed by Conn.  Ward warned that many textbooks mistakenly stated that the organism grew so slowly as to not be a problem in milk.  At the same meeting, Reed and Ward presented "Persistence of Streptococci in the Healthy Udder of a Cow."  They suggested that healthy cows could harbor the streptococci associated with mammitis in a similar fashion to diphtheria or pneumonia organisms in healthy throats.

     Initially worked on poultry diseases, establishing a Poultry Pathology Station in Petaluma.  He studied fowl cholera and avian tuberculosis, anthrax, hog cholera, and blackleg.  Around 1901, Ward confirmed that B. lactis viscosus was the primary organism responsible for slimy or ropy milk.  This organism grew well at low temperatures (45 to 50), and consequently was able to overcome lactic‑acid types in the winter.  He also studied, with Moore, the bacterial flora of cows’ udders.

     At the 1903 meeting of the SAB, Ward submitted on "Notes upon an Outbreak of Fowl Cholera," but there is no evidence that he actually presented the paper at the meeting.  At the 1905 meeting, he outlined "The Quantitative Determination of Leucocytes in Milk," and advocated the Doane‑Buckley method over the Stewart method.  The paper was discussed by Prescott, Rickards and Bergey.

     Ward returned to the SAB program in 1915, to describe a "Bacterium pyogenes Associated with a Case of Multiple Arthritis in a Hog."  At the 1916 meeting, he discussed "Bacillus Pyogenes and its Relation to Suppurative Lesions in Animals."  At the 1917 meeting, he discussed "Tests of a Vaccine Prepare for Immunizing Against Bird Pox (Epithelioma Contagiosum) in Fowls."  And, while listed at Goshen Laboratories, he presented at the 1921 SAB meeting on "The Etiology of Polyarthritis in Swine."

     For the 1923 SAB meeting, Harding and Archibald Ward, both F.C. Mathews employees, discussed the "Thermophilic Bacteria in Composite Samples from Milk Plants."

Welch, William H.

Dates:           b. 1850; 1878 to Bellevue; 1885 to JHU; d. 1934

Locations:    Chair and Prof. of Pathological Anatomy and General Pathology, Bellevue Hospital Medical College (1878 1885); Head, Pathological Institute, and Prof. of Pathology, Johns Hopkins University (1885 1918); Director, Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health (1918 1926); Prof. of the History of Medicine, Hopkins; Member, Maryland State Board of Health

Training:      Sheffield Scientific School; MD College of P & S 1875; 1876 to Vienna under Klebs, Waldeyer, Heubner, and Cohnheim; under Koch in 1885

Fields:          medical

Publications: "The Interdependence of Medicine and Other Sciences," Nature 77 (23 Jan. 1908): 283 285; General Pathology of FeverBacteriology Surgical Lesions

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member; SAB 2nd president 1901; SAB Council member 1902, 1903; SAB delegate to AAAS 1905, 1908, 1909; Chair of Laboratory Section of APHA; Pres. AAPB in 1907; SAB Honorary Member 1911

Presidential Address: “Distribution of Bacillus aerogenes capsulatus” J Boston Soc Med Sci. 1901 February 19; 5(7): 369–370. HTTP://WWW.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PMC/ARTICLES/PMC2048464/ 

Archive Files: See Simon Flexner's, "Biographical Sketch of Dr. William H. Welch," Science Nov. 5th, 1920; Donald Fleming, William H. Welch and the Rise of Modern Medicine(Boston:  Little, Brown & Co., 1954); Simon Flexner and James T. Flexner, William Henry Welch and the Heroic Age of American Medicine (New York:  The Viking Press, 1941); Winslow, "Some Leaders and Landmarks in the History of Microbiology," Bact. Rev. 14 (1950): 99 114; B. Cohen, "Comments on the Relation of Dr. Welch to the Rise of Microbiology in America," Bull. Hist. of Med. (1950); Clark, Pioneer Microbiologists of America (Madison:  Univ. of Wisc. Press, 1961), 94 95; Flexner, "William Henry Welch," NAS Biog. Mem. 22 (1943): 215 231; J. Bact. 28:5, 1934

     When Welch returned to America in 1878 he initially offered his pathology services to C of P & S, but was only offered a summer lectureship.  He took, instead, a position at the far less prestigious Bellevue Medical center, and was granted three small rooms to organize a laboratory.  His (unrequired) course became immensely popular, and represented the first course in microscopical pathology given in America.  It appears that Prudden left in 1885 for the job at JHU. 

     Working on bacteria as early as 1878, at Bellevue Hospital Medical College.  Was the first to identify the gas producing bacillus, name Bacillus welchii (Clostridium welchii)in his honor.  During that time, the College of Physicians and Surgeons created a pathology laboratory, and offered the directorship to Welch.  Welch, however, had his eyes set on Hopkins, which offered him the chair of General Pathology in 1885.  In an effort to keep him, Welch's colleagues at Bellevue persuaded Carnegie to build a laboratory.

      Welch accepted the chair of Pathology at Hopkins in 1884, and did work on Staphylococcus epidermidis albus, hog cholera, lobar pneumonia, diphtheria, and typhoid fever.  Welch did not offer instruction until Feb. of 1886, and even then only providing nine public lectures, offering formal instruction in pathology the next fall for graduates in medicine.  Welch was responsible for sending Flexner to the Philippines and India to study plague, and directed the studies of A.C. Abbott and G.H.F. Nuttall.  Most of Welch's publications appeared in the early 1890's, and his students in the late 1890's.

     Welch gave lectures and directed research in all aspects of key interest.  "One year it would be diphtheria, another, cholera, and then the pneumococcus and the pneumonias."  (Clark 95).

     Oddly, Welch believed that it was "better to place bacteriology with pathology or hygiene than to make it a separate department." (Cohen 1950)  As a result, bacteriology was taught as part of pathology at Hopkins.  Even more curious is the fact that he did not let Flexner take the regular course in bacteriology. 

     Welch's major research contribution in bacteriology was the isolation (1892), with Nuttall, of a previously undescribed Gram-positive, anaerobic, gas producing, capsulated, non-motile bacillus that subsequent research showed to be responsible for gas gangrene.

     Welch was the chair of the Committee of the APHA in 1899 that led to the standard methods of water analysis, and the eventual formation of the Laboratory Section.  He was a founding member of the SAB and its second president.  With regard to the AAPB, Welch was a mild opponent, but was active in recommending members once it started.

     At the 1900 meeting of the SAB, Welch presented a paper on the "Distribution of the Bacillus aerogenes capsulatus." 

Wesbrook, Frank Fairchild

Dates:         b. 1868; 1895 to MN; 1913 to UBD; d. 1918

Locations:    Prof. of Pathology and Bacteriology, (1895‑1906); Dir. Bacteriological Laboratory, Minn. State Board of Health (late 1890's‑1900's); Dean, Medical School of Univ. of Minnesota (1906‑1913); Dir. State Dept. of Health (1910‑1913); Advisory Board Member of the Hygienic Laboratory of the USPHS; Pres. Univ. of British Columbia (1913‑)

Training:      BS Univ. of Manitoba; MA; MD Medical College of Manitoba; five years at Cambridge Univ. and Marburg under Frankel

Fields:        water; biology; public health

Publications: "Laboratory Methods and Devices," J. Infect. Dis. Supp. 1 (1905): 304‑324; Wesbrook, McDaniel and L.B. Wilson, "Varieties of Bacillus diptheriae," Trans. Assoc. Am. Phys. 15 (1900): 198‑223; Wesbrook, H.A. Whittaker, and B.M. Mohler, "The Resistance of Certain Bacteria to Calcium Hypochlorite," J. Am. Pub. Health Assoc. 1 (Feb. 1911).

SAB Involvement:  APHA pres. 1905; Charter Member of SAB;

Archive Files: Clark, Pioneer Microbiologists of America (Madison:  Univ. of Wisc. Press, 1961), 275; DAB


     Wesbrook succeeded Frost as the Assist. for the St. Board of Health.  First to offer formal courses in bacteriology at UM.  As state dept. of health director, he performed routine bacteriological work only if it could be utilized for research.  In other words, all samples had to be properly labeled, and further samples had to be available.  Work in 1890's primarily on animal diseases, such as Bacillus anthracis, and the aerobic sporeformers, rabies, and infectious anemia of horses.  Wesbrook also studied the diphtheria group, suggesting a scheme of relation between the diverse morphological types of diphtheria bacilli, with an eye toward correlating the forms to pathogenicity.  He claimed that the rapidly growing bacilli with clubbed ends and polar granules are supposed to be the virulent forms.

     His work on chlorination led him to investigate variability, as some strains of typhoid bacilli were more resistant to chlorination, yet less virulent.

     In 1900, McDaniel and Wesbrook published a valuable classification of the several morphological types of the diphtheria bacilli (Transactions of the Association of American Physicians 15:198-223) 

Wilson, Ezra H.

Dates:           b. 1858; 1894 to Hoagland; d. 1905

Locations:    Intern, St. Catherine's; Assist. Dept. of Hist. and Path. (1890‑1894); Dir. Bureau of Pathology, Bacteriology, and Disinfection, Brooklyn (1894‑1898); Bacteriologist and Dir. Hoagland Laboratory (1898‑1905)

Training:      MD College of Physicians & Surgeons 1882; Pasteur Inst., Paris; Hygienic Inst. at Hamburg

Fields:          public health; medical; milk; sanitation; hygiene; biology

Publications: "Technical Methods for the Central Nervous System,"; "Tubercular Nephritis," "Nasal Bacteria in Influenza," "Tuberculosis Testis,"; "A Proper Method of Room Disinfection," (1897); "Optimal Reaction of Liquid Culture Medium," (1899); "Immunity," (1900); "The Bacteriology of Acute Rheumatism," (1901); "The Importance of Bacterial Examination of the Public Water Supply," (1901);  with Thomas, "Diplococcus intracellularis Meningitis," (1901)

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member;

Archive Files: Arnold H. Eggerth, The History of the Hoagland Laboratory (Brooklyn, 1960)


     In 1892, Wilson presented a paper before the Brooklyn Pathological Society on "Asiatic Cholera," complete with prepared slides and a description of the methods for identifying organisms in cultures.

     Wilson was the first and only director of the Bur. of Path., Bact. and Disinfection in Brooklyn.  This lab was housed in the third floor of the Hoagland Laboratory, and was the second such municipal bacteriological lab in the US.  Like Biggs and Park, Wilson outfitted local physicians with throat culture kits, consisting of Loeffler's medium, a sterile swab and a leaflet of instructions, which were obtained and returned to local drug stores.  Between May 1894 and Jan. of 1895, he examined some 1,670 cultures, finding 890 positive for the Klebs‑Loeffler Bacillus.  In 1894, there were 3,812 cases of diphtheria, and 1,279 deaths.

     Wilson, like his counterparts in NYC, produced antitoxin in the fall of 1894, in three different potencies.  He also supervised the use of a large steam sterilizer for the disinfection of clothing, bedding and other articles.  Wilson studied the common practices of room disinfection, favoring the French innovation of formaldehyde vapors over the prevalent sulphur dioxide gas.  Park was working a similar method a few years after Wilson.

     In 1894, Wilson also published popular and scientific articles on the dangers of impure milk, providing instructions for home sterilization.  Later in the 1890's, he performed routine Widal blood tests, stool cultures, pus smears for gonococci and sputum smears for tubercle bacilli.

     Wilson's Bureau was dissolved when the City of Brooklyn was incorporated within Greater New York City in 1898.  Wilson remained at Hoagland as a research bacteriologist, with a salary raised to $2,000 a year.  A year later, Wilson and Randolph were studying the optimum "titratable acidity" (e.g., pH) of bacterial cultures.  In addition, Wilson studied a few cases of suspected plague at the Quarantine Station in Manhattan. 

     As a minor side project, Wilson maintained a culture collection of 70 species, sending cultures to labs without cost.  He also made a photographic record of each culture in 1901, believing that morphological characteristics would change in different phases of growth. 

     At the 1900 meeting of the SAB, Wilson submitted a very short description of a new "Low Temperature Incubator," which was read by title, and discussed by Abbot, Conn, Prescott, Sedgwick and Park.

     Wilson was also chair of the APHA Comm. on Standard Methods for the Evaluation of Disinfectants, and in 1901 he issued a report recommending the standards of Staphylococcus pyogenes aureus and bicholoride of mercury.  He also performed many of the bacteriological work essential for the Milk Commission of Kings County in 1903.

     Wilson, with White, turned to the chemistry of bacterial toxins in 1903.  He sought to purify the toxin of the typhoid bacillus, in hopes of using horses to produce an antitoxin.

     White died young, at the age of 48.

Winslow, Charles‑Edward Amory

Dates:           b. 1877; at MIT 1902; AMNH and City College NY in 1910; to Yale 1915; retired 1945; d. 1957

Locations:    Assist. Health Officer, Montclair N.J. (1898); Assist. Sanitary Bacteriology and Instructor in Biology (1899‑1904); Assist. Prof. Sanitary Biology, MIT (1905‑1910); Biologist in charge of Sanitary Res. Lawrence Exp. Sta. (1903‑1910); Curator of Public Health, American Museum of Natural History (1910‑1922); Dir. Bur. of Public Health Education, NY State Health Dept. (1914‑1915); Assoc. Prof. Biology, City College of NY (1910‑1914); New York State Department of Health; Prof. and Head of the Dept. of Public Health, Yale School of Medicine (1915‑1945); Dir. John B. Pierce Laboratory of Hygiene (1832‑1947); Chairman, New Haven Housing Authority (1938‑); Science Director, International Health Div., Rockefeller Foundation (1929‑1930); Rosenberg Lecturer, Univ. of Calif. (1941)

Training:      BS MIT under Sedgwick 1898; S.M. MIT 1899; Honorary DPH from NYU 1918

Fields:          water; BACT‑NOM; public health; sanitation; hygiene; biology;

Publications: Elements of Water Bacteriology with Prescott, 1904; Elements of Industrial Microscopy (1905); Systematic Relationship of the Coccaceae with Anne R. Winslow (1908); Kinnicutt, Winslow and Pratt, Sewage Disposal (New York:  John Wiley & Sons, 1910); Healthy Living (1917); with I.J. Kligler, and W. Rotherberg, "Further Studies on the Colon‑typhoid Group of Bacteria," SAB Meeting, 1916; with J.C. Greenway and D. Greenberg, Health Survey of New Haven (1917); with B. Cohen, "The Distribution of B. coli and B. Aerogenes Types in Polluted Water, and Unpolluted Water," J. Infectious Diseases 23 (1918): 90‑101; with David Greenberg, "Effect of Putrefactive Odors upon Growth and upon Disease Resistance," Am. J. Pub. Health 8 (1918): 759‑768; Winslow, Kligler, Rothberg, "Studies on the Classification of the Colon‑Typhoid Group of Bacteria with Special Reference to the their Fermentative Reactions," J. of Bact. 4 (1919): 429;

More Pubs:  Winslow, Rothberg, and E.I. Parsons, "Notes on the Classification of the White and Orange Staphylococci," J. of Bact. 5 (1920): 145;  "The Importance of Preserving the Original Types of Newly Described Species of Bacteria," J. of Bact. 6 (1921): 133; Winslow and Grace T. Hallock The Land of Health (1922); with Pauline W. Williamson The Laws of Health and How to Teach Them (1925); with Mary L. Hahn The New Healthy Living (1929); The Road to Health (1929); Health on the Farm and the Village (1931) editor of J. of Bacteriology (1916‑1944); and Am. J. of Public Health (1944‑1954); Major, Am. Red Cross Mission (1917)

SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB Member; Member, SAB Comm. on Working Organization 1903‑; Vice Pres. 1912 and SAB President, 1913; Member of the SAB Comm. on Methods and Identification of Species 1908‑; local comm. chair 1916 SAB meeting; organizer of classification session 1916 meeting; Chair of Membership Comm. SAB 1919; Member, Connect. Valley SAB Branch 1920's; Chair of Lab. Section of APHA 1915; president of APHA in 1926; Pres. Am. Soc. of Heating and Venting Engineers; Elected Honorary Member 1940

Presidential Address: “The Characterization and Classification of Bacterial Types” Science 39:77-91 (first page only; full text requires subscription)

Archive Files: Robert S. Breed, "Charles Edward‑Amory Winslow, 1877‑1957," American Journal of Public Health 47 (1957); Ira V. Hiscock, "Charles‑Edward Amory Winslow, February 4, 1977 ‑‑ January 8, 1857," J. Bact. 73 (March 1957): 295‑296; Obit, NYT (8 Jan. 1957); John F. Fulton, "C.‑E.A. Winslow, Leader in Public Health," Science 125 (1957): 1236; Eric ‑‑ get March 1947 edition of Yale J. of Biology, which is devoted to Winslow, and his students.  It includes a bibliography of some 20 books and 600 articles that Winslow published; Yale has 159 boxes, or 69 linear feet of archives; SAB Roundtable, 1944, New York.  2‑I‑C, Fold 41; Clark, Pioneer Microbiologists of America (Madison:  Univ. of Wisc. Press, 1961): 151‑153. ANB; DAB


     Member of the Bug Club, and born of Boston blue‑blood.  In Clark's assessment, Winslow was one of the broadest of bacteriologists, ranging from "the flora of the toothbrush to sex hygiene, tuberculosis among workers, a study of an outbreak of septic sore throat, important taxonomic studies, to the effect of putrefactive odors upon growth and resistance to disease, health surveys of communities, and the costs of medical care, both in this country and for the World Health Organization." (Clark 152)

     Trained at MIT, with thesis on "Degrees of Bacterial Purification Effected by Freezing with Special Reference to the Bacillus of Typhoid Fever and the Purity of Public Ice Supplies." At MIT, he initiated a course in "Municipal Laboratory Methods" in 1904 and worked at the Sanitary Research Laboratory and the Sewage Experiment Station.  His course taught techniques for testing disinfectants, the identification of mosquitoes, the analysis of water, ice, dairy products, etc.  He married Anne Fuller Rogers, a co-worker in Sedgwick's lab.

     Early on, Winslow was like others, developing practical methods for controlling and studying bacteria.  He offered a towel and hammer method of securing anaerobes from cultures.  One wrapped the anaerobic deep‑stab agar tube in a clean towel and then smashed the tube with a hammer to make inoculations from the fragments.

     At the 1899 meeting of the SAB, Sedgwick and Winslow presented a paper on the "Experimental and Statistical Studies on the Influence of Cold upon the Bacillus of Typhoid Fever, and its Distribution," in which they downplay the importance of contaminated ice.  At the 1901 meeting, Winslow presented two papers:  "The Distribution of B. coli communis in Natural Waters," in which he discusses the problem of naturally (i.e., non‑intestinal) occurring organisms resembling B. coli, and concludes that they rarely occur in large numbers in unpolluted waters (discussed by Vaughan); and, "Color Standards for Recording the Results of the Nitrite and Indol Tests," in which he notes that even when standard methods are strictly followed, "striking variations sometimes appear."  Winslow explained, "the problem for the bacteriologist is then to select from the numerous schemes of color values, prepared for artistic purpose, that one best suited for the matching of the reaction in question." (Science v. 15 1902, 373)

     At the 1902 meeting, he presented a combined technical/water paper, "Studies on Quantitative Variations in Gas Production in the Fermentation Tube" which was discussed by Robin and Jordan.  The paper concluded that wide variations were nearly inevitable, and due to "some unknown factor."  At the 1903 meeting, Winslow and D.M. Belcher described the "Changes in the Bacterial Flora of Sewage during Storage," which was discussed by Jordan, Conn, Sternberg, Chester, Park, Welch, and McFarland.

     At the 1904 meeting, Winslow and Anne Rogers provided a "Preliminary Note on a Revision of the Coccaceae," which was discussed by Moore.  At the same meeting, Winslow described "A Method for the Direct Microscopical Enumeration of Bacteria," which was published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases with G.E. Wilcomb.  Also at the 1904 meeting, Winslow provided an "Introductory Paper on Distribution," which was discussed by Conn, Levy and Carroll.  In 1906, Rogers and Winslow returned to the "Generic Characters in the Coccaceae," which was discussed by Welch, Carroll, Hiss, Park, and Gorham.

     At the 1908 meeting, Winslow and L.T. Walker reported on "A Case of the Non‑Inheritance of Fluctuating Variations among the Bacteria."  Their study was of the non‑induced, naturally fluctuating variations of the paratyphoid group, without selective action.  They found that the new descendents reverted completely to the original types, "showing no inherited effect of the variations exhibited by their more immediate ancestors." (1013) 

     At the 1909 meeting of the SAB in Boston, Winslow and G.T. Palmer reported "A Comparative Study of Intestinal Streptococci from the Horse, Cow and Man," involving over 100 strains from faeces of each of the three hosts.  The report discussed by Bergey, Ford, W. Smith, Kinyoun, and Esten and was published in J. of Infect. Dis. 7 (1910?): 1.

     A the 1910 Ithaca meeting, Winslow announced the establishment of "A Bacteriological Museum and Bureau of Exchange of Bacterial Cultures at the American Museum of Natural History.” He delivered almost exactly the same presentation at the 1912 SAB meeting, entitled "Bacteriological Collection and Bureau for the Distribution of Bacterial Cultures at the American Museum of Natural History.  Winslow reported that cultures were quickly received from 45 laboratories from all over the country and the Collection made arrangements with Kraus at the Kral Collection.  On Dec. 1, 1912, the collection included 578 strains representing 374 different named types.  During that same year, the lab distributed 1,700 cultures to 122 different colleges and research laboratories.  "The most important service the laboratory has been able to render, however, has been in furnishing authentic cultures to investigators who have been making a study of certain special groups, and the published papers which have resulted, in which various detailed characters of the museum types are described, of course greatly increase the value of the collection." (from Science v.38, 12 Sept. 1913, p. 375)

     Winlsow organized a session at the 1911 meeting of the SAB on "Systematic Bacteriology," the first full program on the topic.  Winslow presented a discussion on "The Classification of the Streptococci by their Action upon Carbohydrate Media."  At the 1915 meeting, Winslow and Kligler delivered their committee report on "Studies on the Classification of the Colon‑Typhoid Group."  

     Winlsow's presidential address before the 1913 meeting was on "The Characterization and Classification of Bacterial Types."  This address was an odd contrast to his paper in the section on "Sanitary Bacteriology," entitled "Notes on the Bacteriology of Air and Its Sanitary Significance," which seems out of date.

     At the 1916 meeting, Winlsow, Kligler, and Rothberg delivered a paper on the "Classification of the Colon‑Typhoid Group."  At the 1917 meeting, Winslow and Cohen discussed the "Distribution and Relative Viability of B. Coli and B. Aerogenes in Water." 

     Winslow and his wife wrote a monograph on the micrococci and staphylococci, and studied the effect of mineral salts on the viability of bacteria.  He soon added interests in industrial hygiene, vital statistics; and ice storage purification.  He was also one of the first to study the effect of pH on bacterial viability.  Winslow conducted early studies of the bacterial cell, and noticed dissociation (without reporting on its significance).  He was also one of the first to use the electrophoresis apparatus for studying bacteria in 1923 and 1924. 

     With regard to the overlap between sanitary science and bacteriology, Winslow studied the bacterial content of city and country dust.  At the 1914 meeting of the SAB, Winslow organized a joint session with section K of the AAAS on ventilation.  He presented "Standards of Ventilation in the Light of Recent Research," which summarized some of the conclusions of the New York State Commission on Ventilation, and advocated more attention to the matter.  There was no bacteriological component in his paper. 

     At the 1919 meeting, Falk and Winslow discussed "The Curve of Viability of Bacteriology in Water," and presented a theoretical "Contribution to the Mechanism of Disinfection."  At the 1921 SAB meeting, Winslow and Hotchkiss reported on the "Effect of Mineral Salts on the Growth of Bacteria."  They found that all but ammonium chloride stimulated growth in high concentrations, and inhibited it in low dilutions.  At the same 1921 meeting, Winslow and Holland delivered a paper on "The Effect of Potassium and Magnesium Salts upon Bacterial Viability," within a sub-session on physical chemistry.  In some small way, this work was related to the electrical resistance of bacterial suspensions.

     At the 1923 SAB meeting, Winslow and Shaughnessy reported their own studies of "The Migration of Bacteria in the Electrical Field."  This phenomenon drew considerable attention from Northrup and De Kruif, who demonstrated the variable effects of pH concentration.  At the 1924 SAB meeting, Winslow, Shaughnessey, Fleeson and Upton reported their "Further Studies on Cataphoresis," or the movements of bacterial cells in an electrical field.  Their results generally confirmed and extended those of Northrop and DeKruif.

     Hiscock mentions, however, that Winslow claimed:  "microbiology is not a technical tool for the doctor, the agriculturalist or the engineer.  It is a basic biological science and it may well be claimed it has rendered greater service to mankind than any other science of this class.  This service has been made possible because it is a basic science."  BIOLOGY?

     Winslow founded the Yale Dept. of Public Health in 1915.  He offered a programmatic vision of the field of Public Health:  "Public Health is the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting physical and mental health and efficiency through organized community efforts for the sanitation of the environment, the control of community infections, the education of the individual in principles of personal hygiene, the organization of medical and nursing service for the early diagnosis and preventive treatment of disease, and the development of the social machinery which will ensure to every individual in the community a standard of living adequate for maintenance of health..." (Ira Hiscock quoting, in Am J. Pub. H. v. 47). 

     Interestingly, his later career was occupied by attention to the broader aspects of public health, such as housing.  He was Chair of the Comm. on the Hygiene of Housing for the APHA in 1937.  As the chair of the New Haven Housing Authority, he helped construct some 2,500 apartments.  Winslow was also secretary and chair of the Sec. on Occupational Health of the APHA.  Winslow was also the pre‑eminent salesman of health education, not only with his own publications, but as the chief of public education under Biggs.  Winslow was vice chairman of the Comm. on the Cost of Medical Care, and involved in Mental Health Movement.  Winslow was also chiefly responsible for public health nursing as a profession.  Winslow taught the industrial hygiene courses at Yale. 

Wright, Floyd R.

Dates:           b. 1874; 1890's at Cornell; d. 1955

Locations:    Instructor, Dept. of Bacteriology, Cornell University and New York State Veterinary College (1890's‑1900's)

Training:      A.B.

Fields:          veterinary; medical


SAB Involvement:  Charter SAB member; dropped from SAB due to non‑payment of dues 1909; 


     At the 1899 SAB meeting, Moore and Wright delivered a paper on "A Comparison of B. coli communis from Different Species of Animals."  In 1901, the two presented "Preliminary Observations on B. coli communis from Certain Species of Animals," in which they found the organism to be fairly stable across different hosts.