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Sir William Power, F. R. S. (1842–1916)

    Naturevolume 150page687 (1942) | Download Citation



    SIB WILLIAM HENBY POWEB, an eminent Victorian epidemiologist, was born at Bosworth on December 15, 1842, the son of a medical practitioner. He was educated at University College, London, and qualified in 1864. After serving as resident medical officer at the Victoria Hospital for Diseases of the Chest, where he gained much valuable information in connexion with tuberculosis, he was appointed in 1871 temporary medical inspector in the Local Government Board, where he made a special study of the small-pox epidemics in London of 1871-72 and 1881 and upheld the theory of the aerial convection of disease, particularly in relation to the Western Hospital, then known as the Fulham Small-Pox Hospital. The publication of his “Statistics of Small-pox Incidence in the Registration Districts of London relating to the Operation of Small-pox Hospitals in the Metropolis” led to the permanent removal of all small-pox cases occurring in London to extra-metropolitan hospitals, a practice which still holds good. His other publications included reports on epidemics of diphtheria in Warwickshire and Essex, an outbreak of scarlet fever in certain districts of London believed to be due to milk, and lead poisoning by public water supplies. In 1871 he was appointed assistant medical officer in the Local Government Board, and in 1889 succeeded Sir Richard Thorne Thorne as senior medical officer, when he did valuable work in connexion with the Food and Drugs Acts and the Royal Commission on Tuberculosis. In 1895 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society i: He was also awarded the Jenner Medal of the Epidemiological Society of London the Bissett-Hawkins Medal of the Royal College of Physicians and; the Stewart Prize of the British Medical Association. He; died on July 2 8, 1916.

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