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Title: Industrial illness in cultural context : La maladie de Bradford in local, national and global settings, 1878-1919
Author: Stark, Jamie Francis
ISNI:       0000 0004 2748 0630
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2011
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Writing about charbon (anthrax) in 1898, the French bacteriologist Albert Besson referred to the disease by another name: la maladie de Bradford. The anthrax bacterium - Bacillus anthracis - had arrived in mid-nineteenth-century Bradford on fleeces imported from abroad, and struck down workers in the town's renowned wool industry. Consequently, medical professionals and publics as far afield as Australia and New Zealand associated anthrax with Bradford. Using hitherto little explored archival sources, this thesis examines the origins and development of Bradford's relationship with anthrax at the local, national and global levels. We will look first at local medical research on anthrax in Bradford, concentrating on two local medical practitioners: John Henry Bell and Frederick William Eurich, before considering the role of anthrax in the public life of Bradford, and especially the influences of the local press, which was dominated by the Bradford Observer and Bradford Daily Telegraph. Moving to the national level, the impact of anthrax elsewhere in Britain - particularly Glasgow, Kidderminster and Norfolk - offers instructive comparisons for the Bradford case. The thesis also examines the manner in which local factory practices were incorporated into national legislation designed to combat anthrax in the wool industry. In the global context, we will see how Continental approaches to anthrax research and prevention were incorporated into British practices, with particular emphasis on the work of Louis Pasteur, Robert Koch and the little-studied but important Italian physician Achille Sclavo and his anti-anthrax serum. Moving beyond Europe, we close by analysing the ways in which anthrax-related information and practices travelled to and from Bradford, concentrating on Turkey, Australia and New Zealand. The thesis sheds new light on the relationship between bacteriological and sanitary approaches to disease prevention, the emergence of the modern understanding of 'anthrax' and the importance of place and locality for histories of disease.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available