Search Archives and Manuscripts

Request Request for use in Library or view online if digital version available
Reference MS.8552
See the rest of this archive
Previous Numbers WMS/ALS: Dale
Level Item
Extent 1 file (1 item)
Title Dale, Henry Hallett
Date 1952
Ordering Instructions This is an Item level record: click on the appropriate options to consult it in the Rare Materials Room, provided it is not Closed, or to order copies. If the Item has been digitised there will also be a link at this level to a digital facsimile.
Name Dale, Henry H. (Henry Hallett), Sir, b. 1875.
Description 1 letter dated 1 July 1952 from Sir Henry Dale (at the Wellcome Trust) to Hackett, regarding the new printing of Hackett's book.
Historical Background

Henry Dale was a physiologist and pharmacologist 1875-1968. He qualified BCh, Cambridge, in 1902 and in 1904 he began a research post in physiology at the Wellcome Physiological Research Laboratories. He spent 10 years there, the first eighteen months as their pharmacologist and the remainder of the time as their director. Here he met George Barger and worked with a number of young men who started their scientific career with him, including Arthur Ewins, Alexander Glenny, P. P. Laidlaw, and J. H. Burn. After Sir Henry Wellcome died in 1936, Dale became one of the founding trustees of the Wellcome Trust and subsequently, its chairman in 1938, and from 1960-68, scientific advisor to the organisation. In 1907 Dale discovered histamine in an extract of ergot, and with George Barger, determined its chemical structure and physiological actions. In 1910, after extensive study, they introduced the term 'sympathomimetic' which is now in general use, for chemicals that imitated the effects of the sympathetic nervous system. In 1936 he was awarded the Nobel prize in physiology and medicine for his work on the role of acetylcholine in chemical neurotransmission, shared with the Austrian pharmacologist Otto Loewi. He made an immense contribution to therapeutics worldwide through his experimental and administrative work from the 1920s onwards, estalishing international standards for hormones, vitamins and various other drugs and providing the first international standard for insulin. He published numerous scientific articles and two books, one of which, Adventures in Physiology, is an annotated collection of his most important papers.

Dale became the first director of the National Institute of Medical Research in 1928, a position which he held until 1942. He was secretary of the Royal Society from 1925-35 and its wartime president from 1940-45. During his presidency the number of fellows elected each year was increased from twenty to twenty-five, women were first admitted to the fellowship (1945) and the meeting of the society was held outside Britain for the first time. Dale was a member of the Medical Research Council (1942-6), chairman of its post-war Committee on the Medical and Biological Application of Nuclear Physics (1945-9), member of the Advisory Committee on Atomic Energy (1945-7), chairman of the Radioactive Substances Advisory Committee (1949-52), of the governing body of the Lister Institute, and of the Scientific Committee of the British Council. He was president of the Royal Society of Medicine (1948-50) and of the British Council (1950-55) and was a trustee of the National Central Library (later part of the British Library lending division) and a member of the Standing Commission on Museums and Galleries.

Dale's work was recognised by his CBE (1919); Knight (1932); GBE (1943); and by his admission to the OM (1944). The Dale medal was struck in his honour by the Society of Endocrinolgy in 1959 and in 1961 the Wellcome Trust commemorated his services as chairman by endowing a Royal Society professorship, the Henry Dale Research Professorship. He recieved honorary degrees from twenty-five universities inlcuding eleven in Britain; was the recipient of seventeen medals, an honorary member of the Physiological Society, British Pharamacological Society, Pharmaceutical Society, Royal Society of Medicine, Royal Society of Edinburgh, Royal Society of New Zealand, an honorary associate of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, and an honorary, foreign, corresponding, or associate member of thirty-seven foreign scientific societies. He died in Cambridge on 23 July 1968.

Acquisition Details Presented by Sir Henry Dale, February 1966 (acc.312614).
Accession Number 312614
Access Status Open
Reproduction Conditions Images are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.
Language English
MaterialType Archives - Non-digital
System No. fc5673f4-ad51-45cf-8da2-569d5afb776c