Switch to low bandwidth version Close

Behind the Frieze

Twenty-three names form the frieze on the exterior of the School. Mystery surrounds the reasoning behind their selection which was made by a committee of unknown constitution who pondered deeply on which of the names of the great and good in the fields of hygiene and tropical medicine merited such public acclaim.

The only female name on the short list was that of Florence Nightingale, who was excluded because her surname of eleven letters was too long for inclusion. However room was found for the name of Max von Pettenkofer (count the letters!) who denied that cholera was a water-borne disease!

The arrangement of the brief biographies that follow is chronological, as the lives of some of their subjects interwined. Please click on a name to see a short biography of each individual.

Each biography contains an image, these were digitised from photographs which have been mounted onto boards for an exhibition and therefore we have no way of discovering the copyright owner from the photograph itself. We have started to research the copyright owner of each photograph but if you are aware of the copyright owner for any of the above images we would appreciate hearing from you.

Behind the Frieze was published by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1995, text by Mary Gibson.

Back to top