Macintosh, Sir Robert (1897-1989)
- Macintosh, Sir Robert, 1897-1989
- Archives and manuscripts
About this work
The papers cover Macintosh's career from his appointment in 1937 as the first Nuffield Professor in Anaesthetics, until the end of his life in 1989. They comprise papers relating to work of the Nuffield Department of Anaesthetics, visits to other departments worldwide, and material, such as lectures and publications, on the history of anaesthesia. The collection had little material, except reminiscences, relating to the background to the foundation of the Nuffield Department of Anaesthetics, but there are papers relating to Macintosh's struggle for adequate accommodation for the department, and his research there. The collection is strongest on illustrating Macintosh's work outside Oxford, as he travelled the world under the auspices of the WHO and the British Council, or to attend conferences and receive awards. This work is shown in the correspondence, lectures and in his travel diaries which gave character sketches, local colour and professional observations.
Unfortunately, apart from some reminiscences to correspondents, there is no material covering the period before he became Professor of Anaesthetics, which included serving in the Royal Flying Corps in the First World War, and working in the West End of London in a private anaesthetic practice nicknamed "The Mayfair Gas Company". This was when Macintosh built up his reputation by anaesthetising for dentists, and he remained interested in dental anaesthesia throughout his life, lecturing on courses run by the Society for the Advancement of Anaesthesia in Dentistry.
A clear picture is given of the great advance in the academic and professional standing of anaesthesia over Macintosh's lifetime, and his role in the establishment of academic chairs and the fostering of high standards of training and practice in developing countries and the Commonwealth. Material throughout the collection illustrates Macintosh's concern to investigate the true causes of anaesthetic accidents so that the whole profession could learn from these mistakes.
The collection is divided into sections as follows:
A.1 Home correspondence 1937 - 1960
A.2 Overseas correspondence 1937 - 1960
A.3 Personal correspondence 1937 - 1960
A.4 Home correspondence 1960 - 1989
A.5 Overseas correspondence 1960 - 1989
A.6 Medico - legal correspondence 1951 - 1976
B NUFFIELD DEPARTMENT OF ANAESTHETICS 1960 - 1989
C TRAVEL DIARIES 1937 - 1972
D WRITINGS 1941 - 1987
D.2 Reviews and bibliography
D.3 Notes for his books
E CLINICAL AND RESEARCH NOTES 1938 - 1983
E.2 Research notes
E.3 Contemporary anaesthetic practice
E.4 Notes for DA examinations
E.6 History of anaesthesia
E.7 Miscellaneous and unidentified notes
F AUDIO VISUAL MATERIAL
G BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIAL
A summary of Sir Robert Macintosh's life and career follows:
1897 Oct Born Timaru, New Zealand. Educated at Waitaki School.
1916 - 1918 War service: commissioned to Royal Scottish Fusiliers, transferred to RFC; plane shot down, taken as POW, three escape attempts. Mentioned in despatches, 1917.
1924 Qualified, Guy's Hospital, London, MRCS, LRCP; FRCS Edinburgh
1927 - 1937 Partner of W.S. McConnel in Harley Street anaesthetic practice, "The Mayfair Gas Company"
Lecturer on anaesthetics to National Dental Hospital, UCH, London.
1937 Appointed as first Nuffield Professor in Anaesthetics
MA, DA (Oxon)
Travelled to USA to visit Professor Waters
1938 Administered anaesthetic in Spanish Civil War for Eastman Sheehan
1939 Awarded Order of Military Merit 2nd Class (Spain)
Passed Diploma in Anaesthetic examination
1939 - 1945 Director of Anaesthetic for RAF
1940 Publication of Essentials of General Anaesthesia
1941 Jul Production of Oxford Vaporiser
Dec Macintosh Laryngoscope described in the Lancet.
1942 Respiration and life jacket experiments with E.A. Pask
1944 Publication of Essentials of General Anaesthesia
1945 Norwegian Order of Merit
Honorary Civilian Consultant in Anaesthetics to RAF
1946 Haakon Medal, Norway
1947 Awarded Hickman Medal
Publication of Physics for the Anaesthetist
1948 Fellow of Faculty of Anaesthetists, Royal College of Surgeons
1950 MD Honora Causa, Buenos Aires
Honorary Fellow Faculty of Anaesthetists, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
1952 Publication of Lumbar Puncture: Spinal Anaesthesia
MD Hon Causa Aix-Marseilles
1953 Publication of Local Analgesia: Abdominal Surgery
1955 Received knighthood
1956 Death of first wife, Marjorie
1959 Honorary Membership, Association of Anaesthestists of Great Britain and Ireland
Trans-Siberian Railway to Peking, Tour of China
1961 1st refresher course for anaesthetists, WHO, Copenhagen
1962 Married second wife Ann
Hon DSc, University of Wales
1963 2nd refresher course for anaesthetists, WHO, Copenhagen
1964 Fellow of Faculty of Anaesthetists, RCS Ireland
1965 Retired. Honorary Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford
1966 Honorary Fellow Royal Society of Medicine
1967 Awarded John Snow Medal, Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland
1968 Honorary Fellow Faculty Anaesthetists, RCS
1973 Honorary Fellow RCOG
1977 Awarded Labat Medal, American Society of Anaesthesiologists
Honorary DSc, Medical College, Ohio
1987 90th Birthday Celebration and tribute by Section of anaesthetists, RSM and Association of Anaesthetists and Faculty of Anaesthetists, RCS.
1989 Honorary Fellowship, Royal College of Surgeons
Dies on 28th Aug
For further biographical information see obituaries in the Lancet and the British Medical Journal; The Nuffield Department of anaesthetics Oxford 1937 - 1962 (Oxford: OUP, 1963); Jennifer Beinart, A History of the Nuffield Department of Anaesthetics Oxford 1937 - 1987, (Oxford: OUP, 1987); WDA Smith and GMC Paterson (eds.), A tribute to Sir Robert Macintosh for his 90th birthday (London: Royal Society of Medicine, 1988).
In the Wellcome Library:
Papers of Macintosh's colleague Hans Georg Epstein (1909-2002), who collaborated with him on the history of anaesthesia, are held as PP/HGE.