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Sir Henry Wellcome and J. Baiz, his guide

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Credit: Sir Henry Wellcome and J. Baiz, his guide. Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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Sir Henry Wellcome (left) and J. Bazi, his guide and interpreter, during his journey through Central America. In 1878, the 25 year-old Henry Wellcome set out on an expedition to explore the native Chinchona forests of Ecuador. The bark of Chinchona trees was the prime source of pure quinine, an extract used to treat malaria. At the time Wellcome was working as a salesman for the well-known American pharmaceutical firm of McKesson & Robbins. Wellcome's account of his travels - published at length in pharmaceutical journals on both sides of the Atlantic - established his name amongst his trade peers. The article paints a vivid picture of a young man with an inquiring mind and a taste for adventure.


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