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Dr Golding Bird
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Birth: Dec. 9, 1814
Attleborough, England
Death: Oct. 27, 1854
Fordwich, England

Pioneer of Electrical Therapy. He was responsible for introducing electrical therapy into mainstream medicine. He was educated in a London private school before beginning an apprenticeship with London apothecary William Pretty in 1829. From 1832 he also studied medicine at Guy's Hospital, where he gained his first experience in electrotherapeutics. While still a student he conducted experiments on patients from poor backgrounds, as was common practice at the time, and treated patients with nerve disorders, paralyses and irregular menstruation. His practice of keeping detailed records and publishing them in "Guy's Hospital Reports" helped to prove the value of electrotherapeutics to the medical profession. He qualified as an apothecary in 1836, and published papers on the chemical analysis of blood and urine. In 1837 he developed a method of using galvanic currents to deposit metals on a negative pole of mercury that would later be used in the electroplating industry. He joined the London Electrical Society in 1837, which gave him access to a wide range of equipment. After receiving his medical degree from St. Andrew's University in 1838, he worked as a physician to the Finsbury Dispensary until 1843. He published "Elements of Natural Philosophy" in 1839 and a report on the use of electricity in medicine in 1841. In 1842 he invented a flexible stethoscope, and was the first to describe the urinary condition "Bird's Disease". He became assistant physician at Guy's Hospital in 1843, while continuing his experiments with electricity, and soon perfected a method of treating blisters with galvanic current. In 1846 he published a paper "On the Employment of Electro-Magnetic Currents in the Treatment of Paralysis", in which he claimed that paralysis originating from cold, exhaustion or cerebral causes could be treated by electrotherapeutics. He was made a fellow of the Royal Society in 1846, and lectured in medicine at the College of Physicians from 1847. He went on to prove the legitimacy of electrotherapeutics as a field of medicine in a series of lectures "On electricity and Galvanism in Relation to Physiology and Therapeutics", which were published as a book in 1849. He remained head of the electrical department at Guy's Hospital until the year before he died from heart disease at age 40. His scientific methods and detailed record keeping mean that he is regarded as the father of electrotherapeutics. 
 
Family links: 
 Children:
  Cuthbert Hilton Golding Bird (1848 - 1939)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Woodbury Park Cemetery
Royal Tunbridge Wells
Tunbridge Wells Borough
Kent, England
 
Created by: js
Record added: Feb 05, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 33562454
Dr Golding Bird
Added by: js
 
 
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- Sarah Quinn
 Added: Nov. 15, 2011
 
 
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