1899 - 1800United States of America

In 1893, the Board of Health accepted two proposals submitted by dr. Herman Biggs which were to make history as important stages in the modernization of public health practices. The first was that the Health Department employ routine bacterial examinations for the diagnosis of diphtheria (and other infectious diseases); the second, that Dr. William H. Park be appointed for this work because of his special training and fitness for the position.

Park’s unique credentials came to Biggs’ attention because he had recently completed investigations and published results which proved beyond doubt that throat cultures were important in the differentiation of diphtheria from other upper respiratory infections.

The study was instigated by Park’s former professor of pathology, T. Mitchell Prudden, who had doubts about the reports of European bacteriologists that implicated the Klebs-Loeffler bacillus as the etiologic agent of diphtheria. Park, who had returned from postgraduate studies in Europe to begin the practice of nose and throat medicine, was convinced it was so. Their friendly argument led them to agree that only a clinical laboratory study would settle the dispute.


  • SCHAEFFER, MORRIS. „William H. Park (1863-1939): His Laboratory and His Legacy.“ Public Health Then and Now 75, št. 11 (November 1985): 1296-1302.