Lives of the fellows

George Oliver

b.13 April 1841 d.27 December 1915
MD Lond MRCS LSA FRCP(1887)

George Oliver was the second son of W. Oliver, surgeon, of Middleton-in-Teesdale, Durham. He was educated at Gainford School and had a distinguished career as a student at University College, London, where he qualified in 1863. After a few years of general practice at Stockton-on-Tees and Redcar, he settled at Harrogate in 1875 as a general practitioner, afterwards turning to consulting work. In his later years he arranged to spend only the summer months at Harrogate and the winter in London, Sidmouth, or, after 1901, at his country house in Farnham. He was thus able to indulge his love for physiological research which Sharpey had fostered at University College. In 1883 he published Bedside Urine Testing, which met with considerable success, and, in addition to testing papers, to which his name was given, he invented a haemacytometer, haemoglobinometer and sphygmometer. His Studies on Blood Pressure (1901) attained a third edition, and his work on the adrenal gland, in which he was associated with Sir Edward Schäfer, paved the way for the discovery of adrenalin. He delivered the Croonian Lectures at the Royal College of Physicians in 1896 and eight years later founded, in memory of his former teacher, the Oliver-Sharpey Lectureship for the promotion of physiological research, he himself giving the first Lectures. Oliver was an expert photographer and a keen cyclist. He married, firstly, while he was in practice at Redcar, Alice, daughter of J. Hunt of Barnard Castle, by whom he had one son and one daughter, and, secondly, in 1900 Mary, daughter of W. Ledgard of Roundhay, Leeds. Oliver, who finally relinquished his practice at Harrogate in 1908, died at Farnham.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1916; B.M.J., 1916; Presidential Address to R.C.P., 1916, 27]

(Volume IV, page 324)

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