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[Bookplate for G. P. Girdwood]
[Bookplate for G. P. Girdwood]
Title[Bookplate for G. P. Girdwood]
Date Created[between 1864 and 1902?]
Sort Date1902
DescriptionOval-shaped circular border with legend containing a motto printed in capital block letters across the top half. Bottom half of the border has shading, decorate circles, and a decorative end. Border made to look like a ribbon, one end of which loops over the bottom of the oval. End of the ribbon has thin borders, circular decorations, and almost tapers to a point with decorative curls at the end. In the center of the oval is a demi-lion rampant guardant. In its right paw, the lion holds a tree with round foliage at the top and sprawling roots at its base. Below the image is text written in stylized sentence-case serif font.
Extent1 bookplate : intaglio printing ; 6.5 x 9.5 cm
SubjectPrivate libraries ; Physicians
Subject - GeographicMontréal (Québec)
Personal NamesGirdwood, G. P.
TypeStill Image
NotesGilbert Prout Girdwood, born on October 22, 1832 in Paddington, London, was the son of Dr. G.F. Girdwood (see bookplate: BP MUR ENG P G7396) and Susan Sophia Bazeley. A follower of the Church of England, he married Fanny Merriman on April 9th, 1862. The couple had three daughters and five sons. Girdwood was a physician, army and militia officer, professor, chemist, medico-legal expert, and author. Girdwood studied at a private school in London before attending University College in 1851, followed by St. George's Hospital Medical School. In 1854, he was admitted to the Royal College of Surgeons of England. He served as an intern in surgery at the Liverpool Infirmary before enlisting in the army as assistant surgeon in the Grenadier Regiment of Foot Guards on November 24, 1854. Girdwood's battalion left for Canada on December 19, 1861 during the Trent affair. Although Girdwood returned to England in September 1864, he left the army in order to move permanently to Montreal. He practiced medicine at the Montreal Dispensary and graduated from McGill University in 1865. Girdwood was then appointed surgeon to the military prison in Montreal. After helping defend the colony against the Fenian raids as surgeon to the 3rd Battalion of Rifles, he was promoted to the rank of medical staff officer in the Canadian militia. As a civilian, Girdwood also made a large impact. In 1866, the city of Montreal hired Girdwood as a health officer tasked with preventing a cholera epidemic. In April 1869, he helped found the Society of the Montreal Hospital for Sick Children and worked as a consulting physician to the hospital. He was also the chief physician for the eastern division of the Canadian Pacific Railway during its construction. From 1875, Girdwood was a surgeon at Montreal General Hospital and focused his efforts on teaching chemistry. Girdwood was a pioneer in this education field and recognized the importance of practical teaching. He had provided private lessons to McGill University medical students at his home on Rue de La Gauchetière around 1870. The faculty of medicine at McGill University appointed Girdwood senior lecturer in practical chemistry in 1872. He became a tenured professor of chemistry in 1879, a position he held until 1902, at which point he became an emeritus professor. Girdwood's work made an important contribution to medicine in Canada. He used research in physics and chemistry to develop new techniques. After the discovery of X-rays a year earlier, in 1896 patients were radiographed at McGill University by an apparatus Girdwood developed. Known as the father of radiology in Canada, he was the first radiologist at the Montreal General Hospital. He was one of the first in Canada to study X-ray negatives using principles of stereoscopic photography. He headed up a new department of radiology and medical electrology at the Royal Victoria Hospital in 1901. His wealth of knowledge made him one of the leading medico-legal consultants in Canada. Girdwood had a wide range of interests, as reflected in his publication in many journals on subjects including cholera, medical chemistry, water filtration, medical photography, and medico-legal expertise. With Dr. Rodgers, he developed a method to detect strychnine. Girdwood was also the first to apply reagents to detect forgeries, counterfeits, and identify handwriting. He was a member of many professional associations, such as the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Province of Quebec and of the Ontario and British Columbia colleges, the Natural History Society of Montreal, the British Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Chemical Society of London, and the Royal Society of Canada, of which he was a founding member. He served as Vice-present of the Canadian section of the Society of Chemical Industry, president of the Roentgen Society of America, and president of the Montreal Microscopical Society. He spent his later years advocating for greater professional recognition of chemists. In the five years leading up to his death, Girdwood went blind. During this time he nonetheless researched the effect of carbonic acid in coal gas upon the public health in Canada, the United States, and England with the help of his wife and daughter. Girdwood died on October 2, 1917 in his home in Montreal. He is buried in Mount Royal Cemetery.
1) (1917, December 15). Obituary. GILBERT PROUT GIRDWOOD, M.D., Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, McGill University, Montreal. The British Medical Journal. Retrieved from American vital records from the gentlemens' magazine 1731-1868 (2007). In Dobson D. (Ed.), . Baltimore: Clearfield Company. Retrieved from
2) A cyclopedia of Canadian biography: Being chiefly men of the time (1886). In Maclean Rose G. (Ed.), . Toronto: Rose Publishing Company. Retrieved from
3) Canadian Association of Radiologists. CAR history. Retrieved from
4) Goulet, D. (2003). Girdwood, Gilbert Prout. Retrieved from
Access IdentifierBP MUR CAN P G73966
Digital IdentifierBP_MUR_CAN_P_G73966
Is Part OfRBSC Bookplates
SourceOriginal Format: University of British Columbia. Library. Rare Books and Special Collections. Thomas Murray Bookplates Collection. Stanley Binder. BP MUR CAN P G73966
Date Available2017-01-19
Publisher - DigitalVancouver : University of British Columbia Library
RightsImages provided for research and reference use only. Permission to publish, copy, or otherwise use these images must be obtained from Rare Books and Special Collections:
TranscriptVITÆ VIA VIRTUS G. P. Girdwood.
TranslationA way of life
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