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Biographical entry Borthwick, Thomas (1860 - 1924)

13 January 1860
Peebles, Scotland
11 March 1924
Largs Bay, South Australia, Australia
Bacteriologist and Public health worker


Thomas Borthwick worked as a bacteriologist at the Adelaide Children's Hospital from 1894 and from 1899-1920 he was an examiner and Lecturer in Bacteriology, University of Adelaide. He was also Medical Officer of Health for the City of Adelaide 1900-1924.


Born Peebles, Scotland, 13 January 1860. Died Largs Bay, 11 March 1924. Educated University of Edinburgh (graduated in medicine 1881, MD 1891). South Africa 1882-83; arrived Adelaide 1883; practised at Kensington; medical officer of health for Kensington, Norwood, St Peters and Burnside 1885-91; course in practical sanitary science, Edinburgh, 1891; set up bacteriological laboratory at his home in Adelaide 1892; honorary bacteriologist, Adelaide Children's Hospital 1894 -ca 1911; studied the anti-toxin treatment of diphtheria, London 1895; lectured to nurses on hygiene and bacteriology; examiner in hygiene and lecturer in bacteriology, University of Adelaide 1899-1920; honorary bacteriologist, Adelaide Hospital 1902-11, consultant from 1911; part-time medical officer of health, city of Adelaide 1900-24; health officer, Metropolitan Dairies Board (later the Metropolitan County Board of Food and Drugs); consultant medical officer, Metropolitan Abattoirs Board from 1913. Brought about the Health Act of 1898, which established a Central Board of Health.

Archival resources

Adelaide City Council Archives

  • Thomas Borthwick - Records, 1900 - 1924; Adelaide City Council Archives. Details

State Records of South Australia

  • Thomas Borthwick - Records, 1894 - 1924; State Records of South Australia. Details

Published resources

Book Sections

Journal Articles

  • Hayward, G. C., 'Thomas Borthwick', Medical Journal of Australia, 1924 (1) (1924), 352. Details


McCarthy, G.J.