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Biographical entry Davy, Edward (1806 - 1885)

16 June 1806
Ottery St Mary, Devonshire, England
26 January 1885
Malmsbury, Victoria, Australia
Physician and Telegraphic scientist


Edward Davy was educated as a doctor. He had a variety of occupations in England, South Australia and Victoria before becoming a medical practitioner in Malmsbury, Victoria for the last 30 years of his life. He was one of the early experimenters with the electric telegraph and was certainly the inventor of the electric relay.


Born Ottery St Mary, Devonshire, England, 16 June 1806. Died Malmsbury, Victoria, 26 January 1885. Educated St Bartholomew's Hospital (passed the Apothecary's Hall 1828 and the Royal College of Surgeons 1829). Chemical business, Davy & Co. 1830-38, experimented with the electric telegraph 1835-36, migrated to South Australia 1838, editor, Adelaide Examiner 1842, produced starch from wheat 1843, resumed his profession of medical practitioner at least once in the period to 1845, copper smelting from 1845, director and manager, Adelaide Smelting Co. 1847-50, chief assayer, Government Assay Office, Adelaide 1852, assay master, Melbourne 1853-54, unsuccessful farmer near Malmsbury for a short time, medical practitioner, Malmsbury for the rest of his life. Elected an honorary member of the Society of Telegraph Engineers 1885. Inaugural president, Adelaide Mechanics' Institute 1851. Mayor of Malmsbury three times, active justice of the peace and health officer for more than 20 years.

Published resources

Book Sections

  • Gibberd, William O., 'Davy, Edward (1806-1885)' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Douglas Pike, ed., vol. 1 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1966), pp. 295-296. Details
  • Symons, Eleanor Putnam, 'Edward Davy, 1806-1885' in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004). Details


Resource Sections

See also

Rosanne Walker