Experiments and Observations on the Gastric Juice, and the Physiology of Digestion

1. William Beaumont
2. Maclachlan & Stewart, South Bridge
3. Simpkin, Marshall & Co., London
William Beaumont’s (1785-1853) work with Alexis St Martin (1794-1880) resulted in major contributions to our understanding of digestion. Illustrated in an artwork by David Cornwell in 1939 , see MHM2014.4. Beaumont showed the presence of hydrochloric acid and mucin as separate secretions of gastric juice, the profound influence of emotions on digestion, variations in digestion of various food stuffs and described the movements of the stomach. Beaumont first published book on his researches in 1835, Experiments and Observations on the Gastric Juice and the Physiology of Digestion.

This book owned by Professor William Osborne who was Professor of Physiology at the University of Melbourne for over thirty years in addition to serving as Dean of the Faculty of Medicine from 1929 to 1938. His name was written in pencil in the front cover.It was located in a box of items owned by Pansy Wright, Professor of Physiology at the University of Melbourne from 1939 to 1971. Dean of the Faculties of Medicine (1946, 1950-1952) and of Veterinary Science (1945-1962), Deputy Chancellor (1972-80) and Chancellor (1980-89) was not to be opened until 30 years after his death while in the custody of Professor John Coughlan.

Object detail

paper, cardboard, ink
21.0 x 13.5 x 2.5 cm
Accession Number
Credit line
Gift of Professor James Angus, 2015
Object Type
Medical History Museum Category


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