Professor George Britton Halford (1824-1910)

Johnstone, O'Shannessy and Co Limited (estab. 1865, closed 1905)
Circa 1880
Sepia photograph of Professor George Britton Halford (1824-1910), who was appointed first Chair of Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology at the University of Melbourne.

It was 1 May 1863 when George Britton Halford (1824–1910) started as the first professor of anatomy, physiology and pathology, at the Medical School. There were three students, Patrick Moloney (1843-1904), Alexander Mackie(1839-1892) and William Carey Rees (1843–1879), and classes were held in a shed erected at the back of Professor Halford’s private rooms.

In 1876 the faculty of medicine was established and took over administration of courses from the Medical School Committee. Halford was elected Dean and held office until 1886 and again in 1890-96.

Halford recommended as early as 1871, while president of the professorial board, that women who passed the relevant examinations sign the matriculation book should be admitted to the University of Melbourne. However, Vice-Chancellor A.C. Brownless’s (1817–1897) view of university education did not extend to the inclusion of women; he actively opposed the motion to admit women to the University of Melbourne in 1879, and to admit women to medicine in 1887.
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Object detail

photograph, ink and card
24.8 x 16.7 cm (sepia original)
51.4 x 39 cm (B&W copy)
Accession Number
Credit line
Courtesy Physiology Department, the University of Melbourne
maker's mark ▫ on mount, recto: "JOHNSTONE O'SHANNESSY COMPANY LIMITED/55 & 57 COLLINS STREET EAST/MELBOURNE/Marion Imp -" ▫ MHM00334.1 - sepia original
maker's mark ▫ on image: "Johnstone O'Shannessy Company Limited" ▫ MHM00334.1 - sepia original
Medical History Museum Category


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