Houston, Sir Alexander Cruickshank

SUBJECT AREA: Public utilities
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b. 18 September 1865 Settle, Yorkshire, England
d. 29 October 1933 London, England
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English physician and bacteriologist, pioneer of the chlorination of water supplies.
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Son of an Army surgeon-general, he graduated in Edinburgh in 1889. Specializing in public health and forensic matters, he worked from 1897 to 1905 for the Local Government Board on lead poisoning resulting from moorland water supplies. He also acted as Bacteriologist to the Royal Commission on Sewage Disposal from 1890 to 1905. In 1905 he was appointed Director of Water Examinations to the Metropolitan Water Board, with whom he served until his death. Shortly before he joined the Board, he was involved in the investigation of an outbreak of typhoid at Lincoln and was instrumental in establishing a chlorination plant of a rudimentary nature there, and also in organizing the comprehensive chlorinating system which was then applied to London's water supply. He also advised on water supplies in Egypt and Canada.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
Knighted 1918. Commander of the Royal Victorian Order 1919. FRS 1931. Gunning Victoria Jubilee Prize, Edinburgh 1892.
Bibliography
1914, Studies in Water Supply.
1918, Rural Water Supplies and their Purification.
1953, London's Water Supply, 1903–1953, London: Metropolitan Water Board.
MG

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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