Jan 292018

Waverley StationEdinburgh EH1 1BB

When the great French biologist Louis Pasteur visited Edinburgh in 1884 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the city’s University he arrived, as many visitors do today, at Waverley station. You can get a magnificent view of the station from this spot on west side of North Bridge. The brewing industry had benefited greatly from Pasteur’s research and discoveries on fermentation, and Henry Younger, the great-grandson of the original owner of William Younger’s brewery, not only invited Pasteur to stay at his house, but also arranged for a special carriage for him to be attached to the London to Edinburgh train which pulled into Waverley Station. Pasteur was horrified by the public health situation in Edinburgh, and the University of Edinburgh set up a new chair of public health as a direct result of Pasteur’s visit. This chair was jointly endowed, in a move that might seem somewhat ironic today, by the proprietors of William Younger’s brewery and Usher’s distillery. A total sum of £15,000 was donated by the family of Alexander Low-Bruce, a senior manager at Younger’s, Younger’s brewery and Sir John Usher. The Bruce and John Usher chair of Public Health still exists at the University of Edinburgh today.

Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur (1822-95)

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