Brisbane Diseased: Contagions, Cures and Controversy

In July 2015 the Brisbane History Group Seminar held at the Marks-Hirschfeld Museum of Medical History, and was titled “Brisbane Diseased”.

Through the collection of articles included in this book, you’ll discover the fascinating history of disease in Brisbane and its surrounds. Written by doctors, academics and others with special expertise in medical history, the chapters look at the controversies arising out of urban contagion and the various attempts to cure them.

Covering everything from quarantining early immigrants, to phone cancer cures, the Spanish flu and bubonic plague, medical corset and even an unorthodox treatment of infantile paralysis. This is a side of history often not thought of.





1. Diseases come and go: Combating disease in the Moreton Bay settlement and early Brisbane
(John Pearn)

2. Protecting Brisbane: Health officers and maritime quarantine in pre-separation Queensland
(Jennifer Harrison)

3. Sex, women and the venereal, Brisbane, 1859-1911
(Gerald Hugo Ree)

4. Lead poisoning in Queensland
(Michael John Thearle)

5. The black death in Brisbane: Researching and writing a historical novel for children, The ratcatcher’s daughter
(Pamela Rushby)

6. Dr Thomas Pennington Lucas and plague denial: “More terrible than war!”
(Bill Metcalf)

7. Medical treatment of alcoholism in turn-of- the-century Brisbane
(Alana Piper)

8. When ‘Spanish flu’ came to Brisbane
(Helen V. Smith)

9. Last of the great childhood plagues: Queensland’s polio experience
(Paul Sayer)

10. Art, healing and local native medicinal plants of Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island)
(Renata Buziak)

11. Prosecuting medical quakery: Foreign practitioners, pseudo-medicine and cancer cures
(Alana Piper)

12. Guardians of women’s health: Corsetieres and the medicalisation of corsetry
(Rosemary Knight)

13. Sister Elizabeth Kenny: A prophet unrecognised?
(Paul Sayer)

14. Well! Where will I put the b***** thing? The battle to upgrade the Brisbane city morgue?
(Lee Butterworth)






Other Details

Media: BOOK – paperback, 164 pages

Editor: A. Piper

Year: 2016

ISBN: 9781925236316

Other: b&w photos, abbreviations, bibliog, index

Publisher: Brisbane History Group

“This book was so helpful in my research, and filled with so much useful information!
Highly recommend to anyone in this field!”

- James Hoffen

Connect with me

Contact Me

Connect with me


Contact Me