Frank Cotton

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Frank Stanley Cotton (30 April 1890 – 23 August 1955) was an Australian lecturer in physiology, specialising in the study of the effects of physical strain on the human body.

Early life[edit]

Frank Stanley Cotton was born on 30 April 1890 at Camperdown, Sydney, New South Wales. He was the son of Australian politician Francis Cotton (1857-1942), and brother of Shackleton expeditioner and geology professor, Leo Arthur Cotton (1883-1963). Pioneer art photographer Olive Cotton was his niece.[1] He attended Sydney Boys High School in 1904-08.[2] In 1917, Frank married Catherine Drummond Smith, a geology demonstrator who taught at the University of Sydney.[3][4]


  • Anti-Gravity Suit

In 1940, whilst at the University of Sydney, Professor Cotton invented the "Cotton aerodynamic anti-G flying suit" (G-suit), which prevented pilots from blacking out when making high speed turns or pulling out of a dive. This was used extensively by pilots in the Allied air forces during World War II.[1][5]

  • Ergometer

Cotton was also responsible for the ergometer, a machine to test the athletic potential of sportsmen and women. Cotton claimed through this machine to have discovered the swimmers Jon Henricks and Judy-Joy Davies. The Australian swimming coach, Forbes Carlile, began his career as an assistant to Cotton.[1][5]

Later life[edit]

On 23 August 1955, Frank Cotton died at Hornsby, New South Wales.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Nairn (2011)
  2. ^
  3. ^ Nairn, Bede. Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 14 August 2017 – via Australian Dictionary of Biography. 
  4. ^ Burek, C and Higgs, B eds. 2007 The role of women in the history of geology, Geological society of London
  5. ^ a b "Department of Physiology, University of Sydney". Retrieved 14 August 2017.