Frederic Poole Gorham

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Frederic Poole Gorham
Born(1871-04-29)April 29, 1871
Providence, Rhode Island
DiedJune 4, 1933(1933-06-04) (aged 62)
Glocester, Rhode Island
Cause of deathHeart attack[1]
Resting placeSwan Point Cemetery[2]
NationalityUnited States of America
Alma materBrown University
OccupationBacteriologist, educator
Spouse(s)Emma May Lapham (1897−1913)
Ruth Elizabeth Bjorkchahl (1917−1933)
ChildrenMary Emma (b. 1898)
Sayles (b. 1900)[3]
Nancy (b. 1907)
Hope (b. 1912)
Ruth (b. 1918)
Parent(s)Samuel Gorham
Abby Harding Fish
RelativesHoward Bowen[3] (brother)

Frederic Poole Gorham (April 29, 1871 – June 4, 1933) was an American bacteriologist and educator.

Born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of businessman Samuel Gorham and his wife Abby Harding Fish, he was educated in local schools before graduating from Providence High School in 1889 and matriculating to Brown University.[3][4] After graduating in 1893, he became an instructor of Biology at Brown[5] and was awarded his A.M. in 1894 upon examination, with special studies performed at Harvard. On June 24, 1897,[3] he was married to Emma Mary Lapham in Burrillville, Rhode Island.[4] Thereafter he became an assistant professor in 1899, then associate professor in 1901. While doing so, he attended a series of lectures at Harvard University during 1902−1903.[3] In 1913 he established bacteriology as a field of study at Brown University,[1] becoming Professor of Bacteriology.[6]

In 1899, he was appointed bacteriologist for the Providence Department of Health, a post he occupied until 1933[1]—primarily in an advisory capacity. He became secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Rhode Island State Tuberculosis Sanatorium[7] in 1908. After helping to found the Society of American Bacteriologists, in 1911 he was named president of the organization.[5] Two years later he became a bacteriologist for the Rhode Island Shellfish Commission, and in 1914 the deputy milk inspector for Providence.[1] His first wife being deceased in 1913, he married Ruth Elizabeth Bjorkchahl on January 1, 1917—they would have one daughter, named Ruth.[8] He served as chairman of the Laboratory Section for the American Public Health Association,[6] and during 1925–1931 he served with the city park commission. In 1933, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Brown University, but died of a heart attack before he could receive it.[1]


  • A laboratory guide for the dissection of the cat: an introduction to the study of anatomy (1895) with R. W. Tower[4]
  • A laboratory course in bacteriology: for the use of medical, agricultural, and industrial students (1897)[4]
  • The gas-bubble disease of fish and its cause (1900)
  • Morphological varieties of bacillus diphtheriæ (1901)
  • The photogenic bacteria (1903)
  • Recent debts to biology (1904)
  • Cambrian deposits of North Attelboro (1905)
  • Superior Rhode Island oysters (1913)


  1. ^ a b c d e Mitchell, Martha, "Gorham, Frederic P.", Encyclopedia Brunoniana, Brown University, retrieved 2013-08-06.
  2. ^ The Rhode Island Historical Cemeteries Transcription Project, RootsWeb, retrieved 2013-08-06.
  3. ^ a b c d e Representative Men and Old Families of Rhode Island, 2, J.H. Beers & Company, 1908, p. 956.
  4. ^ a b c d Leonard, John William; Marquis, Albert Nelson, eds. (1908), Who's who in America, 5, Chicago: Marquis Who's Who, p. 742.
  5. ^ a b Round, Lester A. (November 1933). "Frederic Poole Gorham, 1871-1933". Journal of Bacteriology. 26 (5): 431–433. PMC 533579. PMID 16559676.
  6. ^ a b Brown University (1914), Historical Catalogue of Brown University, 1764–1914, Providence: The F. A. Bassette Company, p. 313.
  7. ^ Clark, Paul F. (November 1933), "A Half Century of Presidential Addresses of the Society of American Bacteriologists", Bacteriological Reviews, 17 (3): 213–247, PMC 180770, PMID 13081545.
  8. ^ Aldridge, Bertha Bortle Beal, Laphams in America: thirteen thousand descendants including descendents of John from Devonshire, England to Providence, R.I., 1673, Thomas from Kent, England, to Scituate, Mass., 1634, and genealogical notes of other Lapham families, p. 258.

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