John Alexander GunnPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Tamera Basham

Plaque commemorates John Gunn who experimented on this site and produced the first anthrax vaccine in Australia.

John Gunn built his own laboratory in 1890 on Yalgogrin Run, the property he was managing for R Goldsbrough and Co. Anthrax was the scourge of the industry at the time, killing more than 30 per cent of sheep flocks and other livestock with more than 270,000 sheep known to be lost to the disease in the Riverina District. The double dose vaccine developed in 1881 by the Louis Pasteur Institute in Paris could not survive shipment or outback climatic conditions, and the regime of two vaccinations administered fourteen days apart was a particular problem on the sprawling Australia sheep runs.

John Gunn had many supporters in his endeavour, including Frank Stewart of Bygoo Station, Ardlethan, and Arthur Devlin of Uarah Station near Grong Grong. Devlin had begun work in 1890 with French scientists in an attempt to manufacture the French vaccine in Sydney, but by 1897, John Gunn succeeded in producing a serum which was effective in one dose and could be kept almost indefinitely. His first attempt to reproduce the serum was unsuccessful, but fortunately this was achieved a few days later by John McGarvie Smith. The two men formed a partnership which continued until Gunn`s death in 1910.


Address:Midwestern Highway, The Homestead, 30kms N of Ardlethan, North Yalgogrin , 2671
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.845
Long: 146.825
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Approx. Event Start Date:1897
Approx. Event End Date:1897


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1997
Front Inscription

      On This Site
J.A.GUNN Experimented
And In 1897 Produced The
First Anthrax Vaccine In
      This Country.
This Plaque Is Erected By
Friends And Residents As
A Tribute To His Memory
And In Appreciation Of
    His Research.

Source: MA,H
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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