John Alexander GunnPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Tamera Basham

The plaque commemorates John Alexander Gunn (1860 - 1910) who experimented on this site and produced the first anthrax vaccine in Australia. John Gunn was also a New South Wales polictician.

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:Gunn Road, South of intersection with “South Yalgogrin Road” & north of intersection with “Flaggs Lane, Yalgogrin South, 2665
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.170399
Long: 146.742423
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