Ref NoRCSI/IP/Cameron
TitleSir Charles A. Cameron Papers
Date14 December 1852 - 2 March 1921
Extent And Medium6 volumes, 3 folios, 2 artefacts, 1 booklet
DescriptionThis collection comprises of diaries, scrapbooks, personal artefacts and ephemera relating to Sir Charles A. Cameron.
Admin_Biographical_HistorySir Charles A. Cameron (1830 - 1921)

Sir Charles A. Cameron was born in Dublin on 16th July 1830. He studied medicine in the School of the Apothecaries' Hall, the Dublin School of Medicine, the Ledwich School and the Meath and Coombe Hospitals. He held numerous lecturing posts including lecturer in Chemistry and Physics in the Dublin School of Medicine in 1856; Professor of Chemistry in Dr Steevens' Hospital and Medical College in 1858 and in 1867 he held the Chair of Hygiene or Political Medicine in the same college. The area of hygiene and public health is one he continued to work in and devote his life to. He was awarded the Harben Gold Medal in 1892, a medal which had been awarded to other distinguished sanitarians and pathologists. Cameron held the position of Diplomat of Public Health in Cambridge University, Medical Superintendent and Executive officer of Health and Public Analyst for Dublin (1862-1921) and Public Analyst for several other cities and counties.

In a piece written in 1897 entitled Memorandum on the Condition of Dwellings of the Very Poor Cameron as Superintendant Medical Officer of Health for Dublin writes

"It is impossible to compel the landlords of the lowest class tenements to keep them in clean and good repair. Nearly 3,000 of the worst have been closed by magistrates' orders obtained by the Sanitary Authority and many more would be closed if there were provision made for the reception of their ejected tenants - they cannot be turned out into the streets."

Cameron faced an up-hill struggle as Chief Medical Officer of Dublin as the level of poverty and disease in the city at the time was one of the worst in the British Empire. He wrote several reports on the poor health, sanitation, diet and housing available to the people of Dublin. He implemented recommendations to improve the sanitation in dwellings; published papers on proper eating habits and highlighted issues by publishing a short booklet at his own expense called How the Poor Live (Dublin, 1904). He hoped its small size would result in easy distribution to the wealthier citizens of Dublin and perhaps a concern in the people's plight.

Cameron achieved so much in his professional life and was still carrying out sanitation inspections in places such as Frongoch, a prison camp in Wales, in 1916 when he was aged 86. He also spearheaded the medical attack on the Spanish Influenza Pandemic when it hit Dublin in 1918 at the age of 88. Sir Charles Cameron died in his house on Raglan Road in February 1921. He was 91 years of age.
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