Sir Frederick G. Banting, 1891-1941, Physician / Researcher
Date of Issue
March 15, 1991
Series Time Span
Perforation or Dimension
Designed by René Milot.
A set of four se-tenant stamps honouring the accomplishments of Canadian physicians was issued on March 15, 1991. Canadian doctor Sir Frederick G. Banting is world-renowned for his medical team's discovery of insulin in 1921. Along with fellow-researcher J.J.R. Macleod, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine the following year, and in 1934 was one of the last group of Canadians to be knighted by King George V. Born at Alliston, Ontario on November 14, 1891, Frederick Banting was to become one the most famous Canadians of his time. While at private practice in London, Ontario in 1920 he developed a research idea which would ultimately result in the discovery of insulin for the treatment of diabetes. Aided by University of Toronto Physiology Professor, J.J.R. Macleod, C.H. Best, a recent graduate, and J.B. Collip, a trained biochemist, the research team's experiments with dogs led them to try a new extract on a dying diabetic in Toronto. When Leonard Thompson recovered in January 1922, the discovery was announced. Banting was named Canada's first professor of medical research and later pursued research projects on mustard gas and flight suits for the Canadian Forces. He was leaving on a mission to study wartime research in England, when he was killed in a plane crash in Newfoundland in 1941. The 50th anniversary of the discovery of insulin was commemorated on a Canadian stamp issued March 3, 1971. Toronto designer René Milot portrayed the four doctors in front of buildings significant to their individual careers. Dr. Banting appears in front of the University of Toronto medical building, which is no longer in existence.
Canada Post Corporation. Canada's Stamp Details, No. 1, 1991, p. 14, 16-17.
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