Dr Thomas Bancroft’s House at Deception Bay

Thomas Bancroft earned a reputation in his own right as an active scientist, botanist, doctor and photographer.

Thomas lived in a small house close to his parents before moving (c.1895) with his wife into a new home believed to be north•east of Seymour Street. He built wire-netted enclosures at the back of that house where he kept white rabbits for experimental work. On the mud flats, oyster beds were constructed which were naturally covered at high tide, and a bathing shed was erected near the edge of the water. A well was dug at the base of the cliffs, which provided fresh water for showers after swimming.

THOMAS LANE BANCROFT’S HOME, BUILT NOVEMBER 1895. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION REFER TO THE PUBLICATION “THE BANCROFT TRADITION”.
THOMAS LANE BANCROFT’S HOME, BUILT NOVEMBER 1895. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION REFER TO THE PUBLICATION “THE BANCROFT TRADITION”.

Thomas expanded on his father’s work in observing the causes of tropical disease, as well as conducting his own extensive Flora and fauna research. He sent many specimens of fish and other marine animals to the Queensland and Australian Museums and donated over 1,000 plants to the Queensland Herbarium. He was the first to demonstrate how hook worm enter the human body and he provided evidence that the aedes aegypti mosquttoes were responsible for causing dengue fever.

From I899 to 1901 he caught and sent over 600 mosquitoes to Britain. Children used to catch mosquitoes for him; keeping them in matchboxes. He proposed the theory in 1896 that prickly pear and lantana could be controlled by insects.

When the factory lost the contract with the British War Office in 1904, Thomas left the area. However, he continued his scientific endeavors, including investigating the life cycle of Queensland lungfish (neoceratodus forsteri).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *