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Ida A. Bengtson

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Title: Ida A. Bengtson  
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Language: English
Subject: National Institutes of Health
Collection: 1881 Births, 1952 Deaths, Bacteriologists, National Institutes of Health, Place of Birth Missing, Place of Death Missing
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Ida A. Bengtson

Ida A. Bengtson
Born 1881
Fields bacteriology
Institutions United States Public Health Service's Hygienic Laboratory
Alma mater University of Nebraska, University of Chicago

Ida Albertina Bengtson (1881 – 1952)[1] was an American bacteriologist.


She was born in Nebraska in 1881 as the daughter of Swedish immigrants, and earned her AB degree from the University of Nebraska in 1903. [1] She entered the University of Chicago to study bacteriology in 1911, and earned her Masters degree in 1913 and her PhD in 1919, both from the University of Chicago. [1] While studying, she also worked as a bacteriologist in the Chicago Department of Health in 1915, and in 1916 she became the first woman hired to work in the United States Public Health Service's Hygienic Laboratory. [1] [2]

Ida's most significant scientific achievement was in regards to an organism called aerobic spore-forming rods.[5]

She is also known for preparing, during 1935-1936, the standard for gas gangrene toxins and anti-toxins. [6] One of Ida’s other research interests was typhus, an exceedingly dangerous interest and she, like many other typhus researchers, eventually contracted the disease, although she recovered fully. [6] Her chapter on the family “Rickettsiaceae” appeared in the sixth edition of the influential Bergey’s Manual of Determinative Bacteriology after her official retirement. [1] She was awarded the Typhus Medal of the American Typhus Commission in 1947. [7]


  1. ^ a b c d e
  2. ^
  3. ^ E. van Ergmengem. 1897. Über einen neuen anaeroben Bacillus und seine Beziehungen Zum Botulismus. Zentralbl. Hyg. Infektionskr. 26:1–8.
  4. ^ Frank J. Erbguth. Historical notes on botulism, Clostridium botulinum, botulinum toxin, and the idea of the therapeutic use of the toxin. Movement Disorders. Volume 19, Issue S8, pages S2-S6, March 2004.
  5. ^ I. A. Bengston. 1924. Studies on organisms concerned as causative factors in botulism. Hyg. Lab. Bull. 136:101
  6. ^ a b The Evening Independent - Google News Archive Search
  7. ^ Rocky Mountain Laboratory Photographs
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