Fuller, George Warren


Dates:          b. 1868; 1890's 1910's; d. 1934

Locations:    Dir. Lawrence Experiment Station; Experimental Station at Louisville, KY; Laboratory of the Commissioners of Water Works, Cincinnati; 1920's as Consulting Sanitary Engineer, NYC

Training:      SB MIT under Sedgwick, 1890

Fields:          water; BACT NOM; sanitation; public health

Publications: with Johnson, "The Classification of Water Bacteria," Journal of Experimental Medicine 4 (around 1899): 609;

SAB Involvement:  Charter member SAB; Member, APHA Comm. on Water Supplies 1894 1897; President APHA 1928 1929

Archive Files: Winslow, "There Were Giants in Those Days," AJPH 43 (1953): 15 19; ANB


     In Winslow's 40th anniversary address before the SAB, he described Fuller as a "dominant figure in the development of sanitary engineering, a mind of razor keenness in some 250 pounds of flesh."  

     While at the Lawrence Station, Fuller and others had a habit of using whiskey bottles instead of specially designed glassware.  It was, in fact, imbued with a workshop atmosphere.

     At the 1899 SAB meeting, Fuller was listed as "Consulting Sanitary Expert, NYC."

     Fuller and Johnson's classification proposed a three genera system, based mainly on morphological data, and hence they experience considerable difficulty in differentiating short bacilli from cocci.  However, Johnson and Fuller's report was a monumental publication, directing taxonomically minded bacteriologists to the problems of degenerative forms and a tentative plan for describing cultural characteristics.  More importantly, the report recommended the use of cards and tables to provide quick comparisons between samples.  

     Fuller was responsible for the "pioneering studies of water purification at Louisville and Cincinnati beginning in 1895." (Winslow 1953, 16)  Part of his work at Louisville was on chlorination in a Jewell Filter in 1896.  Fuller also studied improvements in mechanical filters at the Cincinnati station in 1898.  He was a consultant for the Army, and an advisor on water treatment and sewage disposal for Chicago, New York and 150 other cities.  According to Winslow he "more than any other one person" was responsible for the development of the Standard Methods of Water Analysis of the APHA.