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Charles John Samuel Thompson

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From "Charles John Samuel Thompson (1862- 1943) or C.J.S. Thompson as he was more commonly known, was a physician and writer. By the age of 36 he had already published several books including, The Mystery and Romance of Alchemy and Pharmacy, 1897. He began working for Wellcome Burroughs and Company in London and shortly after became the head curator for Henry Wellcome's library in 1897 (later the Wellcome Institute). He immediately began collecting medical and science instruments and ephemera. Wellcome was a notorious collector, going as far as to create fictitious storefronts and companies to disguise the fact that he was the man behind the auction bids. Thompson kept meticulous notes for Wellcome and often corresponded with Wellcome on the day's or week's acquisitions. As the libraries collection of books and medical history grew, its head curator used the collection as a resource for more than forty books on the subject of poisoning, most notably Poison Romances and Poison Mysteries in 1899, Poison Mysteries in History Romance and Crime in 1923, and Poisons and Poisoners, With Historical Accounts of Some Famous Mysteries in Ancient and Modern Times in 1931. Later in the early 1940's while curating ancient surgical instruments in Germany, he compiled a record of his acquisitions in a book titled The History and Evolution of Surgical Instruments published in 1942. Nearly every surgical instrument in the collection was destroyed in a German bombing raid leaving the book as the only record of their existence. Much of what we know of the early history of poisoning, especially criminal poisoning, is in large part due to the diligent research of C.J.S. Thompson. His books are still widely read and admired today."

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