Theodore Drake

Theodore George Gustavus Harwood Drake, physician, historian, collector (born 16 September 1891 in Webbwood, ON; died 28 October 1959 in Toronto, ON). Drake is perhaps best known for his contributions towards the development of the infant cereal, Pablum.

Theodore George Gustavus Harwood Drake, physician, historian, collector (born 16 September 1891 in Webbwood, ON; died 28 October 1959 in Toronto, ON). Drake is perhaps best known for his contributions towards the development of the infant cereal, Pablum.


Education and Early Career

Drake graduated from the University of Toronto in 1914 with a Bachelor of Medicine. (See also Medical Education.) He served in the medical corps during the First World War. In 1928, Drake joined the clinical and research staff at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto (see Pediatrics).

Career Highlights

With Dr. Frederick Tisdall and under the supervision of Dr. Alan Brown, Drake helped co-develop Sunwheat Biscuits and Pablum. These foods were created to address child and infant malnutrition. The royalties of these products were given to the Hospital for Sick Children.

Pablum container with removable lid, c. 1930-40.

Drake was awarded the Order of the British Empire after the Second World War for establishing nutrition levels for meals of members of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and food parcels for prisoners of war. After the war, Drake continued his work with the Hospital for Sick Children and from 1949 to 1953 he was head of the Research Institute.

Drake wrote extensively on the history of pediatrics and was the author of many scientific articles. He was also a collector of medical books and objects. His collection of some 5,000 antiques of pediatric interest, from Ancient Greece and Egypt to 19th-century Europe, was donated to the Museum of the History of Medicine, Academy of Medicine, Toronto, in 1960.