At the beginning of the 20th century, a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes was a death sentence. Starvation diets were employed to delay the life-threatening symptoms of diabetes, but patient death was inevitable. Beginning on May 17, 1921, Frederick Banting and Charles Best, under the direction of J. J. R. Macleod, isolated what would later be known as insulin in a lab at the University of Toronto. Their extract was further purified and made safe for human injection by James Collip. Thirteen-year-old Leonard Thompson was selected to receive their first human trial, the results of which would go on to save the lives of millions around the world.
She oversaw Canada’s production of Hawker Hurricane aircrafts at the Canadian Car & Foundry factory during the Second World War. Hawker Hurricanes were one of the main fighters flown by Canadian and Allied airmen in the Battle of Britain. This Heritage Minute follows Elsie MacGill in her role as chief engineer overseeing the production of these instrumental aircrafts.
For more information about Elsie MacGill, please visit The Canadian Encyclopedia.