Frederick Banting

Canadian post stamp Banting 46 cents

Date of issue: January 17, 2000
Printer: Ashton-Potter Canada
Series: The Millenium Collection, Medical Innovators
Design: Louis Fishauf

Frederick Banting

Frederick Banting was born in 1891 on a farm near Alliston, Ontario. He received a bachelor's degree in medicine (M.B.) in 1916 and served as a medical officer with the Canadian military during World War I. Upon his return to Canada, he became a resident surgeon at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Following a brief period in private surgical practice in London, Ontario, he moved back to Toronto to begin research on the pancreas.

With student Charles Best and biochemist James Collip (under the supervision of John Macleod, Professor of Physiology), Banting developed an experimental model of diabetes by ligating a dog’s pancreatic duct. After several weeks, he was able to isolate a solution from the pancreas which reversed the disease when injected into affected dogs. The solution – now known as insulin – was made commercially available in 1922 and proved to be one of the most important developments in modern medicine. Banting and Macleod were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1923; they shared both the financial award and the scientific recognition with Best and Collip. Banting died in a plane crash in Newfoundland in 1941.

The Stamp

The stamp shows Banting with Best on his right side. Below them are a dog and a syringe, the former presumably with surgically induced diabetes and the latter partially filled with insulin. The writing at the top are hand-written notes on the experimental procedure used to obtain insulin. An older Banting is seen in a second stamp printed in 1991. The first-day cover associated with this shows him in the top left of the pane. The Toronto General Hospital, where he performed his experiments, can be seen on the top right of both the stamp and the photograph collage.

Canadian Stamp Banting 40 cents

Date of issue: March 15, 1991
Printer: Ashton-Potter
Series: Canadian Doctors
Design: René Milot


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