The Sanitary Inspector’s Handbook

The Sanitary Inspector’s Handbook

This book pictured above is the first edition of the The Sanitary Inspector’s Handbook: A Manual for Sanitary Inspectors and Other Executive Public Health Officers by Henry H. Clay, a British sanitary inspector and lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Division of Public Health, University of London. It was published in April 1933 by H.K. Lewis & Co., LTD in London, England. 

It is not the first book to cover environmental health.  Other than some published military manuals, however, this handbook (also called the “Clay’s Handbook”) is the first to deal specifically with the whole range of the sanitary inspector’s duties. The book includes in 31 chapters, is well-illustrated, and provides numerous examples in each topic covered. It predates the U.S. version, The Sanitarian and His Duties by Grace Loye, by 3 years.

Subsequent editions of this book include logic gates with each subject. The logic gates guide the inspector (now, environmental health officer) through the investigation and resolution process. This book is the standard for our profession in the UK. 

The above pictured book is signed by the author and was a gift from Mr. Clay to Dr. Huntindon Williams, health commissioner for Baltimore, Maryland. It contains the U.S. Treasury Department customs transmittal form, Mr. Clay’s business card, two Christmas greetings, and several letters from Mr. Clay to Dr. Williams.


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