History of Henry Wellcome
Sir Henry Wellcome (1853-1936), the founder of the Wellcome Trust, was one of the most fascinating men of his time. A businessman, collector and philanthropist, he was born in the American Wild West but ended his days as a knight of the British Realm.
Wellcome co-founded a multinational pharmaceutical company that mastered modern techniques of advertising such as promotion, image and branding. The wealth that Wellcome's company brought him was invested in amassing an astonishing collection of historical objects, which at the time of his death was larger than that of many of Europe's most famous museums.
He also funded pioneering medical research. In his lifetime, scientists funded by Wellcome made great breakthroughs into understanding how our bodies work. After his death, Wellcome's will provided for the creation of the Wellcome Trust.
The Wellcome Trust's journey
Today, the Wellcome Trust is a champion of science, funding research and influencing health policy across the globe. From this perspective of strength and success, it's easy to forget the long path that led here.
Our journey started in 1880, the year in which a youthful Henry Wellcome left the shores of America to start a pharmaceutical business on British soil with fellow American Silas Burroughs. It was Wellcome's unyielding commitment to improving human health through research, and his passion for culture and the arts, that led to the Trust's creation in 1936 and that has inspired those who followed him to make the Trust what it is today.
In this film - a visual celebration of one man's vision - the 75 years of the Trust's history are distilled down to 5 minutes.
Running time: 5 min 39 s