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Biography & Autobiography Historical

Davidson Black

A Biography

by (author) Dora Hood

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Dec 2018
Historical, Physical, General
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Dec 2018
    List Price

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In 1929 a fossilized skull found in Peking was named Sinanthropus pekinensis, Peking Man. Dr. Davidson Black, a Canadian anatomist and anthropologist, was responsible for finding and identifying this important clue to the nature of the ancestors and development of modern Man. Although he won world renown for this discovery, until now little has been written about the distinguished scientist.


In this, the first full account of his life, Mrs. Hood describes Dr. Black's education—at the Toronto Model School, where he was one of the many pupils who distinguished himself in later life; at Harbord Collegiate in Toronto; and at the School of Medicine of the University of Toronto where he first began to show a marked interest in the study of anatomy. She follows his career then to a teaching position at Western Reserve University, and through the usual sequence of opportunities that eventually led him to China. It was while Dr. Black was on the staff of the Peking Union Medical College that he was able to pursue his interest in a promising area of human prehistory, and these investigations culminated in the discovery of Peking Man.


Mrs. Hood has succeeded in bringing together with care and perception the story of Dr. Black and his work, which was scattered in many places, and does so with an ease and simplicity of expression which will attract readers. The fascination of Davidson Black's devotion to the exploration of the mysteries of human pre-history has been well rendered.

About the author

Dora Hood (1885-1974), a distinguished Canadian bibliophile, was an antiquarian bookseller and the proprietor of Dora Hood's Book Room from 1927 until her retirement in 1954.

Dora Hood's profile page