TitleEdgar Allen Institute, Sheffield
Edgar Allen Institute, 77 Gell Street, Sheffield: June 1911 - 31 March 1947
Edgar Allen Physiotherapy Centre: sometimes also used before 1948
Edgar Allen Physical Treatment Centre, Gell Street, Sheffield: 1 April 1947 - c. 1988

The Edgar Allen Institute for Medico-Mechanical Treatment opened in June 1911 for the benefit of working class victims of industrial accidents. Injuries incurred in Sheffield's large factories and pits were far from uncommon. The Institute, unique in the country at the time of its foundation, was established by William Edgar Allen, a wealthy steel manufacturer, who had himself been treated to a Swedish system of massage and exercise, known as the Zander method. He promoted the same Swedish methods as the basis of treatment, which included physiotherapy, exercises and apparatus work, all designed to boost muscles and joints which had lost strength and flexibility.

The Institute was equipped at the expense of William Edgar Allen who then maintained it for three years before his death in 1915. It was subsequently supported by public subscription and donations. Known as the Edgar Allen Physical Treatment Centre from 1947, being then a unit of the Royal Sheffield Infirmary and Hospital, it also provided training grounds for students from the School of Physiotherapy which opened in May 1949. By the 1950s, as well as a fully kitted out gymnasium, there were sunlight, diathermy, electrical, heat and massage departments, rooms for mud treatment, whirlpools, paraffin wax baths and a rheumatism centre. It closed, and the buildings were sold off in October 1988.

The Edgar Allen Institute was managed by an executive committee appointed by the members of its Council. Originally the Council consisted of the honorary officers of the Institute: the president, two vice-presidents, a treasurer and secretary, plus 15 ex-officio members.

In 1947 the Institute went into voluntary liquidation when the Executive Committee decided to join, as a third unit, with the already-merged Sheffield Royal Hospital and Royal Infirmary as the Edgar Allen Physical Treatment Centre (EAPTC). In that way, the Institute could preserve its local support and interest and retain some degree of control, rather than undergoing a whole-scale take-over by the Ministry of Health the following year when the National Health Service (NHS) was introduced.

In July 1948 it thus became a constituent part of the United Sheffield Hospitals (USH), and the sometime used name 'Edgar Allen Physiotherapy Centre' was phased out. At the same time the Woofindin Rehabilitation Unit at Whiteley Wood was renamed 'The Rehabilitation Centre'; both that and the EAPTC were units of the USH, administered together by a combined House Committee which reported to the USH Board of Governors and which from June 1952 also covered the School of Physiotherapy.

The Board of Governors of the USH moved that House Committees would not be reappointed as from 31 March 1972 and a revised structure of committees and 'visitors' was adopted.
The USH was abolished at the reorganisation of the NHS in 1974 when Sheffield Area Health Authority (Teaching) was established as one of the health areas within the new Trent Regional Health Authority. The EAPTC was in the Central (Teaching) District of SAHA 1974 - 1978.
Following a redistricting exercise in summer 1978 when Sheffield's three districts (North, Central and South) were re-formed into two, EAPTC was placed in the Southern District (Teaching). Further reorganisation of the NHS in 1982 abolished the Area as a tier of management and the Sheffield districts were amalgamated as Sheffield Health Authority; responsibility for the administration of EAPTC was thus brought under a management team of Sheffield Health Authority, within Trent Regional Health Authority, until its closure.

School of Physiotherapy:
The Executive Committe of EAPTC first considered the proposal to establish a School of Massage in Sheffield in March 1946. The School actually opened May 1949 with a centre in Westbourne House as well as facilities in departments of the various Sheffield hospitals; in 1956 it was agreed that the new Graves Radiotherapy Centre be built on the Westbourne House site.
Description Administration 1912 - 1985
NHS18/1/1 Foundation and management, 1912 - 1948
NHS18/1/2 Minutes, 1924 - 1972
NHS18/1/3 Indexes to minutes 1934-1947
NHS18/1/4 Agendas, 1925 - 1959
NHS18/1/5 Annual reports, 1937 - 1946
NHS18/1/6 Printed leaflets, 1915 - 1985

Land and buildings 1920 - 1967
NHS18/2/1 Architectural drawings and plans, 1938 - 1967
NHS18/2/2 Valuation and registration, 1935 - 1940
NHS18/2/3 Insurance, 1920 - 1948
NHS18/2/4 Tenancy, 1931 - 1950

Finance 1917 - 1965
NHS18/3/1 Cash and account books, 1934 - 1965
NHS18/3/2 Special War Effort Charity, 1917 - 1919
NHS18/3/3 Subscriptions, 1939 - 1942
NHS18/3/4 Legacies and grants, 1926 - 1939

Stores and equipment 1920 - 1966
NHS18/4/1 Purchases and contracts, 1939 - 1966
NHS18/4/2 Insurance, 1920 - 1950

Establishment 1915 - 1964
NHS18/5/1 Staff employment, 1946 - 1964
NHS18/5/2 Insurance, 1915 - 1936

Patients 1934 - 1941
NHS18/6/1 Women's casebook, 1939 - 1940
NHS18/6/2 Children's casebook, 1934 - 1941
Date1912 - 1985
Extent120 items
AccessConditionsInformation in staff and patient records may be subject to access restrictions under the Data Protection Act, or may be subject to exemptions from the Freedom of Information Act. For further information please refer to a member of staff.
RelatedMaterialArticles, newscuttings and photographs relating to William Edgar Allen (BC17)
Correspondence and papers, annual reports, 1930-1947 (CA665/9)
United Sheffield Hospitals including School of Physiotherapy: records (NHS28)
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