1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bell, Jacob
BELL, JACOB (1810–1859), British pharmaceutical chemist, was born in London on the 5th of March 1810. On the completion of his education, he joined his father in business as a chemist in Oxford Street, and at the same time attended the chemistry lectures at the Royal Institution, and those on medicine at King’s College. Always keenly alive to the interests of chemists in general, Bell conceived the idea of a society which should at once protect the interests of the trade, and improve its status, and at a public meeting held on the 15th of April 1841, it was resolved to found the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. Bell carried his scheme through in the face of many difficulties, and further advanced the cause of pharmacy by establishing the Pharmaceutical Journal, and superintending its publication for eighteen years. The Pharmaceutical Society was incorporated by royal charter in 1843. One of the first abuses to engage the attention of the new body was the practice of pharmacy by unqualified persons, and in 1845 Bell drew up the draft of a bill to deal with the matter, one of the provisions of which was the recognition of the Pharmaceutical Society as the governing body in all questions connected with pharmacy. For some time after this the question of pharmaceutical legislation was widely discussed. In 1850 Bell successfully contested the borough of St Albans in order that he might be able to advocate his proposals for reform more effectually in parliament. In 1851 he brought forward a bill embodying these proposals. It passed its second reading, but was considerably whittled down in committee, and when eventually it became law it only partially represented its sponsor’s intentions. Bell was the author of an Historical Sketch of the Progress of Pharmacy in Great Britain. He died on the 12th of June 1859.