The papers of L.G.C.E. Pugh, a British physiologist and mountaineer who combined field
and laboratory research in pioneering work in modern high-altitude physiology and sports
medicine. Pugh conducted studies on the impact of the environment on human physiology and
performance during the 1952 British Himalayan Expedition to Mt. Cho Oyu, the 1953 British
Himalayan Expedition to Mt. Everest, the 1960-1961 Himalayan Scientific and
Mountaineering Expedition to Mt. Everest, and the 1957-1958 Trans-Antarctic Expedition.
His research interests were altitude, temperature and exertion. The data he obtained on
Mt. Cho Oyu demonstrated the importance of adequate hydration and oxygen, findings that
were crucial to the first successful climb of Mt. Everest in 1953. Pugh was the lead
scientist on that expedition, and, with Edmund Hillary, he co-led the 1960-1961 Himalayan
Scientific and Mountaineering Expedition, ("Silver Hut'), which spent five months at
19,000 ft. or higher on Mt. Everest. Pugh also studied distance swimmers and runners and
took part in the evaluation and training of athletes for the 1968 Olympic Games. The
collection contains Pugh's expedition and laboratory research files with notes,
calculations and graphs documenting his experiments with mountain climbers, swimmers,
runners and his work on respiration for polio patients; correspondence, much of it
related to his research; reprints and drafts of journal articles, reports and unpublished
writings; information on laboratory equipment and techniques, and photographic material
documenting expeditions and experiments. The papers are arranged in twelve series: 1) MISCELLANEOUS MATERIAL; 2) GENERAL
CORRESPONDENCE; 3) WRITINGS BY PUGH; 4) EXPEDITIONS; 5) PHYSIOLOGICAL STUDIES, 1940-1949;
6) PHYSIOLOGICAL STUDIES, 1950-1959; 7) PHYSIOLOGICAL STUDIES, 1960-1969; 8)
PHYSIOLOGICAL STUDIES, 1970-1979; 9) LABORATORY APPARATUS, CALIBRATIONS AND TECHNIQUES;
10) CONFERENCES, LECTURES AND SYMPOSIA, 11) WRITINGS OF OTHERS, and 12) ORIGINALS OF
Lewis Griffith Cresswell Evans Pugh was born on October 19, 1909, in Shrewsbury, England.
He studied medicine at Oxford University and obtained his medical degree in 1939. At the
start of World War II he joined the British Army as a medical officer and in 1943 was
sent to the Mountain Warfare Training Centre to select, train and evaluate the fitness of
ski troops at a school for mountain warfare in Lebanon. There he began a career of
research into the physiological effects of altitude, temperature and exertion.
Document contained in Box 39, Folder 12 is restricted because of its fragility;
researchers must use the photocopy substitute. Photographs of Channel swimmers located in
Box 49, Folder 4 are deemed medical records and are restricted accordingly.