Marshall Perley Cram (1882-1933) was born in Brunswick and graduated from Bowdoin in 1904 with a B.A. and also earned an M.A. in 1905. He received his Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins (1908) while simultaneously teaching Chemistry at Bowdoin (1904-1911) and then served as the Josiah Little Professor of Natural Science until his death (1911-1933). Cram also served on faculty at the Medical School of Maine during the 1918 influenza pandemic. Caused by the H1N1 influenza A virus and lasting from February 1918 to April 1920, this flu infected 500 million people – about a third of the world’s population at the time – in four successive waves.
Cram’s 1918-1919 daily diary offers the most complete record of the toll the 1918 influenza pandemic took on the College. As a backdrop to his entries about the influenza are accounts of local and national events, from a campus fuel shortage to the entry of the U.S. into World War I.