Edward Taylor, Doctor of Medicine (MD) and medical researcher of the Rockefeller Institute and George Washington University, was invited by the South African Institute for Medical Research (SAIMR) to study the poliomyelitis epidemic of 1917-1918 in South Africa. However, when he arrived in Johannesburg early in 1918 the epidemic had subsided. He therefore turned his attention to the influenza epidemic of 1918-1919 in South Africa, conducting experiments in collaboration with F.S. Lister* in Durban. They reported their findings in 'Observations and experimental investigations in epidemic influenza' (Publications of the SAIMR, No. 12, 1919, pp. 9-23).