Dr Henry Ben Bolt DC
Author, Lecturer and Chiropractor
In 2001 at the early stages of researching my family heritage I would visit a great aunt to talk about our family history. From numerous shoe boxes my aunt would produce postcards, newspaper cuttings and photographs from times well before I was born.
On one such occasion I was shown a small frail booklet entitled “Heirs of To-morrow” by Dr H. Ben Bolt DC.
Who was Ben Bolt? and what was his connection with our Bolt family?, it took almost eight years to find out; below is an extract from this little frail book that got me hooked.
H. Ben Bolt was in fact christened Henry Thomas Thornton Bolt he was born at Tynemouth, Northumberland, England on 10 July 1873, but he changed his name when he became a United States citizen in 1913, hence the confusion.
H. Ben Bolt was born in North Shields. His father, Capt. A B. Bolt, was a Shetlander, his mother a Thornton of Felton, Northumberland. In 1895 he was invalided out of the 17th Lancers, the result of his horse falling upon him, and he was discharged as incurable. The inefficiency and incapacity witnessed in six military hospitals at that time created an urge to find something more reliable than Materia Medica. Moving to Newcastle on Tyne, an active interest was taken in sociological, municipal and parliamentary affairs, but an attempt to enter the City Council in 1906 was unsuccessful.
In 1907 he emigrated to Alberta, Canada and it was there the science of Chiropractic came to his attention. Sceptical of its premises, it was not until after careful enquiry that he matriculated in 1912. Graduating August 31st, 1914, he urged the value of Chiropractic, especially in cases of nervous breakdown and shell shock upon the home Government, but without avail. Post-graduate work in dissection and diseases of women was taken in Chicago in 1915. The following year his efforts on behalf of Chiropractic was recognised by the Ohio State Chiropractic Association, who elected him a trustee. In 1917 he was licensed by the Ohio State Medical Board, and in the same year was awarded two silver loving cups at the Chiropractic Lyceum held in Davenport, Iowa. Further post-graduate work was taken at the Palmer School of Chiropractic in 1918, extending from August to December.
Moving to Los Angeles in 1919 he was elected a director of South California Chiropractors in 1920. In 1921, owing to the illness of his father, he returned to his native land and began practicing in Edinburgh. Here he has established a large practice and the lectures he gives on Chiropractic Philosophy are invariably well attended and judging from the numerous questions, the subject is finding general sympathy and a growing popularity.”