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Sir Henry Dale - photo from: Nobel prize websiteHistamine was first discovered in 1910 by the British physiologist Sir Henry Hallett Dale (photo, right) as a contaminant of ergot generated by bacterial action. It was first synthesised before its significance was known, and due to its wide range of biological activity, has become one of the most important biologically produced amines in medicine and biology. The word 'histamine' comes from histos, which means tissue. By 1937, the first "antihistamine" had been synthesised by Etienne Fourneau, which was the H1 receptor antagonist, thymo-ethyl-diethylamine. However its activity was too weak, and it was too toxic for clinical use in the treatment of Histadelia. In 1942, Bernard N. Halpem synthesised the first clincally used antihistamine - phenbenzamine.