The bladder shrimp

On the eve of the Battle of Waterloo the Duke of Wellington was making a final inspection of his troops when he spotted one of the medical officers smoking a cigar. The Duke confronted him. “Well! Hennen, is that the fortieth cigar today?” “No, my lord,” replied the surgeon, “it is only the thirty-eighth.” The chain-smoking surgeon was John Hennen, known … Continue reading The bladder shrimp

The eye magnet

Today’s story first appeared in the Observationes, a collection of case reports by the German surgeon Wilhelm Fabry (1560-1634).  Fabry, also known as Fabricius Hildanus, is sometimes referred to as the ‘father of German surgery’ and was a methodical and scientific operator whose careful descriptions of his work exerted a powerful influence on later generations … Continue reading The eye magnet

The lucky Prussian

Maximilian Joseph von Chelius was a prominent 19th-century German surgeon who had a significant influence on medics right across Europe. His lectures were frequently quoted in the London and Edinburgh journals, and his textbook Handbuch der Chirurgie, translated into English as A System of Surgery, was widely used. In a chapter devoted to chest injuries, … Continue reading The lucky Prussian