Claws for concern

Philipp Franz von Walther was an eminent German surgeon highly regarded for his expertise in ophthalmology and as a pioneer in plastic surgery. While serving as professor at the University of Bonn he was also the co-editor of an influential periodical, the Journal der Chirurgie und Augenheilkunde. In 1822 he published this surprising clinical report, which was subsequently translated (and, … Read more

The viper’s kiss

The year is 1840, and The Lancet brings us this snippet of medical news from Germany:

bite of a viper

A man who, from his youth, had been accustomed to catch and tame vipers, brought two, on the 24th March, to a shopkeeper. While playing with one of the animals, he put it in his mouth…

I bet you can’t guess what happened next.… Read more

William Harvey at the Royal College of Physicians

The Royal College of Physicians in London, which celebrates its 500th anniversary later this year, is currently staging a small exhibition devoted to one of its most celebrated former Fellows. William Harvey was a prominent member of the College in the 17th century, when he was also personal physician to Charles I.  In 1628 he published De Motu Cordis, … Read more

Going for a dance

In 1871 a coroner from the city of St Louis, Dr G. F. Dudley, sent a short paper entitled ‘Interesting Cases’ to the Medical Archives. They were all drawn from inquests over which he had presided, and they certainly are interesting – the first in particular.

interesting cases

Mr. J. H. L., aged 38, of vigorous and robust constitution, was wounded Read more