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JOSEPH LISTER - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 12/04/1861 - DOCUMENT 86178

 

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JOSEPH LISTER
He thanks Dr. Reynolds for his work on epilepsy "paying special attention to nervous disorders".
ALS: "Joseph Lister", 1½p, 4½x7¼. Glasgow, 1861 December 4. To Dr. J. Russell Reynolds. In full: "Pray accept my best thanks for your work on epilepsy. Knowing that you have been busy paying special attention to nervous disorders, I anticipate much valuable information from its perusal. Hoping that Mrs Reynolds & yourself are well." In a handwritten postscript, Lister adds on the second page: "P.S. Allow me to congratulate you on the reestablishment of your health, which I think I may safely infer from your being able to bring out such a work as this." Lister refers to DR. J. RUSSELL REYNOLDS' Epilepsy: Its Symptoms, Treatment and Relation to Other Chronic Convulsive Diseases published earlier in 1861. It heralded the beginning of the scientific era for the treatment of epilepsy 70 years before the discovery of electroencephalography. Dr. Reynolds became physician to Queen Victoria. Four months before LISTER wrote this letter, he was appointed surgeon to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary in charge of the wards in its new surgical wing. He remained Professor of Surgery at Glasgow University, continuing his research and lectures. One of the projects in which he had particular interest was the nervous system and involuntary muscle movement. At the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Lister began to apply Louis Pasteur's discoveries about bacteria, fermentation and disease to "operative sepsis" in order to prevent infections caused by the surgical process. Lister's success, wherein he increased the survivability rate during surgery from approximately 50% to between 97% and 98%, gave him the prestige of being called "the father of modern surgery". Lightly rippled at lower blank margin. Fine condition. Framed in the Gallery of History style: 32½x20¾.


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JOSEPH LISTER
Born: April 5, 1827
Died: February 10, 1912



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