18th Century

Ashley Wright, Ashton Byrne, Jakiria Norman

What happened...

During the 18th century medicine made slow progress. Doctors still did not know what caused disease. However surgery did make some progress. The famous 18th century surgeon John Hunter is sometimes called the Father of Modern Surgery. He invented new procedures such as tracheotomy.


"Happiness is something that just happens because of the arrangement of circumstances, but joy endures in spite of circumstances.”

John Hunter

Edward Jenner -

For many centuries, smallpox devastated mankind. In modern times we do not have to worry about it thanks to the remarkable work of Edward Jenner. The origin of smallpox as a natural disease is lost in prehistory. It is believed to have appeared around 10,000 bc, at the time of the first agricultural settlements in northeastern Africa. Sarah Nelmes consulted Jenner in 1796 about a rash on her hand. He diagnosed cowpox. Sarah confirmed that one of her cows (a Gloucester cow named Blossom) had recently had cowpox. Jenner then realized that this was is opportunity to test the protective properties of cowpox by giving it to someone who had not had yet suffered smallpox.


"I hope that some day the practice of producing cowpox in human beings will spread over the world - when that day comes, there will be no more smallpox." - Edward Jenner

René Laennec -

Known as the father of clinical auscultation, René Laennec is considered to be one of the greatest doctors of all times. Auscultation is the method of listening to internal sounds of the body. Laennec’s diagnostic method involved placing his ear on the chest of his patients. This method made him quite uncomfortable especially while he was diagnosing young women and hence this led to the innovation of a new device called stethoscope which he initially termed as “chest examiner”. Though, Laennec died at a very young age, his work continues to inspire medical practitioners even to this day. Laennec’s thrombus is an antenatal thrombus or prenatal blood clot in the heart and Laennec’s pearls is referred to as the mucus produced by patients suffering from asthma.


"I am accustomed to sleep and in my dreams to imagine the same things that lunatics imagine when awake." - René Laennec

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Wilhelm Roentgen -

Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen was the first person to systematically produce and detect electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range today known as x-rays or Röntgen rays. His discovery of x-rays was a great revolution in the fields of physics and medicine and electrified the general public. It also earned him the Rumford Medal of the Royal Society of London in 1896 and the first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901. He is also known for his discoveries in mechanics, heat, and electricity.


"I didn't think, I experimented"

"There is much to do, I am busy, very busy"

- Wilhelm Roentgen

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Joseph Lister -

Sir Joseph Lister is a renowned English surgeon who discovered antiseptic surgery. He is distinguished as the ‘Father of Modern Surgery’ for his contribution to sterile surgery that led to the safety of patients who underwent complex surgeries. He developed the principles of cleanliness that changed the face of medicine and surgical practice forever. Joseph Lister is also known as the founder of antiseptic medicine and the inventor of preventive medicine. He was a religious man who strongly believed in God, religious principles and Christianity. He belonged to the Quaker homes in Upton and received education from various prestigious schools and universities.


"I am a believer in the fundamental doctrines of Christianity." - Joseph Lister

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