Monday, August 15, 2011

Medical Advances Timeline: 1850-1860

- The Female Medical College of Pennsylvania, the world’s first women’s medical school, opens in Philadelphia.
- German physician Carl Reinhold Wunderlich introduces the practice of taking accurate temperature with a thermometer as a regular part of diagnosis.
- California becomes a state of the U.S.
- R.W. Bunsen produces the gas burner.

- German physician Hermann von Helmholz, who was originally trained as a military surgeon, describes the ophthalmoscope for seeing inside the eye.
- The New Orleans Monthly Medical Register begins publication. It later merged with the New Orleans Medical News and Hospital Gazette.
- Isaac Singer invents the continuous-stitch sewing machine.
- The New York Times appears in September.
- World Population statistics in millions:
China 430
Germany 34
France 33
Great Britain 20.8
U.S. 23

- Dutch surgeon Mathysen impregnates bandages with plaster to create rigid casts.
- Wells Fargo & Co. is founded.

- Samuel Colt revolutionizes the manufacture of small arms.
- The hollow needle is developed by Alexander Wood and the hypodermic syringe by Charles Gabriel Pravaz.
- Alexander Wood uses hypodermic syringe for subcutaneous injections.
- Queen Victoria allows chloroform to be administered to her for the birth of her seventh child. This ensures the place of chloroform as an anesthetic in England.
- Vaccination against smallpox is made mandatory in England.
- Between 8,000 and 9,000 people in New Orleans, Louisiana died of yellow fever. For many years the city suffered an almost annual outbreak of the disease in late summer.

- The “War for Bleeding Kansas” escalates between American free and slave states.
- The Republican Party is formed in the U.S.

- Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) introduces hygienic standards into military hospitals during Crimean War.

- May 24-25: Massacre of Pottawatomie Creek, Kansas: slavers are murdered by free-slavers led by abolitionist John Brown. It was one of a series of violent incidents leading to the Civil War, and known as “Bloody Kansas”.
- August 29: Joseph K. Barnes, M.D. is appointed Surgeon/Major, U.S. Army.

- In France, Louis Pasteur proves that fermentation is caused by living organisms.
- The New York College of Veterinary Surgeons is chartered at New York University.
- The British establish a military medical school in the wake of the disaster of the Crimean War.
- Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell establishes the New York Infirmary for Women and Children on Bleeker Street.
- French neurologist Paul Broca discovers that specific areas of the brain are specialized for particular functions.

- Minnesota becomes a state of the U.S.
- John Snow, an early English expert on anesthesia, publishes a book on chloroform and other anesthetics.
- English anatomist and surgeon Henry Gray publishes his classic textbook, Gray’s Anatomy.

- More than 1200 medical students resided in Philadelphia to study medicine at Jefferson Medical College or the University of Pennsylvania; 650 of them were from the South.
- January 25-27: The Battle of Solferino, northern Italy. Approximately 140 doctors were available to treat the 40,000 casualties. The devastation was witnessed by Jean Henri Dunant, a wealthy businessman. Dunant was so deeply affected that he later became one of the founders of the International Red Cross and the primary force behind the meeting of diplomats that became known as the Geneva Convention.
- October: Upon receiving news of abolitionist John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, a mass exodus of about 200 Southern medical students left Philadelphia.
- Florence Nightingale’s influential book, Notes on Nursing, is published.
- Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell estimates that 300 women had managed to “graduate somewhere” in medicine.
- First oil well is drilled at Titusville, Pennsylvania.
- Oregon becomes a state of the U.S.

- Abraham Lincoln is elected 16th President of the United States; the state of South Carolina secedes from the Union in protest.
- Five medical schools existed in the South, 27 in the North and three in the border states.
- The first hospital-based medical school in the U.S., Bellevue Hospital Medical College, is established in New York.
- The U.S. has about 400 dentist graduates from three dental schools, and about 5,500 dental practitioners, most trained by apprentices.
- Lenoir constructs the first practical internal-combustion engine.


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