tv Lindsey Fitzharris The Butchering Art CSPAN January 1, 2018 8:30am-10:01am EST
and it all kicks off january 7th at noon with david ignatius, author of ten national security thrillers. you can join us live on sunday is, january 7th, or watch it on demand at booktv.org. >> good evening, everyone. can everyone hear me well? good. i'm mary mclaughlin, program coordinator with the smithsonian associates, and i'd like to welcomeo you to what promises to be the very perfect halloween evening. [laughter] on the grisly world of vick vicn surgeon surgery. before we begin, i'd like to ask everyone the please check their cell phones and make sure they are silenced. i'm also delighted to let you
know that this program is being filmed by c-span to be aired at a later date, so if you enjoy tonight's program and would like to see it again or if you think your friends would like to see it, we should check periodically over the next few weeks to c-span.org and see if it's up. sometimes it takes a couple of weeks for them to run a show and other times it could be one or two months, so it's worth checking periodically. it is my pleasure to introduce our speaker, dr. lindsey fitzharris. dr. fitzharris tells me as a little girl she used to drag her grandmother fromet cemetery to cemetery so that she could hunt ghosts. though some thought she was obsessed with death from an early age, she like ared to think she was simply fascinated with the t past and with the people who lived there. thus began her lifelong on to session with history. on to session with history. dr. fitzharris received a
doctorate in the fields of science, med kin and technology from the university of oxford. in 2010 she was granted a post doctoral research fellowship by the welcome trust which is the medical history collection in london. she is the author and creator of the popular web site the surgeon's apprentice which has receive over two million hits. she is also the writer and presenter of the youtube series under the knife which takes a humorous look at our medical past. her articles have appeared in numerous publications both here and in the u.k. including the guardian, the lancet, the huffington post and new medium. she has appeared on bbc and mask gee graphic. and her debut book, the butchering art, which was just publish bedded on october 17th, follows the surgeon joseph lister on his quest to transform
the brutal and bloody world of victorian surgery. and we have inwe this book availableil through smithsonian museum shops at the entrance to theo lecture hall here, and dr. fitzharris will be happy to sign copies for you at the end of tonight's program. so with that said, we'll get the program underway please join me in giving a very warm welcome to dr. lindsey fitzharris. [applause] >> thank you for that lovely introduction. it's true, my grandma and i used to go -- we still go from cemetery to cemetery hunting ghosts. i dedicated the book to her, and she's my biggest pr campaigner out there trying to get this book sold. i am so excited to be here, and i am so honored that so many of you would come out on halloween night, that you would give up your halloween night to learn about what it was like to be a patient and a surgeon in the
early victorian period. given the fact that it's halloween, before i get into my talk i want to start with a halloween tale. and it's related to what i to as a medical historian. so it wasso halloween, 1828, ana woman in scotland was murdered. and it turns out that she was the last victim of 16 who were killed by william burke and william h rex r. now, they were body snatchers in 19th century. i use that term loosely because, actually with, they just killed people, and they sold those bodies on to the surgeons and anatomieses of this time. there was a great need for bodies because this was a time when people willingly gave over bodies to medical science. herr turned king's evidence and he went free while his friend swung for the crime. there was a weird law in britain, it was called the murder act. any murder not only be execute for his crimes but also publicly
dissected. so inwi an ironic twist, burke ends up on the table that he had sold his victims onto. now, this is scotland in the 18th century, and it doesn't end there. it wasn't enough just to execute or publicldissect him. in fact, they took his skin and krised these various flynn -- or created these various or or object toes. this is a pocketbook. i have held it. it has been dna tested. it feels like leather, it smells like leather, and this practice was so common in the 19th century, it was called binding books with human skin. it wasn't always related to criminal activity. sometimesiv surgeons or doctors took the skin from cadavers and they bound medical texts with it. if this is something that interests you, one of my
friends, meg taliban rosenbloom, is working on this very subject, so be looking for that book. [laughter] i am really excited to see what the book cover's going to look like for that book coming up. [laughter] anyway, i am so excited to be talking about the brutal and bloody world of victorian surgery. i am demolishing any lingering, romantic notions that people may have about what it was like to live in victorian times. if you come away from this talk thinking it might have been fun toto live in the 19th century, i have not done my job. [laughter] let me tell you, we are lucky not to have to entour the horrors -- ebb door the horrors of pre-antiseptic surgery. like poor 12-year-old henry pace. it's gonna get bad. [laughter] ii hope c-span's ready for this. poor henryug pace, he was told e was going to have to have his leg removed without an set
thick -- an nettic, and he asked the surgeon if it would hurt. and the surgeon said it would hurton no more than having a toh pulled. henry pace was very underprepared for what was to come. he was brought in, he was blindfolded, he was restrained, he was so awake, he was so lucid he remembers counting six strokes of the saw before his leg fell off into the hands of thewe surgeon. we are so lucky, i imagine that c-span's going to blur this one. [laughter] like poor steven pollard. in 1828, he had to have a bladder stone removed. i'm not going to go into too much detail, this is a lot in the butchering art. that might be an incentive or deterrent depending who you are, but you have been fairly warned here. but suffice to say you can tell one -- or you could tell two very important things from this image. number i one, it hurt a lot. number two with, it was really,
really embarrassing. imagine being tied up like this in front of hundreds of spectators. ands that's exactly what happend to steven pollard in 1828. now, what should have take then tiermi minutes ended up taking over an hour as he struggled against the knife and cried out for the surgeonon to, please, dr god, stop. and the surgeon shouted back at him that he had weird anatomy. so you can imagine this struggling scene. it was horrific. pollard pulled through, he died 24 hours later of post-operative infection. i'm going to get back to that later. it was revealed on his autopsy report that, actually, he had normal anatomy and it was the surgeon's fault. and relate us not -- let us not forget poor lucy thurston who in the 1840s had a mastectomy without any an net isic. she had this operation in her home, a lot of times the wealthy and the middle class were
treated in their home. and a surgeon didn't tell her when it was going to happen. he told her she needed the operation, but he wasn't going to tell her the day because he thought she'd focus too much on it. to me, that would increase my anxiety. so he just shows up one day, he walks up the stairs into her bedroom, he opens his hand and shows her the knife he is going to use, and he tells her to prepare her soul for death. this was not very confidence-inspiring. i'm really glad that surgeons don't tell us to prepare our souls for death anymore. many, many people died. she prepared for death, but she couldn't prepare for the pain that was about to come. lucy thurston ended up surviving the operation, she actually went on to live a very happy and healthy, longfe life, but she wrote to her daughter about it. i want to share that in a letter. she said thenle came a gash, log and deep. first on one side of my breast,
then on the other. deep sickness seized me and deprived me of my breakfast. this was followed by extreme faintness. my sufferings werefe no longer local. there was a general feeling of agony throughout my whole system. i felt every inch of me as though my flesh was failing. i myself fully intended to have seen the thing done, but every glimpse was the doctor's right hand completely covered with blood up to the very wrist. he afterwards told me at one time the blood from an artery flew intoo his eyes so he couldn't see. now the surgeon is blinded. and she ended the letter by saying it was nearly an hour and a half that she was urn his hand, an hour and a half while he cut away at her cancerous breast. we are very, very lucky to live in the 21st century and, of course, we owe a huge debt to the medical men and women who came before us to get us to this point which is what this talk is about today. i started my book tour in
philadelphia, and i was really excited to start there because my book iss about a british surgeon named jost lister -- joseph lister, known today as the father of antiseptic surgery. of course, he saved thousands of people's lives in his own time, and he continues to save people's lives today because we operate with the knowledge that germs exist. now, i was excited to start in philadelphia becauseph when my book came out on october 17th, it was nearly 135 years ago to the very day that lister came to america to convince american surgeons of the existence of germs and of the need to adopt antiaccept is sis. and i'm -- antisepsis. and i'm going to tell you about that trip a little more, but there were a few fun things that came out of his trip. and if you're familiar with lust lister's name, it might be because of listerine. there was aer man in the audien,
and this man was inspired by lister's lectures, and he decided to create this wonderful product that we all know and love today. it was originally a cure-all, in fact, most commonly used to cure gonorrhea. i'm just hoping to arm you with a bunch of random facts that you can horrify people with at cocktail parties. if you find someone really into it, you know you've found your people. i'm sure listerine today would not like me telling that story, but that manat was in the audience.. another man was in the audience, his name was robert wood johnson, if he too was inspired by lister, and he got together with his brother to create the company johnson & johnson, and the first thing they produced were surgical antiseptic dressings. these are really funny, if you ever come across one, do pick one up. they were produced in the late 19th, early 20th centuries by
johnson & johnson,, and they're kind of like an idiot's guide to operate on your kitchen table, and it's all perfectly safe as long as you use johnson & johnson surgical dressings. this was the kind of thing they were trying to promote, and that all came out of lister's trip. so i was very excited to begin in philadelphia. when lister got to philadelphia, he took a train trip around america, and he went all the way to the west coast, and he was trying to convince americans of the existence ofca germs. and he was very much on a mission. this was a very personal thing to him. it wasn't about money, it was about saving people's lives. in fact, lister had a knack of ticking off his colleagues because with he didn't actually charge his patients, he let them decide how much they wanted to pay him. he was not popular with his colleagues, needless to say. but lister went all around america. he was on a mission, and i like to think i too am on a mission not just the sell books, although i'm hoping where
everyone knows where to get them [laughter] looking right at you, c-span. [laughter] but i'm on a mission. my mission is that joseph lister's name is just as familiar as the names charles darwin and sir isaac newton, people like that, because i think he's just as important. but in order to convince you of that, iba really need to take yu back to the early victorian hospitals. now, these hospitals were not places that you went to be treated if you were wealthy or middle class. we've already talked about lucy thurston a bit. these were places that you went if you were poor. they were grimy, dingy, they were overcrowded. they weren't houses of healing, they were houses of death. and the best that can be said about these early victorian hospitals is that they were a slight improvement over their 18th century predecessors which isn't reallyg saying much when you consider that the bug catcher was paid more than the surgeons and the doctors at this time. so this lovely card or from the welcome trust in london which is
a great medical history collection, this is an 18th century calling card. it's for a man named andrew cook, the bug destroyer. at this point that he makes this, he claims to have rid 20,000 beds in hospitals of lice. so when you consider there was that many lice in these hospitals, you can understand why andrew cook was paid so well. but it wasn't just the lice, it was -- there were just, it was overcrowd. surgeons often had to treat sometimes upwards of as many as 200 patients in a single night. and it was overwhelming, it was overcrowded, of course, there was population explosions all over in the victorian period. london was growing so rapidly, and there was no way to really keep up with the demand. in 1825 at st. thomas' hospital, people that were touring the hospital saw wriggling maggots and mushrooms growing in the damp soiled sheets of a patient with a compound fracture.
and what was so crazy about that story was that this was so expected, it was so normal that the patient didn't even think to complain about it. that's what these hospitals were like. so now that i've convinced you that these hospitals were really awful places, you certainly wouldn't want to end up in one in this period, you might be surprised to find out that they actually were very difficult to get into. so early victorian hospitals, you needed a ticket to get in. this is fantastic, they're really hard to find, these images, but this is from 1836. this is a ticket to get into a hospital. and in order to get a ticket, you hadic to petition one of the hospital governors. these people didn't have any medical training, and they had no real interest in the patients themselves. these were political positions. and sometimes it took weeks, sometimes longer before you got your ticket into the hospital. of course, during which time you could die. now, when i say that these hospitals were for the poor, they were really for what
medical historians called the deserving poor. they still had to have some kind of income to cover their room and board. for instance, some is hospitals charged you for your inevitable burial, it was so expected you were going to die there. others charged extra if they deemed you particularly foul. i don't know how they determined that. but needless to say, if you were absolutely destitute, this was -- you had no medical options in this period which, of course, mighte, not have been a bad thing because people were dying heavily as a result of being admitted into these grimy and dingy places. unsurprisingly, infections broke outke like crazy, and there's a term that pops up in the 19th century called hospitalism. it refers to the fact that you were more likely to die as a result of being admitted into these early victorian hospitals. there were h four infections particularly that surgeon ises were worried about. they were -- [inaudible] hospital gangrene.
and hospital gangrene, it's weird. medical historians, we don't like to retrospectively diagnose things. you know, when we're reading records if someone says it's gangrene, we tend to be more interested in how people contextualize their experiences within rather than how we might look at the past through the lens of our own medical explanations.t but hospital gangrene tended, i think it's more akin to what we would call neck protizing fascitis at this time. it was a horrible condition which, of course, all of these conditionsns we suffer from tody surgeons and doctors fight today but, of course, because we know about germs and the existence of germs, we're able to more proactively prevent them and, of course, manage them when they do break out. the scottish surgeon john bell wrote about the horror of hospital gangrene. he said the crimes of the sufferers are exhausted in the course of a week and die, or if they survive and the ulcers
continue to eat down and disjoin the muscles, the great vessels are at last exposed and eroded, and they bleed to death. this was the kind of experience thatth many patients had in thee hospitals. actually, interestingly enough one of the worst records i came across wasn'tsn a hospital reco, it was a naval record. these 18th century and early 19th century naval ships had very similar conditions, as you can imagine, very unhygienic, very crowded, and when these kinds of infections twroak out -- broke out, they were very difficult for naval surgeons to control. a malignant appeared on the tip of a seaman's penis, and i don't have a slide for this, and you should be very happy. after several days of agonizeing pain during which the wound blackened and festered, the organ finally fell off. this poor man is totally awake and completely aware of what's happening to his body. thee surgeon onboard reported that the whole length of the
urethra to the -- [inaudible] and also the scrotum leafing the testeesan barely covers, and wht was so impressive was the fact that the surgeon felt the need to underline the fact that the patient had died. of course he died. [laughter]ho somebody should have killed him before it gotge to that stage. so this was what people were fighting in thisfi period, and t was absolutely awful. now, this is the world that joseph lister stepped into in the 1840s when he began medical school at university college in 1848. and it was so bad in these hospitals that it was very seriously suggested that the only solution would be to burn theseth buildings down from time to time and start anew, which i love the imagery, the idea of just -- i mean, can you imagine if that's how we controlled thingsro today, just burn it do. i was in cleveland recently at the cleveland clinic, that huge hospital. just burn itt down, just start anew. so things were reaching critical
mass.no now, i'm only going to do reading from my book tonight just to give you an idea of my style and what you can expect in the butchering art, although i think you're starting to see what you can expect from this book. but i chose a passage from the deade house. the firstst time that joseph lister enters what we today would call the cadaver lab. now, i'm sure that there are many people here tonight who are inin the medical profession or o have visited a cadaver lab themselves, and if you haven't, you probably have seen one depicted on tv. and when i'm reading this, i want you to imagine your experience in the cadaver lab, that sterilized environment, those frozen bodies, that smell of formaldehyde or whatever they're using now to preserve these corporation -- corpses. what joseph lister was experiencing was very, very different. these were bodies in advanced states of decomposition. they would have died from
diseases like smallpox potentially. this is before mass vaccinations, before antibiotics. so a lot of people who entered the medical field actually died as a result of wanting to help these people, and that's very different to today. ofhe course, there are dangers f entering medicine today, but they're far fewer than what they were in the past. so i want you to think about that as i read this passage. the passage is about six, seven minutes long. a halo of light from a gas lamp illuminated the corpse lying on the table at the back of the room. the body had already been mutilated, its abdomen hacked away by e the knives of eager students who afterwards carelessly tossed the o gans back -- organs back into the gory cavity. the top of the skull was sitting on a stool next to its deceased owner. early in joseph lister's medical studies, he came face to face with a similar scene at
university college london. a central walkway split the dingyne dissection room in half with five widen tables on -- wooden tables on either side. cadavers were left with their incised heads hanging over the edges.n a thick layer of sawdust covered the floor making the dead house disconcertingly quiet to those who entered it. not a sound could be heard even of my own feet. there was only that dull and rolling sound of traffic in the streets which is peculiar to london and which came dismally down through the roof a fellow student observed. although the hospital was still relatively new in 1847, its dissection room was just as grim as those found in older institutions. it harbored all kinds of horrible sights, sounds and smells. when lister sliced into the abdomen of a cadaver, its recesses turgid with a thick soupnd of undie jested food and fecal matter, he released a mixture of smells that would
cleave to the inside of the nostrils for a considerable time after one had quit the scene. to make matters worse, there was an open fireplace at the end of the room making it stuffy at the during the winter months, and the bodies kept better in the winter. unlike today, students could not escape the dead and often lived side by side with the bodies that they dissected. even those who did not live immediately adjacent to an anatomy school carried with them reminders of their gruesome activities because neitheror gloves, nor other forms of protective gear were worn inside the dissection room. it was not uncommon to see a student with, shreds of guts or brain stuck to his clothing after his studies were over. even the most seasoned dissectors could find themselves ine pulse-quickening situations from time to time. james marion simms, an illustrious gynecological surgeon, recalled a terrifying
incident. his instructor was performing a dissection by candlelight when he t accidentally knocked loosea chain. thee cadaver, pulled by the weight of its own lower limbs, jerked to the floor in the upright position with its arms forcibly thrown over the dissect to or's shoulders. just then the candle sputteredded out o and left the room in total darkness. [laughter] the dissection room was a waking nightmare. the french composer hector bearly owes later recalled it was as though death itself was hot on my heels. he described an overwhelming feeling of revulsion at the sight of the, quote, limbs scattered about, the skulls gaping, and the repulsive stench of the place. i have to stress these are words from contemporary people. i do not have to embellish or exaggerate. these were their own words
coming through the historical records. one of the worst sights, he thought, was of the rats nibbling on bleeding vertebrae and the swarms of sparrows. the profession was not for everyone. and also as side note, i didn't put this in the manuscript, but hector berlioz actually begins to pick pieces off the body off the cadaver and throws them to thes animals that live inside te dead house, and he thinks this is very humane to feed the animals. there was no avoiding the dissection room. far from viewing it as repulsive, most students embracedem the opportunity to carve up the dead when the time came, and lister was, of course, no exception. theirs was a centuries-old battle between reason and superstition, a chance to shed light where there was still scientific darkness. within the medical profession, the anatomies was often hailed
as an explorer. one contemporary wrote that through dissection the anatomies forced the dead human body to disclose its secrets for the benefit of the living. it was a rite of passage to gain membership into the medical fraternity. little by little students began to view the body not as people, but as objects. came to characterize the mindset of the medical community and, of course, still does today. charles darwin describes a fictional but entirely credible conversation between two medical students on a frosty christmas morning. have you finished the leg yet? nearly, replies his colleague. it's a very muscular one for a while's. nothing like dissecting to give one an appetite. as medical students became desensitized, they also became irreverent, much to the public's horror. now, these are late 19th century
dissection photos. there's a fantastic book that is just a collection of these photos. of course, photography was new, and the students had fun with it, needless to say. so if that interests you, just google late 19th century dissectionon photos. [laughter] as oneau does, right? everybody does that. [laughter] pranks in the dissection room were so common that by the time lister entered medical school, they had become a mark of the profession. harper's new monthly magazine condemned the indifference towards the dead that pervaded the dissection room. some students completely overstepped the bounds of decency and used the rotting body parts as weapons fighting mock duels with the severed legs and arms. others secreted entrails into places where they could shock and horrify the uninitiated when discovered. oneis surgeon remembered curious spectators visiting when he was ain student. these outsiders wore double-breasted jackets and often received agree donations in their tail pockets.
butbu it wasn't all frivolity, d this is where i think things very much differ from today. cutting open dead bodies also carried with it many physical risks. william tenant gardner, a professor at the university of glasgow, addressed an incoming class with this dire message: not a single session has passed over our heads since i was appointed to my office that has not paid its tax of harvest to the grim reaper. jacob bigelow also warned future medical students answer the poisonous effects of a slight wound or crack in the skin, a fast way to an early grave. the dangers were always present even for the most experienced. death was often inescapable for those trying their hardest to prevent it. the living in the form of disease patients were also taking a toll on those on front lines of medicine.
mortality rates were very high, unsurprisingly. between 1843 and 1859, 41 young man died after contracting fatal infebruarieses at st. bartholomew's hospital before ever qualifying as doctors. those who succumbed were often yulized as martyrs. ion those who survived often suffered some sort of illness during their hospital residencies. indeed, the challenges were soer great that the surgeon john abernathy frequently concluded his lectures by uttering bleakly, god help you all, what will become of you. so that gives you an idea what it was like when lister entered medical school in the 1840s, and there wasn't a huge amount of incentive really to go into the medical profession. ..
list was not by any stretch of thee imagination and the people you see in these images aren't medical students or doctors or anybody who had any reason to be there other than they aree curious. sometimes theyed s were spec tas who came to see the life-and-death struggle play out on the stage before them. remember that the taureans were obsessed with science andlw progress.ve it wasn't always the morbid curiosity although there were
aspects ofat that. that's why we all turn the surgical shows on tv. but there were certainly interesting what was being done and the progress that was being made. the russians scuffled to getti a place in the osprey was not unlike a paper gathering the playhouse. people were packed a like hearis in a basket with those in the back was constantly jostling for a better view whenever their line of sight was blocked. he could be so t it had to be cleared before the surgeon could proce crowded as you see here there's men sitting right there right next to the patient that just is mind boggling with way that we obl perform operations today. now these photos just keep in mind these are later 19th century so there's a sense in the photo there's a sense of germs in photo although it is foreign to the way that we run
our hospitals today. but in the earlier period, you know, it was very, very different. surgery was a facilitiy business fought with hidden dangers this isn't a surgeon but a butcher. but it does give you an idea of actually what the early -- victorian surgeons would have worn. they wore with an apron and it was so stiff with blood it was a mark of the profession the more blood the more operations you had done, the higher up you were in the hospital. and of course they rarely washed their hands or their strum ises because why wash your hands or instrument when is they're going to get dirty again. you have to really get into this early victorian mindset because we know that germs exist and it seems so baffling to us today that anybody could think that germs don't exist. if you're going into an operating theater and you're about to operate on someone, and you had another patient after the person why would you wash your hands they're going to get dirty again, and it was said that the surgeons carried around
with them a cadaver smell of rotting flesh which those in the profession cheerily refer to as good old hospital stink, so -- so that gives you sort of an idea of this sight and smells. now, it sort of -- i want to go into what i call the early butcher of course they weren't referred to as butches but i'm calling them so early butches. these were the men who operated in a preantiseptic area tell you about three all three are featured heavily in the butchering arts, and all three play a huge role in joseph's life the first one is had man named robert also by the way, have fun with the blood splatters that i put on flies i kind of went to town with them. i had a little interest, i almost wrote the book about him but the problem with him is that he doesn't actually push any transformative moment. so he wasn't, he wasn't man for this book. but he does feature heavily many it. reason i wanted to write a book
about him because he was a larger than life krk and 6'2" in early victorian pored and quite tall today. and it was said that he was so strong he use his left arm as a tourniquet i don't know why he didn't just use a tourniquet but liked to use his left arm he use his left article as a tourniquet and hold you down with left arm and take your leg off in under 30 seconds. which is incredible feet known as the fastest knife in the west end. and obvious, speed was very, very crucial to a patient's survival at this time. because you could bleed out or you could die of shock. so with him was the guy you wanted to operate on you. some of my favorite stories about zlitan one time he had a patient ho came in to have a bladder stone we remember steven from the start. so we know that that was an a awful operation it was really dreaded, and this patient got on the table. and he decided quite rationally i think that he was not going to go through with it. so he jumps off the table and he runs to the become of the room
and he locks himself in a closet. and listen all 6'2" of him charges after this poor guy, and he rips the door off the closes and drags him back and removes bladder stone so that is dedication to your patient. [laughter] he survived he does survive able to remove stone in about a minute and a half. which is pretty impressive again when we consider what poor steven went through with the overan hour operation so certainly you wanted to go to a surgeon who was fast at this time. another one of my favorite stories about listen is he was so fast, when he was changing instruments he would put them in his mouth so -- [laughter] yeah. that was that happened. [laughter] not very hygienic at all again illustrates certainly how far we have come. he was moving so fast -- and he accidentally took off his assistance finger in the middle of the operation. whoops. [laughter] and as he was change whatting
instruments, he slashed the coat of a spectator, and it was said that the spectator died right there of fright. that the assistant died of gang green that the patient died of gang grown and teasingly referred to as only operation with a 300% mortality rate. so that's my guy listen he opens butchers art. he actually performs the very first operation in britain under ether so ether is discovered in america. a few weeks or months before hand, and it makes its way over to london. now, listen doesn't believe it is going to work he walk into the operating theater and he often would say, time me gentleman, and you can almost here the ripple of pocket watchers in your mind's eye as people pulled out their pocket watch to tile the great robert to see if he could beat his record. and he walk in and he says time me gentleman and he says he's going to try to yankee dodge because he believed that it was american crack rei that it wasn't going to work there were
a lot of things that were not working at this time mesmerizing was around and it was a quack that went around hypnotizing patients. and it didn't always have to do with operations he would walk into these rules and women would faint and have them under his spell, of course, it didn't work and so he's rightly skeptical about this and he walks in says time me i am a going to try the yankee dodge and it does work. it does work, and what is incredible about this moment to me is if anybody here tonight has ever thought about the history of surgery which it is possible you've never thought about it quite frankly but if you have you might think of this moment. you might think about the age of agony being over we have conquered pain and of course this is very liberate for surgeons. so a lot of people think it was the discovery of eat tear that really ushered us into modern day of surgery but i would argue otherwise because what happens
is surgeons still don't understand that germs exist. but they're more willing to pick up a knife and willing to go deep entire the bodies than they did before and as a result these operations become slow moving executions. post operative infection rises, sky high -- and it just becomes a much more dangerous period. and what was credible about this moment and in december 1846 when he performs first operation o under ether -- in london is that a 17-year-old joseph was in the audience that day. joseph witnesses this monumental moment, and he is the one who really ushered i believe surgery into the mods earn era by applying germ theory to medical practice. so he is very much in the book next one i want to tell you about this is this guy named james who becomes father-in-law of joseph he's up in scotland he's the cousin built very differently, though, and short
and of surgery and he gets in a weird fight again about the tourniquet he says just use a tourniquet and he says no use your arm and they never talk again so very, very weird thing. 19th century was a weird place, but needless to say, he was up there. if there's any people in the audience tonight who are medical professionals or surgeons themselves, you might recognize the naming because there's an operation that is still done today that bares his name. he was able to invent and perfect a technique to remove a diseased foot at the ankle joint. now before i'm calls along if you came in with a diseased foot you would lose your leg below the knee and reason why this was problematic is because again remember that people's livelihoods were connected with their ability to move. there were really no social nets to catch people if you couldn't work. so removing your leg undermete the knee, of course, affected your mobility a lot greater than if you just removed foot so he invented this technique uses
this and bares his name if you think he was fearless he took it to a new level in 1828 a man came to him named robert penman. robert had been suffering from a facial tumor for the past eight years. now a lot of time when is i show these kinds of images to people, the first question is -- why? why would they let it go on so long? but remember, this is precertainly preantiseptic and people died when they went to visit surgeon and there was a lot of fear about going into these hospital os or even just going to consult a surgeon. and in 1828 he goes down to london first to see robert the cousin because he had just made a name for himself by removing 45 pound tumor a 45 pound tumor
in under 4 minutes it was an incredible feet the guy survived and you wonder how did this happen but it did -- so he was famous at this point he goes down to see listen and he say he's not going to do the operation. this was out to a death sentence at this time. because, of course, if he's not going to do it who will step up and do it? well, he goes up to see james and he agrees to do the operation. for 24 minutes -- he is sat in a chair and he's restrained and sime kets cuts away at the tumor and a lot of patients were actually sat upright before anesthesia and that was they weren't sat in chairs like what we think but they were high so your feet dangling so you couldn't brace against the knife or surgeon so he was sat upright this tumor for 24 minutes was cut out of
his face it was thrown into a bucket at their feet and he survived. amazing. i mean i can't even have a tooth -- i can't have a dental cleaning without some kind of novocain so it does boggle mind when you think about what people went through, and actually he ran into penman many, many years later and he was so pleased that -- penman's face didn't really bare scars it was covered under a beard, afound a picture of him and there he is. [laughter] i showed this picture to a friend without any -- any comment and any friend said well that's a scary looking guy. he's kind of like an ugly abraham lincoln. not that abraham lincoln was a looker -- but there he is and clearly, i mean, there's something amiss about his face. i think we can easily say but that said when you consider what he looked like with that facial tumor and fact that he was literally probably months away from death, it is incredible that sime was able to save his
life. he feoffs heavily in the book as i said becomes the father-in-law, he reinvigorates a passion in surgery after he has a mental break down and his brother dies of a brain tumor and he leaves medical school he doesn't understand or know what -- medicine could do for people. and he -- he learns to love surgery again with him so he's featured heavily in butchering art. last one i want to tell you about is guy name ad john eric erickson one of the instructors at ucl and he's kind of famous amongst medical historian for saying that surgery and a 1840s had gone as far as it would ever go that surgeon knife would never go any further and incredible when you consider where we are today but you can't blame erickson because he couldn't conception allize when operation would be under control. now one of the stories that i want to share with you tonight o about erickson that i think really illustrates hour different it was in the 19th
century and how much his own work transforms surgery, i was doing a prerecorded interviewer for npr all things considered couple of weeks ago with robert stegall and i told him a story he loved it. but i heard his producer laughing in the background and he was like you can't say that. so -- you can see it here tonight and so does c-span unless they cut this out as well but story is erickson had a patient come into the hospital he was a medical student he was attending, and this wol woman had puss and blood into her chest and he had cut into the neck and it begins to spill out and he decides to lower his mouth on to the wound and begin sucking out. kind of like a weird vampire story for halloween. so -- you're welcome. he does this three time and sucks this puss and blood out of her neng and i'm a historian i
have to stick to the facts really they should have all died really the infection and the way that surgery -- sorry diseases were spread at this time it just again, it's just mind boggling to me as i go through these records. now, my book is about joseph and i like to tell people that -- my story is a love story between science and medicine. he was the first to take a scientific principle and apply it to medical practice he took louie germ theory and applied it to medical practice through development seated there to the left he was a quaker very quiet individual, and he worked tirelessly at what he did to get people to accept germs and in -- i'm not going to tell you too much about him which might seem weird because my book is about hmm but i want you to pick up butchers art and how he figures out the mystery, and how he navigates this grimy world and he isn't the only one.
a lot of people's work that is going on with the hygiene movement that he's building upon. and asking questions. but he is the one to apply germ theory specifically to medical science of course he received a lot of backlash it seems qeerd to us today. how could people not believe in germs? well imagine this young man comes along -- and he tells you there are invisible creatures that are kill your patient a time before the microscope was used in medical practice. it was seen as very suspicious, a lot of doctors believed that it would make for lazy that you would stop using your eye or trusting your own sight. and also the orr part of that was -- that had it essentially was tell these older surgeons that they have been killing their patients all along. and you know, i have to say it's sort of -- funny and bigger than life all of this seems because enough time passes seems to different from our own reality you have to remember that, these patients were real. these surgeons were real, and
these surgeons often lived and died with their own failures as well. imagine going into the operating theater, day in and day out wanting to save someone's life and you keep getting same result so it was a hard pill to swallow for older surgeons certainly that they were killing their patients. but i want you to read the butchering art i want you to figure out how he navigates navt world o there's no better way for me to illustrate the transfer that did happen. this is cover that you'll see if you buy the book tonight which i hope you do. this is a very famous paipghting from a 19th century by a man named thomas. this is called gross clinic not because it is gross although there's an element of that. [laughter] but the man in the middle is samuel gross he was an american surgeon and he so didn't believe in germs he so didn't believe him that he would walk into the operate oing theater he would slal the door, and he would say there -- his germs can't get in anymore. and you definitely see that playing out in this image.
there he is in his street clothes. he's sticking his -- dirty fingers and instruments into this wound there's a woman -- to the right of him who is shielding her eyes someone told me that's his mother i have no idea why he would bring his mother to this awful, awful operation what a jerk. but this is paipghting that you can see payments this is in philadelphia and that is the u.s. cover. now the book is being published in 15 countries around the world. and one of the -- the u.k. cover is this. we used another painting this was done within 10 years and as you can see stylized by my publisher but you can get the sense of the 19th industry as you can see it is still foreign to the way we operate today but there has been a transforms. you get a sense that the people here understand that germs exist, their wearing white there's some kind of form of cleanliness women are starting to appear in the operating theater. alongside the men as well in the profession. so --
i love that these two covers are in kftion. conversation. now the last thing i want to leave you with -- before we hopefully have a lively discussion because i always love hearing people's questions about this period. it really helps me as well with my own research. but before i do that, my friends i was in the u.k.. despite this very chicago accent, and i'm glad -- [laughter] that i wasn't with introduced necessarily as a -- haley all the way from london because then i can never recover when disappointment comes and my american accent poor forth but i do live in london lived in u.k. for is 15 years i have friends o are movie makers one of my friends alex and i decided to get together and do a book trailer it is not something many authors do o. i originally said let's just, you know, do something fun, and simple and it just became this crazy -- basically mini movie we have the principal camera man from "game of thrones" shoot it and we had actors. it was so much fun and for me as
a writer i very much tried to bring the threl to life to words and so it is just such a pleasure to see it come to life in a brief moment in a visual way so i want to leave you with a clip that is five minute and i'm superproud of it i can't claim i did much it was mostly my movie making trends they did a bril i don't job and i hope that you enjoy it as much as enjoyed working on it. bear with me a second as i -- there we go.
[screaming] you come in. he died. that doctor we operating upon last night. died half an hour ago. >> well, unusual -- >> no. that's the thing had of it, isn't it? it's odd. don't you think -- giving bodies remarkable inclination to heal itself you don't think it is odd why when we give it the opportunity?
we take away disease. we afford it the changes to grow strong again. why do they die? >> throw them -- no. no not in so many -- too many are dying. these are strong men, james. men who lead harder lives than you or i could tolerate ship the toughest breeds in the land, no. it's more to this than trauma there has to be more to it than that. something -- hidden from our understanding. supernatural -- monster -- [laughter] >> i don't know. take a peek. hey, we might have to burn the hospital down triplet. >> come on. i don't to be late. ♪
all right coming to a theater near you right -- i was really pleased with the way that cam out. we were really lucky we got it shoot it on -- part of it in a place called old operating theater in london if you ever get to london it is an amazing space you have to navigate pretty scare stairs these operating theaters exist they exist in attic and need skylights to operate but we were lucky to use that beautiful space, of course, he had to do the bloody operation in a film studio because there was no way to throw all of that blood and maggots around but we had so much fun doing that and i hope you enjoy that. you can find that on youtube series under the knife and i would love to take your questions now about this period also there's a mic up here.
but if you -- if people start making themselves to the mic but i'll start with your question and repeat it so people can hear. yeah, you. yeah. who introduced scientific nursing whether she was influence and i was wondering blood transfusion how could you have operation any survival even if you knew the theory without blood transfusion? >> a really good question so the first question was about florence in the butchering art. of course she was working in parallel with what he was doing and driving a hygiene movement. but it's a strange thing because a lot of people think of her but she didn't believe in germs at first but thought he was hysterical and that we didn't need to quoit go that far we needed to basic level of hygiene also doing interviews arranged country there so manies to be a lot of groupies out there --
and a lot of people get angry that i haven't mentioned him in interviews. he is also in the book he's an austrian physician you might know him back because he was putting together this idea that if you wash your hands, that you could reduce post operative infection and of courses he was right. but he ends up dying in a lunatic asylum they call him hand washer ridiculed by colleagues and difference between him well number one lister convincing medical community so keep in mind again that there are people l doing stuff. but if their work isn't known or accepted they're not one who ultimately try on, so to speak, other thing is he's putting together this idea of hand wash and post operative infection or infection in general in the hospitals he doesn't yet know the agent by which disease is spread. and so that's where lister comes in he's taking the germ theory and he's making those connections. but -- of course no scientific or
medical achievement is done in a value you mean so a lot of these people are mentioned and how they influence or don't influence lister. and very surprising ways -- and the second question was about blood transfusion how could you do these operation os if people wrnght one of the first blood transfusion i believe in the 17th century and someone took the blood from a sheep or a lam. and idea that it was pure and work and it did not spoiler alert it definitely didn't work. and these speerts experiments are going on but this is a much later development but remember if you're someone like lister taking off someone's leg, it quickly enough and tieing off arteries they have these lings hooks that would pull down the artery and veins to tie them off very, very quickly. you could potentially have a chance of surviving. it was often said too -- eat or coming along there was this idea that you needed feign to survive the operation because
the pain or the adrenaline as we would know it kept you -- going. and so there was a idea that ether would make surgery much more dangerous because patient wasn't awake and wouldn't stay alive through it. but those are great question, and there's so much there's actually a really wonderful book by a woman named holly tucker called blood work the history of blood transfusion if that interest you. >> yes. >> i'm doctor john well and i introduce myself to you earlier. i -- i'm infectious disease specialist but i also have unique perspective on this because last 20 years i've been reenacting army surgeon and i've actually done many, many had simulate haded amputations using his knife even. >>. not a sharp one. but -- >> but i wanted to say that one of the things that another legacy -- i would say of -- of lister in well my other medical hero as you mention --
is -- the introduction of the rubber gloves and to surgery and reason that's -- lister is indirectly responsible for that is -- as you know he introduced the use of carbolic acid for surgeons to medical personnel to wash their hands with and surgery. well in hopkins in 1980s dr. william the father of modern american surgery had his scrub nurse later became his wife carolyn hampton and hands and forearms becoming destroyed by that acid so he went to goodyear and asked if he would devise a pair of rubber gloves to be sterilized because he didn't want his girlfriend to have ugly forearms -- rubber gloves. lister actually is the carbolic acid what he used it did corrode his hands so much that he had
this habit later in life to put his hands in his pocket os of course he was praying operate oing theet we are something he called donkey minimum wage to spray the air but to go back to what you said about lister knife he did create a knife which was later known as the lister knife used by jack so another little halloween fact for you right there. [laughter] which led to rurals that he might have surgical training as well. lister was weird about his instruments used to put notches in handles every time he removed a leg or a limb. and he had used to keep them very close to him, so he kept them warm i have no idea why he felt, you know, that the warmth was going to be comforting to patient when the horrible steel was going through their leg anyway. but it was one of his strange habits. >> i haven't read your book and i would say i highly recommend it to the audience. [laughter] >> you heard it here tonight. >> any other question? >> come on there must be some questions okay i see a hand out
there. do you think you can ysh -- yep a remote but i picture this all starting with leelan and seeing germs. >> i was talking about earlier microscopic work in 17th century and, of course, that -- that does that does play a big role the microscope is a huge part of the butchering art. and the reason that lister seems to be particularly receptive to germ theory is because his own father -- was a quaker he was interested in science and he used microscope a lot so he grew up around microscope looking through the lens and all of this was building upon earlier work from started in the 17th century, 18th century. and so when lister goes to medical school in the 1840s he carries with him this very strange unusual instrument, the microscope, and that's why he's particularly receptive to scientific ideas. again, a lot of that is in the
book and certainly important to acknowledge that microscope has been arranged for a very long time by the time lister begins his work. but again it was -- it was really seen as suspicious in medical practice at this time. and doctors really fought using it in their practice. >> other questions -- any other in the balcony. i heard you guys up there a little terrified about what you just heard. yes. there's a question right here. [inaudible conversations] so one about the role of alcohol and anesthetic and antiseptic and other -- wonder if that played. so she asked about role of alcohol there's sort of this myth that people, that patientss were wildly drunk and therefore they didn't feel anything, of course, alcohol thins blood you don't really get too many actual
counts historically of patients being given alcohol on -- if someone else asked me they had heard that, that surgeon punched a patient out first of all can you imagine you have to be really good boxer to just be able to knock someone out on the first punch and secondly that could cause so many other problems with a patient. so that definitely didn't happen. i can pretty firmly say. alcohol uses an antiseptic there were people using antiseptics before lister cools arranged with carbolic acid difference is and i stress this in butchering art he comes up with a method not only a method but he has a reason for doing it which is germs. and until then it was just sort of used half hazardly sometimes maybe angst septic dabbed on instrument or patient but not systemic way to both prevent and to stop the spread of infection. and the second question remind
me again sorry that was -- >> about tv and consumption in lister's time on tuberculosis called consumption deemed to be incurable if you went into the hospital you were turned away. there's nothing really -- there are -- the only disease that i can think of off the top of my head that affected lister ideology and method and what he was starting to think was cholera because jon snow? 1840s puts together this -- he solve this is mystery about how cholera is spread around london and he identifies the source as being this pump. you can actually see the broad street pump in london today and that really started to -- lead to questions about how disease was spread because before then people thought that disease was spread through bad smell and cholera, jon snow discovers really threw that into question. there's a book called ghost map which is also a fantastic
history tale all about the cholera epidemic and some of that is in there but as far as consumption i can't really there's nothing that specifically affects lister narrative in that. yes some questions up there. yeah you in the middle, yes. >> like to say yeah so -- >> thanks. kind of weird -- see people why didn't they cut a leg off and saying -- modernization and to stop bleeding that did certainly happen some surgeons use that. everybody tended to be a little bit different. obviously burning the flesh also caused a lot of problems which could lead to infection as well. there was really no easy way there's serge was no straightforward way to prevent post a are ative infection and say that a wound healed sweetly which meant it didn't heal with any infection or it healed sourly. and it was so common that wounds
would develop puss and separate that they called it lottable fuss that they thought it was necessary to the healing process that's how common it was at that time but cotterrization it happens i think -- cause other kinds of issues to the tissue and so -- lister is not specifically doing it but usually sog up in his hospital but it was certainly beginning on at this time too. yes. sorry. >> civil war -- also attacking wounds with dirts in civil war. no surgery in civil war remember that my story is a british story so things are developing slightly different over on the side of the world for other kiengdz of reason ares. there you go so nothing good was happening in america. it always surprises me --
[laughter] might still be said today. [laughter] but -- but yeah lister in 1876 and you think that surgeons would be receptive to it because of the civil war and because of the mass infection rates they were experiencing but there's a lot of resistance here and again you know some cities adopted in mearng some don't, and there's no sort of one mommy where everything changes. unfortunately for the purposes of my book, you up there you've had your hand up for a long time. sorry i was talking to man right behind you i'll come to you next, sorry it is hard i have a spotlight here but i've seen your hand was up for a long time. >> why is -- [inaudible conversations] [laughter] and number two -- >> we solved it they should bring the ax back. [laughter]
that life of new york at the hospital. so the first question was about how did they not come up with faster ways because 30 seconds wasn't fast enough for that man up there. but no, the ax actually that you know -- i never really come across a suggestion in medical records but my friend is raven master at the power of london he tells me blood tales about tower he's a beefeater an amazing person and he told me when beheaded with an ax it wasn't meant to be sharp because it would get stuck in the block and it was really weight of the ax that took the head off. but the executions were not straightforward by any stretch of the imagination. an ax is a very -- unwieldily thing to move arranged so i imagine that, you know, swinging an ax people were get their fingers chop off and ax may have been a little step too far in taking a leg off.
i don't think that would have worked too well. and to your -- your own question the nick, yes. an amazing show if anybody hangt seen it. it's such a great show what i really like about it too is it shows the demons that a lot of these surgeons were suffering from again this idea that your patientses are dying time after time it must have been very frustrating and always keeping in mind that people were real. that story the nick, though, at the turn of the 20*9 century so my book takes that audience back 50 years to an even grimier more dangerous time. and so i like to tell people that it's if you like the nick this is an even kind of grosser -- aspect of that. story -- [laughter] and yes and you and i cut you off before.
[inaudible conversations] that's a really good question about the relationship between military medicine and the development, and spread of antiseptic methods, of course, military medicine was really important to a lot of discoveries because you'd so many patients. you know dying in these wars and there was a lot of experiments going on. it's lister's how did you he -- he most he can't get to older generation so he goes to younger generation he is teaching students and they go out into the world and they spread the gospel of antiseptic and i kind of call it like the gospel because he very much like created will a religious atmosphere around it like they would have this procession and bring in the donkey engine and they would spray the air and they would clean everything, and there was a real sort of almost show to it and it was really younger surgeons that within the out there, and were able to spread this message around. but yeah there's -- there's a real connection between medical advancements in
the earlier period and what surgeons are doing in the military to treat these -- these patients the crimean war feoffs in the art and lister doesn't fight it because he's a quaker and he's not allowed to treat patients in the war, and as a result he lives actually all of his colleagues end up dying he's promoted faster through rings and thank goodness for that so, i mean, you think about how his return on a dime and what would it have been had he gone off to war and not been a quaker if yes right there. sorry -- [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] show asked what the proportion of patients were coming to surgeons for trauma, versus cancer or other kiengdz of internal problems. actually surgeons at this time especially in the early 19th century really only treated the
outer part of the body now of course you get breast cancer with the tumor is protuding and breast needs to be taken off. but this is still considering treating the outer body. physicians on the other hand treated inner body with that internal medicine and physician were better respected they were men who used their minds rather than their hands. the surgeon was like a craftsman often trained u through apprenticeship, and his he could be illiterate depend on master skill so really they're dealing with outer body they're dealing with boils and thing like that. and it's only later that medicine and surgery begin to unite together and, of course, now the surgeon is at the top of the medical hierarchy. right there. all of is this suffering was there -- >> oh. interest question she said with all of the suffering was there euthanasia nothing that i've
come across in these records. but certainly there's a very -- sort of famous story of 17th century -- surgeon 16th or 17th early surgeon perry, and he is fighting in a war. and he goes into a barn and there's these soldiers if i can remember correctly soldiers who have been very badly wounded. and he's looking at horror at these men, and suddenly another soldier cools in walks up to three men and splits their throats. and harry says what are you doing? you know, and confronts them and he says i hope if i ever am in in position someone is as humane as me and ends my life. so you do kind of get stories like that. but nothing systemically certainly at this time. >> start to take the place -- >> much resistance it that it than there was -- >> so when he took the place
actually you might be surprised to find out that lister was against that. so that is germ free where that is germ fighting he never envisioned hospital to be the feet entirely of medical practice, of course, he thought that people would continue to be treated in their own homes to some extent so it wouldn't have been practical and he thought almost dangerous to kind of -- have this romantic notion that you could have a germ free environment. there is a very natural move from that to asepsis once that is accepted and begin to be more practiced late 19th century of course that's what we strive to practice today. but yeah it's qeerd that he definitely vocally reaccept asepsis so -- yeah back there. >> talk about lister kind of spreading this as a show. how much data did he have and mortality rate and get people to
buy into this? >> she asked about lister data and convincing surgeons it is such a great question this is sort of on the cusp of medical statistics. still being developed at this time lister is one with of the first scientific surgeons he's collecting data he's publishing it. but not necessarily on large scale that we, obviously, do today, and he publishes a series article it is in the lance and these articles are not just about his -- statistics it's about showing the surgeon how to do it. so it is very much -- like looking over his shoulder and he's explaining how to do it. he's so scientific in his meths he's always changing. his methodology which opens him up to criticism at this time because a lot of surgeons say well you were wrong the first time you've changed your mind. how will we to know what any of this is if you keep changing your mind not realizing that's how we operate today, of course, we're refining and fine tuning
our meths that's how list or did it but there's a lot of data out there in butchering art as well on data that he was showing surgeons buts it was a hard, it was a hard, long road to convince them that this was working. and remember again, like he was essentially slowing everybody down because these methods instead of being fast in an operating theater and just moving patients in and out he's asking them to do very particularly slow moving thing like washing your hands, instruments there's a whole method to it that really just slowed everything down that i think a lot of surgeons found irritating. in comparison to how they were used to operating at that had time. you there. >> garfield was shot -- '81 and shots died of the infection, and doctor refused to clean with the hand. was there any fallout from the fact that president of the united states died from
infection or do people not recognize that? >> so asking about president garfield who is fascinated in 1881 said that he -- that his had assassin said he shot the president but his doctors killed him. because his 12 doctors stuck their unsterilized fingers and instruments into a wound and septic and takes 80, 90 days to die and loses 100 pounds during this time and it is just really awful i'm glad because it allows me to tell you about garfield house which i visited a few days ago a site and i came across it because guy who runs site is so passionate about james garfield, i mean, he can remit anything on my social media to james garfield i can put up did you know that james -- i don't know how he does it. it's his had magical power his name is todd he's so great. and he runs this beautiful site so if you have a chance to get to ohio do visit it. i went there because of this story that you told it is very
relevant it is not in the butcher art because there's a wonderful writer named candice who wrote a book called des thy of the republic that deals with garfield assassination but you're right -- you're right to say why? why did this happen? lister comes to america and -- 1876 surely doctors and surgeons accepting germ theory but, of course, it is slow to be accepted and certain circles that's not to say i think it's massachusetts general hospital the first to actually adopt antiseptic technique that what is shortly after lister trip so it is happening in various hospitals but unfortunately for james garfield his doctors did not believe in jerls and he does die this horrific death do check it out o. check them out onis line too because the guy is hilarious he's so passionate about james garfield it is worth it. [laughter] yes.
women in the operate oing room a link between hygiene and full -- hard questions that historian take their life to she wants in two minutes the answer to -- the appearance of women in the operating room and of course you start to see this in second painting that is such a good question on -- and one that i don't -- i have to admit i don't fully deal with because it is happening separately to lister. lister actually is very much against women entering medicine a little bit of a flaw of his. but he can't foresee the victorians were very much like that. florence revolutionizing profession before then seen as inproarpght for a woman to go into nursing because she would be pretty to the male body almost akin of prostitution in earlier periods and, in fact, when you come across the term nurse, this earlier records it usually is referring to -- a nurse nursing a baby.
someone who is nursing a baby. so she certainly and there's so many books about this she make it is a respectable profession and she runs her nurses like an army almost. and she really elevates women and so that's when you're seeing there. but lister didn't have much to do with it but you're right to think that florence triumph also led to an acceptance ultimately of that because hygiene was a big part of her crusade as well and there's a huge -- hygiene movement in 19th century lister triumph so much that you don't just get listerine but or carbolic acid mania one of my favorites favorites is avon lady on mary kay kit that you can buy, and you can go around and you can remove your neighbor's hemorrhoid with carbolic acid. [laughter] which seems really dangerous and painful and not at all a good idea so lister he kind of gets annoyed by all of this he lives in his own fame and wasn't
looking for the fame and so many of the people ultimately aren't yeah there's so many that is at the end of the book about crazy things that cool out of the carbolic acid mania. right here. one more sorry i'm told one more question and then is i will be signing books so please do come to chat with me. i would love to hear to continue the conversation. yes. i would love to hear and continue the conversation. [inaudible] statement that is a good one to end on. what are the artifacts i have interacted with? the ones on human skin are disturbing but they do look like letters. it's because you know they are human skin. there're so many specimens. i did my book launch. it's an amazing collection. they had the weirdest stuff. they have a piece of john wilkes
booth wrote in the collection, which is pretty amazing, but nothing really creeped me out. just fascinates me. but i suppose the books on human skin is unsettling on some level. one i of my favorite instruments from a museum collection is the clockwork saw. i like it because it was a massive failure and i love failure in general because it is something i think we really ignore, especially talking about scientific and medical achievement. it was invented in the night in century. you rounded up and let it go when i was supposed to just been continuously. it seemed like ast good idea unl it took off this guy's fingers then they decided maybe we are not going to put this into a production. c i did my youtube series called under the knife. the first episode of her and my friend alex to shot the trailer, we have a lot of fun and we do
way too much that we should. we spent hours on these videos and we made it look like it spun off, but we had to rebuild the saw which was also really fun. i love failure. i love talking about failure in medical history. that interest you all check out my blog. thank you so much. i'm looking forward to meeting you out there. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> the c-span bus tour continues in january with stops in bali, columbia, atlanta and montgomery. lewis speak with state officials during ally "washington journal" program. follow the tour and join us on
junior 15th at 9:30 a.m. eastern for herself in raleigh, north carolina when i "washington journal" against the north carolina attorney general josh stein. >> why did she want to write about these women? this was an aspect of the suffrage movement that has gotten virtually no attention. >> i went back to school. i knew very little about the suffrage movement. it's not like they taught in school. it was one of the topics that interested me while i was back in school. i was first going to write about suffrage in the 19th century when there was this terrible schism between the two branches of the movement, between elizabeth cady stanton and susan b. anthony on one side and lucy stone and her husband henry blackwell on the other.
stone and blackwell after the civil war are start abolitionists and they believe the black man should be an franchise first, that the fifth 10th amendment, which gives black men the right to vote should be ratified and then women can fight for their own. susan b. and elizabeth cady, if they are going into the constitution, we are going with them or us we are fighting it. the movement for almost 30 years it was deeply damaging for the cause. i was going to be my dissertation topic. i was going to prove they have the movement and so forth. it was so depressing.
my faculty advisor had kindly come here today and he can remember that i walked into his office and said i want to start thinking about what finally worked. i want to look forward to the positive view that women got the vote and i started researching the early 20th century to see what was going on. i started newspaper accounts and it tripped over the swimming. nobody had noticed them. they were sort of too famous to notice. >> you didn't know about them when they started this thing. >> no. i was reading newspapers from innate teen hundreds and they would be occasional references to events for the super wealthy
celebrities were coming out for suffrage. what happened when they joined suffrage in the teen away, began a movement in the doldrums that's been languishing is considered the cause of the french, with various codeword for less than french or the radical fringe, but clearly not the mainstream. and then comes these society women and they are covered already. celebrity figure is already covered by the press for their decor, their clothes, the travel, entertainment. it is just one reason it is such a fun read. but when they came out for women, it electrified public opinion. it sort of interested the
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