Q:

What were the main contributions of Joseph Lister?

A:

Quick Answer

Joseph Lister's most important contribution to medical science was to establish principles of hygiene and cleanliness in surgery. Prior to Lister's introduction of sterile surgery, such precautions were commonly neglected and patients often died from "ward fever," a postoperative infection.

Know More

Full Answer

Lister became a Professor of Surgery after moving to Glasgow in 1860. During this time, he became interested in the work of Pasteur and began to experiment with dressing wounds with carbolic acid, or phenol. His experimentation greatly reduced the frequency of infection.

Lister lowered this frequency even further by introducing hand-washing, the sterilization of surgical instruments and a carbolic spray in operating theaters.

Dr. Lister's contributions were so profound that he is remembered as the "father of antiseptic surgery." In fact, Listerine mouthwash, while not invented by Lister, was named in honor of him.

Learn more about Inventions

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What did Joseph Henry invent?

    A:

    Joseph Henry invented the electric telegraph. In 1830 Henry demonstrated the potential of a William Sturgeon device for long-distance communication by sending an electrical current over 1 mile of wire to activate an electromagnet, which caused a bell to strike. Although Henry created the first electric telegraph, other inventors made the telegraph a commercial success.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Who is Joseph N. Jackson and what did he patent?

    A:

    Joseph N. Jackson is a retired U.S. Army non-commissioned officer and holder of six patents for telecommunications and fertility prediction devices. His first patent was for a controller that allows users to block select programs on cable, a technology commonly used for television parental control.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What did Joseph Jacquard invent?

    A:

    Joseph-Marie Jacquard invented the programmable loom, called the Jacquard loom, in 1801. This loom was able to weave complex patterns programmed into the machine with punch cards and string.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some of the most important contributions of Thomas Edison?

    A:

    Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor whose most important contributions were the electric light bulb and phonograph. He held a world record number of invention patents —1093.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore