The Man Who Put Lister in Listerine

The advent of anesthesia brought new horizons—and myriad infections—to surgery. But it didn’t really take off until Joseph Lister’s invention of antisepsis curbed the scourge of “slow moving execution” by infection, argues Lindsey Fitzharris in The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine.
 
Lister’s discovery was a revelation for the Victorian era, when surgery was a filthy public spectacle.
 
He first realized that corrosive carbolic acid, since phased out of antiseptics, nixed the stench of sewage, and went from there. Lister became a brand, spawning Listerine.
 
The Atlantic

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