Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/246

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he entered and found the nurses and many of the patients fleeing in dismay before a stalwart and violent lunatic who had entered the opposite end of the ward with a huge cleaver in his upraised hand. No sooner did he see the young doctor dressed in his ward coat, than he ran violently with this weapon raised to brain him. Dr. Norris awaited calmly his rapid approach and, as the blow descended, with quick ej^e, firm and accurate hand, grasped the wrist with the unyielding, paralyzing grasp of the trained athlete, and at the same time tripped the feet of the man, pinioned his arms, and so held him until help arrived and he was placed in a straight- jacket.

After this service he became assistant surgeon in the United States Army, and was in charge of Douglas Hospital at "Washington, where he served until 1865 with distinguished merit. He visited Europe in 1865, spending most of his time with Arlt, Jaeger, and Mauthner in Vienna. He also worked with Strieker on experimental pathologic histology of the cornea, the results of which were published jointly. In 1870 he returned to Philadelphia, became lecturer in ophthalmology and otology at the University of Pennsylvania, and soon devoted himself exclusively to ophthal- mology, becoming clinical professor of this branch. Later he was honorary professor, and in 1876 full professor of ophthalmology. In 1870, elected a mem- ber of the American Ophthalmological Society; in 1884, its president, and in January, 1872, a member of the staff of Wills' Eye Hospital. His writings are not numerous, but have scientific mark. His largest work is his "System of Dis- eases of the Eye," published conjointly with Dr. OHver, and his greatest influence can be seen in the large number of dis- tinguished ophthalmologists who owe their training to him.

He was thirty-three years of age, of massive frame, well rounded, not cor- pulent, a large dome-like head, with the blonde hair of a Norseman, trimmed in


the conventional form, a full beard, light in color, fine in texture, a complexion ruddy with the tints of perfect, vigorous health, and a calm benignant manner, striking in one of his age, which found expression largely through his clear blue, unhesitating eyes.

He died November 18, 1901, in Philadelphia.

A list of his papers is given in the Surgeon-general's Catalogue, Washing- ton, District of Columbia.

H. F.

Trans. Am. Oph. Soc, vol. x (port.).

Oliver, C. A., William Fisher Norris, Phila.,


Med. Rec, N. Y., 1901, vol. Ix.

N. Y. Med. Jour., 1901, vol. Ixxiv.

Phila. Med. Jour., 1901, vol. viii.

Tr. Coll. Phys., Phila., 1902, 3. s., vol. xxiv.

There is a portrait in the surg.-gen. library.

Wash., D. C.

North, Elisha (1771-1843).

An early vaccinator, author of the first book on epidemic cerebrospinal menin- gitis, founder of the first eye dispensary in the United States, Elisha North was born January 8, 1771, in Goshen, Conn- ecticut, and was destined to become one of the pioneers in certain lines of medical research. He early showed a predilec- tion for medicine and at the age of sixteen is said to have cared for a broken leg with rare skill and success. Later he studied medicine with his father, Joseph North, who dabbled somewhat in this science, although his chief occupation was that of farming. Feeling the limita- tions in this preparation for his future career, the son came to Hartford to study under the then renowned Lemuel Hop- kins, and later spent, possibly, two years at the University of Pennsylvania. Returning to Goshen he practised there until his removal to New London, in 1812.

While living in Goshen, 1800, he care- fully investigated the utility of vaccina- tion. In the use of vaccine virus he met with considerable opposition at first, but seems eventually to have silenced the hostihty of the public, although he claim-