Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 52.djvu/366

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recognized the advantages of the American system, and he was the first in Europe to have a large hospital built on the plan of barracks. In the Jacob's Hospital, which was built according to his directions, there are a great number of long-shaped buildings in a park, so distributed that the two long sides of each are free, and having at one end an airy veranda, into which beds may be pushed at any time. Air and light, these two "unpaid but invaluable assistant physicians," as Thiersch said, have free access to every patient. The system proved so excellent that in the course of years more and more barracks have been added, and the Jacob's Hospital has long been regarded far and wide as a model of such an institution. When, soon after the opening of the hospital in 1871, Lister's beneficent methods of surgical treatment were made public, it was again Thiersch who at once recognized their enormous significance, and advocated them with all his power. This beautiful hospital offered him the best possible conditions for the carrying out and further development of the newly acquired methods, as well as for their introduction in the education of the younger medical generation. There he worked during the past twenty-four years, not only as a teacher revered by all, but also as a faithful physician; and he so loved his hospital that even during his time of suffering he occupied himself ceaselessly with it, and one of the last wishes he expressed was that he might be able to return there once more.

Carl Thiersch, when he came to Leipsic, had occupied the chair of surgery in Erlangen since 1854, before which he had for six years been prosector in the Pathological-Anatomical Institute in Munich. He seems to have acquired his tendency toward surgery in 1850, during the second Schleswig-Holstein War, in which he served as volunteer physician under Stromeyer.

It is much more difficult to appreciate Thiersch's works in their connection than Ludwig's. In the case of the latter, when as a young man he came before the public, we have to do with an intellectual force of great intensity, and of a scientifically well-defined tendency. His whole life was given to the accomplishment of certain objects which he had placed before himself in the beginning of his career, and in following the coarse that was to lead him to his aim, he persistently sought, in all his work, to attract intelligent young men to his scientific researches.

Thiersch's development was of a different nature, and in order to understand what he accomplished it is necessary first of all to study his personality. Descended from a well-known scientific family, Thiersch brought with him the taste for thorough knowledge and for delicate intellectual understanding. He possessed the strict desire for truth and the independent disposition of the true scientist.