An antiseptic operation, 1877.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Diorama in the Lower Wellcome Gallery, Science Museum, London. The models in this diorama represent an operation being undertaken in antiseptic conditions. Joseph Lister (1827-1912), introduced the use of antiseptic conditions in operating areas in 1860, greatly reducing the risk of the patient's death from infection following surgery. He discovered that carbolic acid, shown here in the form of a spray, killed the germs that caused infection.