19th Century and 20th Century
History of Otolaryngology Medicine & Surgery
In England during the 1870’s, hospitals and medical schools were not very concerned about laryngology as a specialty. During those years, diseases of the throat were given to junior physicians on the staff. In 1805, John Cunningham Saunders founded Moorfields, the first specialty hospital in London for diseases of the eye and ear. In 1816, John Harrison Curtis founded the ear dispensary and in 1845 it became the Royal Ear Hospital and by 1919, it joined the University College Hospital. In 1838, James Yearsley founded the Metropolitan Ear, Nose, and Throat Hospital. The Throat Hospital, Golden Square, was founded by Morell Mackenzie in 1863 and joined with the London Throat Hospital in 1914. In 1939, it joined with the Central London Throat and Ear Hospital which was founded by Lennox Browne in 1874 and became known as the Royal National Throat, Nose, and Ear Hospital.
In Scotland, the Edinburgh Eye Infirmary, Cambridge Street, was established in 1834, adding ear in 1872, and throat disease in 1883. The Edinburgh Royal Infirmary opened its ear and throat department in 1883. The Aberdeen Royal Infirmary instituted a department for disease of the ear, nose, and throat under Henry Peterkin in 1909. The Glasgow Western Infirmary opened its aural department under Thomas Barr in 1877.
In Dublin Ireland, the St. Mark’s Eye and Ear Infirmary was founded by Wilde in 1844 and joined with the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital in 1896. In Belfast Ireland, the Eye and Ear Dispensary began in 1844.
In Montreal Canada, L.J. A. Simard was appointed Professor of Otology at Laval University in 1862. A lectureship in otology was instituted at McGill University in 1883.
In Australia at the Sydney Hospital, the first ear and throat clinic was established in 1886.
In Dunedin, New Zealand, the first ear dispensary was opened in 1884.
The first British society devoted to laryngology was the British Rhino-Laryngological Association founded by Morell Mackenzie in 1888 and in 1895 it added otology. Felix Semon founded the London Laryngological Society in 1893. These two societies joined together in 1907 to become the Section of Laryngology of the Royal Society of Medicine. In 1900, Sir William Dalby founded the Otological Society of the United Kingdom and in 1907 it became the Section of Otology of the Royal Society of Medicine. The Scottish Otological and Laryngological Society was founded in 1910.
The British journal, “Journal of Laryngology and Otology,” was founded by Morell Mackenzie and Norris Wolfenden in 1887.
By the 1940s otolaryngology had shown many advances in all fields of general medicine and surgery, including neurology, ophthalmology, bacteriology, pathology, biochemistry, diagnostic and therapeutic radiology, and thoracic surgery.
Sir William Milligan (1864-1929) was a pioneer in the use of radium in cancer of the larynx.
John Smith Fraser (1874-1936) is known for his work on congenital deaf-mutism, on otosclerosis, and on the pathways of infection from the ear to the brain.
Alexander Robert Tweedie (1871-1936) in 1911 created the ear, nose, and throat department at the Nottingham General Hospital.
G.J. Jenkins (1874-1939) taught anatomy and then otology at King’s College Hospital, London. He was a pioneer in the surgical treatment of meningitis.
Herbert Tilley (1867-1941) was a pioneer in the surgery of the nasal sinuses. He also did work in the study of the pathology of nasal sinus disease.
On April 23, 1895 for the first time, Kirstein of Berlin used a flat spatula and a Caspar’s prismatic incandescent lamp to see the interior of the larynx by direct examination.
In 1896, Gustav Killian of Freiburg, called the “Father of Bronchoscopy” upon seeing the work of Kirstein began to work exclusively on endoscopy. He adapted the esophagoscope for the direct examination of the trachea. The esophagoscopic and bronchoscopic tubes with proximal lighting that were designed by Killan are still used as a standard pattern today.