Tag Archives: James Syme

Thomas Keith; pioneer photographer and pioneer surgeon

Iain Macintyre Edinburgh, Scotland   Figure 1. Thomas Keith. Artist and date unknown. Etching with Keith’s signature (image reproduced with permission Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh). “His success so far outstripped that of all other operators, that it became a wonder and admiration of surgeons all over the world.”1 So wrote J Marion Sims […]

Joseph Bell and Conan Doyle

JMS Pearce East Yorks, England   Fig 1. Arthur Conan Doyle. University of Manitoba, Archives Special Collections “…The remarkable individuality and discriminating tact of my old master made a deep and lasting impression on me, though I had not the faintest idea that it would one day lead me to forsake medicine for story writing.” […]

James Syme, the Napoleon of surgery (1799–1870)

James Syme, by John Adamson. Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1855. James Syme was born in Edinburgh in the year when Napoleon became First Consul, and in later years came to be called the Napoleon or Wellington of surgery.1-6 As a young man he had an interest in chemistry and at age eighteen developed a method […]