Joseph Lister (1827-1912) was a Scottish physician who applied Louis Pasteur's germ theory of disease and implemented an antibacterial cleaning technique for hospital tools and facilities, greatly reducing the number of infections. While Pasteur's sterilization techniques were not usable for surgical equipment, Lister found that carbonic acid would work.
In 1999, the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, published Professor Jerry Gaw's 'A Time to Heal': The Diffusion of Listerism in Victorian England, a study of the medical progress through antiseptic surgical procedures and other reforms promoted by Joseph Lister.In a review of Gaw's book in Victorian Studies, Margaret Anne Crowther writes: "Amongst the useful features of the book is a substantial bibliography of works dealing with Joseph Lister and antiseptic surgery. . . . Gaw's approach is to concentrate on the years from the late 1860s to the mid-1880s, when Lister's views, at first highly contentious, began to dominate the medical world."
- The New American Desk Encyclopedia, Penguin Group, 1989
- (1999) [books.google.com/books?isbn=0871698919 A Time to Heal: The Diffusion of Listerism in Victorian England]. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: American Philosophical Society. ISBN 087169-891-9. Retrieved on December 18, 2010.
- Margaret Anne Crowther, Victorian Studies, Vol. 43, No. 4 (Summer 2001), pp. 688-689.