Oliver Wendell Holmes (29 August, 1809 – 7 October, 1894) was a Cambridge, MA native known for his poetry and essays.
- Mr. Holmes graduated from Harvard University in 1836. After practicing medicine for the next decade he became a teacher at Dartmouth College and dean at Harvard Medical School. Holmes was the first dean at age 33.
- Mr. Holmes was a very popular teacher because he was the only one that could keep the class awake.
- In 1843 Holmes wrote The Contagiousness of Puerperal Fever, which was considered groundbreaking. Holmes wrote that the fever was carried from patient to patient by physicians and nurses. In the pager he proposed that stuff should wear clean clothing and be avoided by those aiding birth and those performing autopsies. Even though Holmes conclusions were ridiculed by many contemporary doctors, who sometimes operated in coats stiff from blood. Even though Holmes was proven right later on (1847), it’s on until 1935 that his recommendations were adhered to.
- His son, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr was a U.S. Supreme Court Justice and American Civil War veteran.
- During his lifetime, Mr. Holmes was acknowledged by his peers as one of the best writers alive.
- The poem Old Ironsides, published in the Boston Daily Advertiser in 1830, protested the decommissioning of the USS Constitution. The ship was a heavy frigate christened by George Washington himself. The poem created a public uproar which saved the destruction of the ship.
- Mr. Holmes was award prizes for medical research and writing in 1836 and 1837.
- He was a friend and confidante of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and James Russell Lowell.
- Many believe that the reason The Atlantic Monthly didn’t close down during the 1857 depression was due to the popularity of Holmes’ The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table essays. The essays were the source of his fame during his lifetime.
- Dr. Holmes treated famed author Washington Irving before his death.
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Dr. Holmes treated famed author Washington Irving before his death.
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