Toynbee, Joseph


1849 ALS of the pioneering English otolaryngologist, to physician-reformer Thomas Beggs



Autograph ID: 6226
Condition: Very good, minor mount remnants on back blank page
Description: “(1815-1866) English physician and otologist, his career dedicated to pathological and anatomical studies of the ear. At 17 he first studied medicine at the Westminster General Dispensary in London. He then studied anatomy at Hunterian Medical School in London and gained a reputation for a prosector. His son was economic historian Arnold Toynbee (1852–1883). He performed studies on the functionality of the Eustachian tube and of the tympanic membrane and tried restoration attempts, the tympanoplasty, a surgical operation performed for the reconstruction of the eardrum, tympanic membrane, and/or the small bones of the middle ear (ossicles). When St. Mary’s Hospital was founded in Paddington, he a became an aural surgeon and a lecturer on ear diseases — his course of clinical lectures was published in 1855 & 1866. During this period he wrote 2 major works: “A Descriptive Catalogue of Preparations Illustrative of the Diseases of the Ear” (1857), and “The Diseases of the Ear: Their Nature, Diagnosis and Treatment” (1860). From his many dissections of “deaf ears”, he studied ankylosis of the staples and developed an artificial tympanic membrane made of gutta percha attached to a silver wire stem. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in March 1842. Other or his works include: “On the structure of the membrana tympani in the human ear” (1851); “On the use of an artificial membrana tympani in cases of deafness: dependent upon perforation or destruction of the natural organ” (1857); “A Descriptive Catalogue of Preparations illustrative of the Diseases of the Ear in the Museum of Joseph Toynbee” (1857);
“The Diseases of the Ear: Their Nature, Diagnosis, and Treatment” (1860); “Hints on the Formation of Local Museums” (1863). He died in July 1866 while conducting experiments with prussic acid and chloroform as a remedy for tinnitus; either substance or their combination are responsible for his death.

5 1/2 x 3 3/4 ALS “J. Toynbee” in his spidery script, (London), August 8 1849, to Mr. (Thomas) Beggs, thanking him for his work, the perusal of which will do Toynbee much good. Toynbee adds: “In spite of all I see great symptoms of improvement. All we want is to work along vigilantly as you do to shorten the terms of our sad state of present degradation.”

THOMAS BEGGS (?) variously secretary of the Health of Towns’ Association and secretary of the Complete Suffrage Association. In 1846 he published “Three Lectures on the Moral Elevation of the People” and, in 1849, an essay on “The Cholera: the Claims of the Poor Upon the Rich”. His 1849 ” An inquiry into the Extent and Causes of Juvenile Depravity” recognized the close relationship between poverty and social deprivation on the one hand and crime on the other, but identified particularly the destructive results of intemperance.”
Type: Letter

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