History of sports medicine - 1871-1875

1871

Berlin physiologist Emil Du Bois-Reymond (1818-1896) laid the basis for sports physiological research with his studies on nerve and muscle physiology.

1871

On June 27, 1871 American athlete William B. Curtis (1837-1900) patented the rowing machine, which turned into a tremendous success in American gyms, but which, in many labs also is used for exercise tests.

1871

German internist Carl von Liebermeister (1833-1901) developed a room in which one person could sit or lie down. The chamber was ventilated and the carbon dioxide production was periodically determined by absorbing small samples of exhaled air in a barium hydroxide solution and by subsequently titrating this solution with oxalic acid or dicarboxylic acid. Then he drew a graph of the composition changes of the outgoing air and by means of a differential equation that expressed the relation between the ventilation, the time course between the samples and the amount of carbon dioxide in the outgoing air, he could calculate the carbon dioxide production. The name Liebermeister remains associated with the relationship between individual pulse frequency and body temperature in case of fever. The 'Liebermeister's rule' states that the pulse rate in adults increases with eight beats per minute for every degree Celsius increase in body temperature.

1871

American Austin Flint (1836-1915), surgeon and professor of Physiology and Microscopic Anatomy at Cornell University Medical College, New York, conducted the first physiological research by the famous fast walker Edward Payson Weston (1839-1929), where he followed the energy balance of Weston during a five-day race of 400 miles. Although the study yielded little, it turned out that a lot of proteins were being used. He wrote some striking contributions on human physiology:

  • Effects of Severe and Protracted Muscular Exercises (1871)
  • Text-Book of Human Physiology (1875)
  • Source of Muscular Power (1878)
  • The Physiology of Man (1888)
  • Handbook of Physiology (1905)

1872

German physiologist Adolf Fick (1829-1901) presented a method to determine cardiac output to the 'Würzberger Physical and Medical Society'. According to him, this could be done by calculating the oxygen consumption of the body and the oxygen concentration in the arterial and venous blood. For example, he concluded that the cardiac output for a person should be around 5.4 liters per minute. It took 75 years before this principle was applied in human research. The diffusion laws were named after him. He died in the Belgian seaside resort Blankenberge.

1873

German physician Carl Speck (1828-1916) used two different gazometers for measuring O2 and CO2, one for the inhaled air and one for the exhaled air. A nose clip closed the nostrils and the breathing was done through a tube in the mouth. He used valves to separate the inhaled and exhaled air. The weight changes of the clocks of the gazometers were compensated by an increase or a reduction of the counterweights. A sample of exhaled air was analyzed for carbon dioxide and oxygen.

1873

British physician Robert J. Lee published the article 'Exercise and Training: Their Effects Upon Health' in the 'British Medical Journal', in which he stipulated that

"exercise was important in maintaining health and preventing disease"

but also that the knowledge of physiology was extremely important to understand the subject.

1873

American physician William Hammond (1828-1900) developed his own dynamometer, based on that of the Frenchman Louis Mathieu (1817-1879).

With the device the forces were also registered graphically.

1874

Belgian physician Théodule Cousot (1822-1888) founded the 'Thermes Dinantais' or 'Institut Hydrothérapique de Dinant', which was entirely dedicated to the latest developments in electrotherapy, massage and gymnastics.

His son Georges Cousot (1857-1927) succeeded his father and further developed the 'Thermes Dinantais'.

1874

American surgeon Andrew Taylor Still (1828-1917) is regarded to be the founder of osteopathy. He was one of the founders of 'Baker University' and of the 'American School of Osteopathy', the world's first osteopathic school.

1874

Due to the lack of sensitivity of the rheotome, French physician Gabriel Lippmann (1845-1921) invented the 'capillary electrometer'. The device consisted of a thin glass tube with mercury at the bottom and diluted sulfuric acid on top. A change in electrical charge changed the surface tension of the mercury, causing the mercury level in the capillary tube to move up and down. The mercury meniscus (= hollow-convex lens) moved with the alternating electrical potentials and was observed through a microscope. Lippmann was a versatile scientist, but is best known for his contributions to optics and electricity. For example, he studied the relationship between electrical and capillary phenomena and based on this research he constructed his own galvanometer and a very sensitive electrometer, with which the first ECGs were made.

Lippmann's 'capillary galvanoscope' shown here used the same principle as the apparatus of British physiologist August Waller (1816-1870) and Dutch physician Willem Einthoven (1860-1927), but had a slightly different configuration. A small drop of mercury in the horizontal capillary tube moved under the influence of an electric field caused by two electrodes. The device was supplied with a glass dish for projection.

1874

Louis Alexandre de Saint-Germain (1835-1897), head of the Department of Orthopedics in the Paris 'l'Hôpital des Enfants Malades' started a gym for the treatment of spinal deformities.

1874

French neurologist Joseph-Marie-Alfred Béni-Barde (1834-1919) is considered to be the 'father of hydrotherapy'. He was appointed director of the hydrotherapy institute of Auteuil and laureated by 'l'Académie de Médecine'.



In 1874 he published 'Traité théorique et pratique d'hydrothérapie', which he provided with many illustrations.


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