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 Joseph Thomas Clover

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Joseph Thomas Clover

  • Birth 28 Feb 1825 Aylsham, Broadland District, Norfolk, England
  • Death 27 Sep 1882 London, City of London, Greater London, England
  • Burial West Brompton, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Greater London, England
  • Memorial ID 14336581

Physician, Anesthetist. He is remembered as the inventor of a device that safely and controllably delivers anesthetics (chloroform or ether) to patients undergoing surgical procedures. He was born in Aylsham, Norfolk, England, the son of a farmer. After his primary education at the Gray Friars' Priory School in Norwich, Norfolk, England, he apprenticed as a surgical dresser at the age of 16 to a local surgeon. In 1844 he enrolled at the University College Hospital in London, England, to study medicine. He graduated in 1846 and became house surgeon to James Syme. In 1848 he became the Resident Medical Officer at University College Hospital and was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1850. He intended to focus his medical specialty in urology but in 1853 his health issues forced him to turn to general practice in London. A few years later he began to devote his practice to anesthetics and became a "chloroformist" to London's University College Hospital, Westminster Hospital, and Dental Hospital. He invented his chloroform anesthesia apparatus in 1862 and in 1877 he invented a portable ether inhaler, which was used in modified versions, well into the 20th century. Because of his expertise in anesthesia, his services were often sought out when important figures required surgery. Among them were Napoleon III of France, Alexandra of Denmark (then Princess of Wales), Edward VII (then Prince of Wales), Sir Robert Peel, Florence Nightingale, and Sir Erasmus Wilson. In frail health most of his life, he died of renal failure in London at the age of 57. In 1949 the Royal College of Surgeons established the annual Joseph Clover Lecture in honor of his contributions in the field of anesthetics. A memorial plaque was placed on the site of his London clinic on March 2, 1994.

Bio by: William Bjornstad





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: julia&keld
  • Added: 20 May 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 14336581
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Joseph Thomas Clover (28 Feb 1825–27 Sep 1882), Find A Grave Memorial no. 14336581, citing Brompton Cemetery, West Brompton, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .