REBECCA KELLER
Attributes of the Gods: Lister
2011
gold leaf, coal tar soap
Carbolic acid, which Lister used as an antiseptic, is made from coal tar. After this discovery, coal tar soap became popular. It is said that Lister believed so much in his chemical antiseptic that he did not change clothes between surgeries, thinking the chemical would prevent all infections. Other doctors’ increased success due to changing before surgery eventually convinced him.