It was January 1845. Boston Massachusetts General Hospital’s Surgical Theatre was never so empty as then. A monotonous and boring speech about cranial trepanation did not attract a broad auditorium. Meeting of a thick and inelegant drill, in connection with human bone and brain meninges, almost always resulted in an exacerbated infection and a terrible death of the patient.
Among fleers and whispers of the students, it could be heard:
“Humbug, seriously? How He wants to do it, it’s impossible.”