Fetlar Museum Digitisation Project

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Surgical scalpels
Two steel surgical scalpels.
Click here for a larger image (large download).
Late 19th or early 20th century
a) 16cm long x 1.5cm wide; b) 15cm long x 1.5cm wide
These scalpels once belonged to Sir William Watson Cheyne of Leagarth House, Fetlar. He was brought up by his grandfather and aunts at the Manse in Fetlar, and while at Edinburgh University was a pupil of Lord Lister. He eventually became Lister's House Surgeon, and when Lister moved to London to develop further his pioneering ideas in antiseptics, he took William Watson Cheyne with him. Cheyne became a well-known surgeon in his own right, and took over Lister's position when Lister retired, ensuring that Lister's antiseptic methods did not fall out of use in hospitals.

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