Dr. Mutter's Marvels
A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine
A mesmerizing biography of the brilliant and eccentric medical innovator who revolutionized American surgery and founded the country’s most famous museum of medical oddities
Imagine undergoing an operation without anesthesia, performed by a surgeon who refuses to sterilize his tools—or even wash his hands. This was the world of medicine when Thomas Dent Mütter began his trailblazing career as a plastic surgeon in Philadelphia during the mid-nineteenth century.
Although he died at just forty-eight, Mütter was an audacious medical innovator who pioneered the use of ether as anesthesia, the sterilization of surgical tools, and a compassion-based vision for helping the severely deformed, which clashed spectacularly with the sentiments of his time. Brilliant, outspoken, and brazenly handsome, Mütter was flamboyant in every aspect of his life. He wore pink silk suits to perform surgery, added an umlaut to his last name just because he could, and amassed an immense collection of medical oddities that would later form the basis of Philadelphia’s renowned Mütter Museum.
Award-winning writer Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz vividly chronicles how Mütter’s efforts helped establish Philadelphia as a global mecca for medical innovation—despite intense resistance from his numerous rivals. (Foremost among them: Charles D. Meigs, an influential obstetrician who loathed Mütter’s “overly modern” medical opinions.) In the narrative spirit of The Devil in the White City, Dr. Mütter’s Marvels interweaves an eye-opening portrait of nineteenth-century medicine with the riveting biography of a man once described as the “[P. T.] Barnum of the surgery room.”
All orders ship same or next business day with exception to oversized items. Those items will be identified in the description (Items such as large taxidermy, skulls or exceedingly heavy minerals).
If the subtotal of your order is over $98 the shipping is free (the discount is applied automatically to the cart at checkout)
If there is an issue with your order or something arrives damaged, we will refund or replace the item.
Oversized items are only available for pick-up or if you arrange the shipping yourself. This will be indicated in the item description. However, we do have a very reliable and affordable option for shipping. For more information, please click here. We can also work with a shipping provider of your choosing.
For more information surrounding shipping or shipping rates, please email us at Orders@PaxtonGate.com