The Poca River Postal Authority
Commemorative Issue

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Dr. Joseph Lister
and a visit to the Poca River

Joseph Lister was born in 1827 in Upton, Essex (England). . He graduated with a bachelor of medicine degree from University College, London, in 1852, and became a surgeon at the Glasgow (Scotland) Royal Infirmary in 1961.  Very shortly after that, he traveled to the United States to visit a cousin, Mr. Lester Lister, who lived in Grimms Landing-on-the-Poca. 

During this period, it seems that cousin Lester was hurt by the collapse of his rather shaky outhouse.  After Lester got cleaned up Dr. Lester discovered that in the collapse of the building a nail had lacerated Lesterís arm.  Dr. Lister, of course, prepared to close the nasty wound.  However, he was greatly surprised when Lester's sister, Hester, opened a jug of moonshine and poured it over the wound before the surgical procedure.  When Dr. Lister asked why she had done this, he was told that it was common knowledge thereabouts that whenever moonshine was poured over a wound there would be no "blood poisoning."

When Dr. Lister returned to the Royal Infirmary he began to look at the incidents of blood poisoning among the patients.  He found that as many as 50% of the amputations in the hospital resulted in fatal blood poisoning.  He began to look for something that had the properties of Poca River moonshine, and the closest he was able to come was carbolic acid.  He then began to put carbolic acid on the wounds of his patients, and discovered that fatalities dropped to less than 15%. 

In 1869 Lister was appointed to the chair of clinical surgery at Edinburgh (Scotland) University where he achieved world renown for his work in antisepsis, thanks to the knowledge he gained from the folklore of the Poca River.

The stamp was issued on December 8th, 2002 in a plate (8.5" x 11") of 25 stamps in the denomination of 5 PU.



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