Joseph Toynbee


Pic : Water fountain at the top of Wimbledon Hill in memory of Joseph Toynbee
Joseph Toynbee
Born December 30, 1815
Died July 7, 1866
Nationality: United Kingdom
Fields otologist
Known for pathological and anatomical studies of the ear

Joseph Toynbee, born in 1815, was the son of a Lincoln farmer and one of fifteen children. He studied medicine in London and was well known for his works amongst the poor, championing issues of sanitation and public health. In 1855 he set up the first ENT unit in the United Kingdom at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington. The unit comprised three beds and was set up with the purpose of treating diseases of the ear, nose and throat.

A pioneer of many revolutions in ENT, including the artificial tympanic membrane as well as the modern otoscope. His contribution to the understanding and treatment of diseases of the ear cannot be overestimated.

A long time sufferer of tinnitus, Toynbee died after inhaling the vapours of hydrocyanic acid and chloroform in an attempt at a cure.