Johann Andreas Eisenbarth

Johann Andreas Eisenbarth, aged 54

Johann Andreas Eisenbarth (March 27, 1663 – November 11, 1727) was a German surgeon who was a native of Oberviechtach, Bavaria.

Eisenbarth was an oculist and barber-surgeon who specialized in treatment of cataracts, calculus surgery, and the treatment of bone fractures. His grandfather and father were also surgeons, and much of Eisenbarth's medical knowledge was learned from his brother-in-law. Although he was referred to as "Dr. Eisenbarth", he had no medical doctorate, nor was he officially appointed to the title. Despite this, he was considered a skilled surgeon, and was bestowed with privileges by members of German royalty.

Eisenbarth was a "travelling surgeon", and his journeys took him throughout most of Germany. He usually travelled with a large entourage of up to 120 persons. This group included entertainers, harlequins and musicians performing in a carnival-like atmosphere while Eisenbarth plied his trade. The spectacle drew large crowds, and the loud music and revelry helped drown out the cries of pain from his patients.

Eisenbarth designed his own medical instruments, including a cataract needle and a polypus hook. From his home in Magdeburg, the Zum goldenen Apfel, he manufactured and marketed his own medicine, selling his homemade remedies on a large-scale.

Around 1800, a song called "Ich bin der Doktor Eisenbarth" (My Name is Doctor Eisenbarth) became popular in Germany, and more recently, author Eike Pies published a book titled Ich bin der Doktor Eisenbarth. In his home town of Oberviechtach, there is the "Eisenbarth Fountain", commemorating his work. Also, a pharmacy in Oberviechtach sells a product called "Eisenbarth elixir", and a 1977 German postage stamp features his visage.

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