Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Detmold, William Ludwig

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DETMOLD, William Ludwig, surgeon, b. in Hanover, Germany, 27 Dec., 1808; d. in New York city, 26 Dec., 1894. His father was a physician. William received his medical degree from the University of Göttingen in 1830, and enlisted as surgeon in the royal Hanoverian grenadier-guard. He came to the United States on leave of absence in 1837, and sent his resignation from New York, he became professor of military surgery and hygiene at Columbia in 1862, and was made professor emeritus in 1866. Dr. Detmold introduced orthopedic surgery into the United States, and during the civil war acted as volunteer surgeon in Virginia. He introduced a knife and fork for one-handed men, which was put by Surgeon-General Barnes on the supply list, under the name of “Detmold's knife.” Among his numerous contributions to medical literature is “Opening an Abscess in the Brain,” in the “Journal of the Medical Sciences” for February, 1850. — His brother, Christian Edward, engineer, b. in Hanover, 2 Feb., 1810; d. in New York city, 2 July, 1887, was educated at the military academy in his native city, and came to New York in 1826, with the intention of entering the Brazilian army. But unfavorable accounts of the condition of that country induced him to remain here, and he became well known as an engineer. In 1827 he made many surveys in Charleston, S. C., and vicinity, and in 1828 made the drawings for the first locomotive built by the Messrs. Kemble in New York. In 1833-'4 he was in the employ of the U. S. war department, and superintended the laying of the foundations of Fort Sumter during the illness of the engineer in charge of the work. After making surveys for railroads in various parts of the country, he became interested in the manufacture of iron, and introduced several improvements, including the utilization of the waste gases from blast and other furnaces. In 1845-'52 he engaged in this manufacture in Maryland, and then built the New York “Crystal Palace.” He afterward became president of the New Jersey zinc company, built their works at Newark, and originated and successfully developed the manufacture of “spiegel” iron from the residue of the zinc ore. He then engaged in coal-mining, but failing health forced him to go to Europe, where he lived, most of the time in Paris, till his return to New York in 1885. He published a translation of the principal historical, political, and diplomatic writings of Machiavelli (4 vols., Boston, 1882).