Medicine: Foil for Burns

Steam from an exploding locomotive had scalded Fireman Frank Mihlan of the Erie Railroad. When he was carried into Cleveland's Charity Hospital on July 15, doctors thought that he had little chance of living: 70% of his body was burned. Erie Surgeons decided to try something new. They wrapped the patient in bandages made from paper-thin strips of aluminum foil, developed by Toronto's Dr. Alfred W. Farmer. It was the first time aluminum foil for burns had been used in the U.S., the first time it had ever been used for burns of the whole body.

Relief from pain was "miraculous"; within...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!