The Age of Discovery

Antonius Mathijssen

Antonius Mathijssen was a Dutch army officer invented Plaster of Paris bandages in 1851. 
Mathijssen was born November 4, 1805 to a village physician in Budel, a Dutch town on the Belgian border. He was educated at hospitals in Maastricht, Brussels and the army medical school in Utrecht.
He received his commission as medical officer 3rd class in the Royal Netherlands Army in 1828. 
While working at military hospital in Haarlem Mathijssen in 1851 first used plaster of Paris as a bandage.                                          

He discovered that a bandage soaked in water and plaster of Paris hardened within a few minutes and thus made a good fixation for broken bones. He published his findings in a Dutch medical magazine Repertorium in February 1852.

The technique he used is still in common use today, although we have different types of bandage made of different fibres with differing strengths, plaster of Paris is still the primary bandage used when there is a danger of swelling.

He retired from the army in 1868 as first medical officer first class (Lieutenant Colonel).
Mathijssen was said to have died June 15, 1878, aged 72, in Hamont.

Memorial monuments are located in both Budel and Hamont. The last Dutch army hospital in Utrecht was named after Dr Mathijssen until the army hospital merged with the navy hospital in the early 1990s.



Nospe' res avaientun Paris de pierre, nosfilsauront un Paris de pla" tre. Our fathers had a Paris made of stone; our sons will have a Paris made of plaster. 182






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