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Portrait of Scottish obstetrician William Smellie

Portrait of Scottish obstetrician William Smellie

H419/0166

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

William Smellie. Portrait of the Scottish obstetrician William Smellie (1697-1763), who broke the closed circle of midwifes and established obstetrics as a branch of medicine. Smellie moved to London in 1739 to study obstetrics after working as a physician in Lanark in Scotland. In 1741 he began teaching midwifery and in 1752 published his Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Midwifery, which contained detailed descriptions of labour and childbirth. He gave his name to a special type of delivery forceps and to a method of breech delivery.

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