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University Archives

Johann Georg Heine

* 3. April 1771 in Lauterbach (Black forest)
† 7. September 1838 in Den Haag

Heine is regarded as the first orthopaedic technician ever. He originally worked as instrument maker in the black forest, when Carl Caspar von Siebold invited him to Würzburg and recommended him for an occupation at the Juliusspital. Shortly after, Heine opened his shop for bandages and surgical instruments in Würzburg. Through his crafting skills and his orthopaedic publications, he soon gained a great recognition as a medical professional that reached beyond the borders of Southern Germany.  With his appointment to a “Demonstrator of orthopaedic mechanics at the faculty of medicine” he became the first lecturer for orthopaedic technology in Würzburg.

Already in 1816, Heine opened his own orthopaedic sanatorium, as he felt the urge to treat patience himself. The institution soon fell under the patronage of Queen Caroline of Bavaria. 

The date of birth of Heine has not yet been entirely clarified. In modern research, especially two dates are mentioned, the 3. April 1771 and the 23. April 1770. Because of an entry to the parish register, the further thereby seems more likely.