Samuel Stockhausen

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Samuel Stockhausen was a German physician in the mining town of Goslar. He studied the ancient miner's disease, called Hüttenkatze, among workers in the nearby mines of Rammelsberg in the Harz mountains. In 1656 he published a book, in Latin, attributing the disease to noxious fumes from litharge (a lead compound), Libellus de lithargyrii fumo noxio morbifico, ejusque metallico frequentiori morbo vulgò dicto die Hütten Katze oder Hütten Rauch (“Treatise on the Noxious Fumes of Litharge, Diseases caused by them and Miners’ Asthma”)[1][2] [3] Because of this he is considered by some to be the first occupational physician. [1] Unlike his near contemporary, Paracelsus, who also wrote about diseases of miners, Stockhausen recognized litharge-derived dust as the causative factor and recommended avoiding inhaling it.[4] This was the first time that the ancient syndrome, known to Romans as morbi metallici, was attributed specifically to chronic poisoning with lead.[1]

The work of Stockhausen influenced Eberhard Gockel to attribute the consumption of litharge in wine as causing a similar disease.[1][5]


  1. ^ a b c d Eisinger, J (1982-07). "Lead and wine. Eberhard Gockel and the colica Pictonum". Medical History. 26 (3): 279–302. doi:10.1017/s0025727300041508. ISSN 0025-7273. PMC 1139187Freely accessible. PMID 6750289.  Check date values in: |date= (help); see page 295 for Stockhausen
  2. ^ Risse, Guenter B. (2005). New Medical Challenges During the Scottish Enlightenment. Amsterdam: Rodopi. p. 386. ISBN 90-420-1814-3. Retrieved 2009-03-06.  discusses Stockhausen on page 207 in the context of a history of lead poisoning.
  3. ^ Rosen, George (1943). The history of miners' diseases, a medical and social interpretation (book preview). Schuman's. p. 490. Retrieved 2009-03-06.  discusses Stockhausen on page 10 in the context of a history of miner's disease.
  4. ^ Gochfeld, Michael (2005-02). "Chronologic history of occupational medicine". Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 47 (2): 96–114. doi:10.1097/01.jom.0000152917.03649.0e. ISSN 1076-2752. PMID 15706170.  Check date values in: |date= (help) Gochfeld, Michael. "Chronologic history of occupational medicine" (pdf). Retrieved 2009-03-03. [dead link] A PDF copy of the article.
  5. ^ "Vintage Direct - The Wine Disease". Retrieved 2009-02-28.