- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Anton Weichselbaum

Born  1845
Died  1920

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Austrian pathologist and bacteriologist, born February 8, 1845, Schiltern near Langenlois, Nieder-Österreich; died October 23, 1920, Vienna.

Biography of Anton Weichselbaum

Anton Weichselbaum was the son of a barrelmaker. He attended the Gymnasium in Krems, Austria, from 1855 to 1863 and studied medicine at the Imperial Medical Surgical Military Hospital – k.k. Josefs-Akademie and the University of Vienna, receiving the M. D. in 1869. He subsequently – 1869-1871 - served as assistant to Karl Freiherr von Rokitansky’s (1804-1878) student, the pathological anatomist Josef Engel (1816-1899).

After serving in various positions as a military physician, in 1875 Weichselbaum became anatomical demonstrator at the First Imperial and Royal Military Hospital (k. k. Garnisonspital Nr. 1) in Vienna. In 1878 he received the venia legendi - Privatdozent - for pathological anatomy at the University of Vienna. In 1882 he was named chief demonstrator at the Rudolf Hospital (Rudolfsstiftung) in Vienna, and in 1885 he became associate professor of pathological histology and bacteriology. In 1893 Weichselbaum was appointed full professor of pathological anatomy and director of the Pathological-anatomical Institute of the University of Vienna, and in 1912 he became rector of the university. He retired in 1916.

Weichselbaum was among the first to recognize the importance of bacteriology for pathological anatomy. He was able to demonstrate the presence of the tubercle bacillus in the blood of persons who had died from miliary tuberculsosis. He introduced measures in health politics to fight tuberculsosis, and was the founder of the first Austrian health institute of lungs (Lungenheilstätte) in Alland. Weichselbaum was also extremely receptive to the newly developing science of serology. It was, in fact, while serving as assistant in Weichselbaum’s laboratory that Karl Landsteiner discovered interagglutination between serum and blood cells. He also did valuable research on diabetes, and contributed to the knowledge of disease of the cartilages and the joints, and spent a lot of energy fighting alcoholism.

Weichselbaum was wirklicher Mitglied der k. Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien and of the k. Leopoldinisch-Carolinischen Akademie deutscher Naturforscher, as well as the Herrenhaus.


  • Der gegenwärtige Stand der Bakteriologie und ihre beziehungen zur praktischen Medizin. Klinische Zeit- und Streitfragen, volume 1, 1; Vienna, 1887.
  • Grundriss der pathologischen Histologie.
    Leipzig-Wien, 1892. His most important work.
    English translation by William Richard Dawson (born 1864):
    The Elements of Pathological Histology : with special reference to practical methods / by Dr. Anton Weichselbaum. London : Longmans, Green, and Co., 1895. 456 pages.
  • Über Entstehung und Bekämpfung der Tuberkulose. 1896.
  • Parasitologie. Handbuch der Hygiene, volume 9; Jena, 1899.
  • Epidemiologie. Handbuch der Hygiene, volume 9; Jena, 1899.
  • Aetiologie der akuten Lungen- und Rippenfellentzündungen.
  • Aetiologie der akuten Meningitis cerebro-spinalis.
  • Aetiologie und pathologische Anatomie der Endocarditis.
  • Diplococcus pneumoniae.
    Handbuch der pathogenen Mikroorganismen, volume 3; Jena, 1903.
  • Meningokokken.
    Handbuch der pathogenen Mikroorganismen, volume 3; Jena, 1903.
  • Pneumokokkenimmunität.
    Handbuch der pathogenen Mikroorganismen, volume 4; Jena, 1904.
  • Immunität bei den durch den Micrococcus meningitidis cerebrospinalis (Diplococcus intracellularis meningitidis) verurscahten Erkrankungen.
    Handbuch der pathogenen Mikroorganismen, volume 4; Jena, 1904.
  • Über die Infektionswege der menschlichen Tuberkulose. 1907.
  • Über die Beziehungen zwischen Körperkonstitution und Krankheit. 1912.
  • J. Pagel, publisher:
    Biographisches Lexikon hervorragender Ärzte des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts.
    Urban & Schwarzenberg, Berlin and Vienna, 1901. P. 1824-1825.
  • Isidor Fischer, publisher:
    Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Ärzte der letzten fünfzig Jahre.
    Berlin – Wien, Urban & Schwarzenberg, 1932. Pp. 1653-1954.
  • H. Chiari:
    Anton Weichselbaum. In: Charles Coulston Gillispie, editor in chief: Dictionary of Scientific Biographies. Charles Scribner’s Sons. New York, 1970. Volume 14, pp 218-219.

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