- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Carl Beck (1856-1911)

Born  1856
Died  1911

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German-American surgeon, born April 4, 1856, Neckargmünd, Germany; died June 9, 1911, Pelham Heights, New York.

Biography of Carl Beck (1856-1911)

Carl Beck: Carl Beck began his medical education at the University of Heidelberg. He then spent two semesters in Berlin before moving on to Jena, where he obtained his doctorate in 1879. Following graduation he practised medicine for some time in his native town.

In 1882 he moved to New York where he soon made himself a name as a surgeon and became a leading figure in the community of German physicians, the German Medical Society. He was a visitng surgeon to the German Poliklinik, The West Side German Dispensary, and the St. Marks Hospital, of which he was president for 25 years. He was also a consulting surgeon to the Hebrew Children’s Guardian Society and Orphan Asylum. For 20 years he was professor of surgery at the New York Post Graduate School.

Carl Beck distinguished himself in chest and abdominal surgery, particularly in the treatment of fractures, and he was the first to make a roentgenological presentation of gallstones. In 1895 he designed an aseptic operating room attire. In 1905 he formed a gastrostomy tube from the greater curvature of the stomach, known as Beck’s gastrostomy.

He was President of the Union of old German Students of America.

A man of many talents, Carl Beck also published a novel and two other non medical works.
At his premature death he left a wife and three children.

We thank Patrick Jucker-Kupper, Switzerland, for information submitted.


  • A Manual of the Modern Theory and Technique of Surgical Asepsis.
    Philadelphia : W. B. Saunders, 1895. 306 pages.
  • Fractures, with an appendix on the practical use of the Röntgen rays.
    Philadelphia, W. B. Saunders & Co. 1900. 335 pages.
  • Die Röntgenstrahlen im Dienste der Chirurgie. München, 1901.
  • Ueber deform geheilte Frakturen und ihre Behandlung.
    München : Lehmann, 1901.
    Offprint from Münchener medizinische Wochenschrift, no. 17, 1901.
  • The value of the Roentgen rays in the treatment of carcinoma. 1902. 13 pages.
  • Röntgen ray diagnosis and therapy.
    New York, D. Appleton; and London, 1904. 460 pages.
  • Principles of surgical pathology for the use of the student. Chicago, 1905.
  • Surgical diseases of the chest.
    Philadelphia, P. Blakiston’s Son & Co. 1907. 371 pages.
  • Röntgenuntersuchungen der Leber und der Galle. München, 1909.
  • Schwabenkonrad. A novel.
  • Amerikanische Streiflichter. Berlin, L. Simion. 1905
  • Feuchtfröhliches und Feuchtunfröhliches. Berlin, L. Simion. 1906. Biographical:
  • The New York Times, May 29,1897.
  • Isidor Fischer (1869-1943), publisher:
    Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Ärzte der letzten fünfzig Jahre.
    Berlin – Wien, Urban & Schwarzenberg, 1932.
  • Jeremy M. Norman, editor:
    Morton’s Medical Bibliography. An annotated Check-list of Texts Illustrating the History of Medicine (Garrison and Morton).
    Fifth edition. Scolar Press, 1991.

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