S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science




Fismer, Dr Friedrich Heinrich (medical sciences)

Born: 5 November 1847, Wuppertal, Western Cape, South Africa.
Died: 25 November 1928, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Friedrich (sometimes Frederick) Heinrich Fismer was the son of Wilhelm Fismer and his wife Friederike Charlotte, born Fitzenkotter. He studied medicine at the University of Basel, Switzerland, though he also received some training in Berlin, Prague, Vienna and Edinburgh. He served as a medical assistant during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, and for some time as a clinical assistant in the University Hospital and University Eye Hospital in Basel. The University of Basel awarded him the degree Doctor of Medicine (MD) in 1873. His thesis was entitled Die resultate der kaltwasserbehandlung bei der acuten croupoesen pneumonie (The results of the cold water treatment of acute croupous pneumonia; Leipzig, 1873, 59p), a subject on which he had already published a paper in the Deutsche archiv fuer clinische Medicin in 1872. After graduating he came to the Cape Colony, where he was licensed to practice on 27 June 1874.

By 1884 Fismer was practising at Paarl, where he was a member of the short-lived Paarl Medical Association. This association apparently ceased to exist when its members, including Fismer, decided to join the first South African Medical Association as a body in July 1884. By 1893 he resided in Cape Town, where he was still practising in 1915. During 1894-1895 he served as a member of the Leprosy Commission of the Cape of Good Hope. Around that time he published papers on "Penetrating wounds of the eye" (1893) and "A case of cysticercus in the eye" (1895) in the South African Medical Journal (2nd series). He was then a member of the Cape of Good Hope Branch of the British Medical Association, and of the (second) South African Medical Association.

Fismer was married to Magdalene Fischer, with whom he had seven sons and three daughters.


List of sources:
Cape of Good Hope Government Gazette, 9 January 1885, pp. 41-45: List of licensed medical practitioners in the Cape Colony.

Geni, at https://www.geni.com/people/Dr-Friedrich-Heinrich-Fismer-b1/6000000037414601991 as on 14 November 2016.

Medical and pharmacy register for the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope, 1893, 1907.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). http://www.national.archives.gov.za/naairs.htm Documents relating to Friedrich Heinrich Fismer / Dr Fismer.

National Union Catalogue, pre-1956 imprints. London: Mansell, 1968-1980.

Pietermaritzburg Archives Repository, Vol. NMC 34. [List of medical practitioners, dentists, and chemists and druggists in the Province of the Cape of Good Hope, as on 31 December 1915.]

South African medical directory for 1897. Cape Town: Cape Times, 1897.

South African Medical Journal [1st series], 15 July 1884, Vol. 1, p. 95: The South African Medical Association; [2nd series], December 1895, Vol. 3, p. 235: List of members, Cape of Good Hope Branch of the British Medical Association; January 1898, Vol. 5, pp. 240-242: South African Medical Association [list of members].


Compiled by: C. Plug


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