Biography of Francisco Salvá y Campillo (1751-1828)

Spanish scientist, born in Barcelona in 1751, and died in the same city in 1828. He/She was the son of Jerónimo Salvá Pontich, doctor of the Hospital de la Santa Cruz of Barcelona, and received his primary and secondary school, from 1757 to 1766, training on the Episcopal college of that city. He/She then studied three years of medicine at the University of Valencia, and then presented to grade tests in Huesca, where he/she obtained the degree of Bachelor in medicine in 1771. It got then that of doctor of the University of Toulouse and revalidated it also in Huesca. Back in Barcelona, he/she perfected his clinical preparation working alongside his father at the Hospital of the Holy Cross and it soon became one of the leading physicians of the city. In 1773 joined the Royal Academy Medico-practica and in 1786, at the Royal Academy of science and arts, institutions that served as the framework for his scientific activity over half a century.

When he/she studied at the University of Valencia, Salva used as text books of Andrés Piquer which, together with the Comentaria of Gerard van Swieten to the aphorisms of Hermann Boerhaave, they formed the initial basis of his medical training. It is not surprising that his work matures out after one of the main exponents of the antisistematica mentality in the final stage of the Spanish medicine of the enlightenment. Their differences regarding Piquer were very important, because Salva was a doctor rigorously a day, that dominated the knowledge and techniques of years of transit of the 18th century to the 19th century. Therefore, in his work disappeared the decisive weight to traditional medicine had had on the work of Piquer, to the point that, as we will see, explicitly rejected the Hippocratic method.

The direct influence of the «Alte Wiener Schule"in the youth work of Salva led him, firstly, to write a compendium in two volumes of the Commentaria of van Swieten, which did not print. His first publications were two books in defense of smallpox inoculation (1777), aimed at countering the attacks that against this preventative technique had directed Anton van Haen, another leading member of the Vienna school that saves not hid, on the other hand, his admiration.

Smallpox was an issue that continued to occupy to save during the following decades. He/She dedicated several works, notably a memory that awarded the Société Royale de médecine de Paris in 1790, and its author published eight years later, in the memoirs of the Royal Academy of Barcelona, with the title of "about earnings and damages of the purgative and ventilation of the smallpox". After the discovery of the smallpox vaccination by Edward Jenner, Salva was among the first Spanish doctors who agreed to the new procedure. It contributed decisively to its diffusion in Catalonia and was also one of the correspondents that the issue had Ignacio María Ruiz de Luzuriaga, which referred to "beef pus". On the contrary, Salva maintained a sceptical attitude towards the prepared killer of José Masdevall, who had achieved great celebrity to be applied in different epidemics. The volume which analysed their advantages and limitations (1790) is one of its best medical papers published during the final years of the century. Next to him are a memory about the scurvy and typhoid fever (1794), wrote on the occasion of one of the tenders announced by the Société Royale de médecine, and a study about the epidemics that had been noted in the Department for women of the Royal Hospice of Barcelona (1798).

From 1765, the Medico-practica Academy had requested on several occasions creation in Barcelona of a Professor of clinical. Thanks to the management of Salva, was achieved, finally, in 1797, the Foundation of a Real study of medical practice under the direction of the Academy. They were appointed professors own Salva and Vicente Mitjavila, and the first was to pronounce the inaugural lecture in 1801. His medical work mature picked her up mainly in the volumes devoted to exhibit their work in the actual study (1802-1818). They defended the clinical teaching perspective typical of the antisitematica mentality. Van Swieten and, still more, Boerhaave, were already, for the volley of these years, "traditional" authors. Interested in more immediate way other figures, including the most recent members of the «Alte Wiener Schule". He/She devoted a comprehensive presentation to the semiology of the pulse, based on his account with a "relox of seconds", in which cited again and again to Anton de Haen, whose interest by measuring the clinical reality fully shared. He/She also accepted criticism that Haen had made the doctrine esfigmologica Francisco Solano de Luque, because he/she judged that the Viennese was "most supported in reason and experience". Interested him also Maximilian Stoll therapeutic criteria and, above all, the pathological work of Johann Peter Frank, whose general orientation supported. It adopted an attitude similar to the of the latter before the nosotaxia "more botanical", whereas all classifications, with skepticism from the defended by François Boissier de Sauvages to the advocated by Philippe Pinel. In this context, he/she proposed a radical reform of medical terminology (1807), limited to the combination of radical Greeks, which did not have any impact, as well as other similar initiatives which at that time were taken in various European countries.

The work and thought of Giovanni Batista Morgagni also significantly influenced mature medical production of Salva, whose more solid basis were medical records with careful autopsy protocols. However, it did not fully incorporate new theoretical School of Paris clinicopathological assumptions, as they were formulated by Marie François Xavier Bichatand Jean Nicolas Corvisart, René Théophile Hyacinthe Laennec. On the other hand, it broke openly with the last stronghold of the traditional authority of the classics, without admitting that hipocraticas records were an adequate model for medical practice.

Leaving aside other aspects of the work of Salva as a physician, we will remember his opposition to the professional unification of college-educated doctors and surgeons from the new schools created by the reform of surgical education. In a book on the subject (1812), fiercely attacked the heads of this reform: "the College of surgery in Cádiz was a heritage for its main founder Perchet relatives. In Barcelona, for the of Virgili. The Madrid to the godchildren of Gimbernat , and while this ruled him only, cost the Treasury more than one million real without having enabled a surgeon for the nation".

Salva cultivated other scientific areas such as experimental physics. At the Academy of Sciences and arts of Barcelona he/she served as reviewer for the "direction" of electricity, between 1786 and 1803, and director between 1804 and 1824. Read, in this institution, various reports on electricity, such as those dedicated to exhibit their research on electric telegraphy. The first report on this topic, titled "on the electricity applied to telegraphy", is of 1795. It saves proposed, apparently independently to other authors, the use of a bottle of Leiden and a scheme of several drivers downloads. Described besides their experiences with a small Telegraph had built, consisting of seventeen pairs of wire thread coated with plain paper. Each of the pairs of wire was a letter of the alphabet. He/She said also the possibility of transmitting signals by the sea, covering the cables to waterproof them either using water as a conductor. In a later memoir, read in 1800, it dealt with issues concerning the galvanism, describing the experiences of Luigi Galvani, as well as the ideas of this author on animal electricity; Salva, in this report, explained his disagreement with Galvani, both of the galvanism interpretation given by Alessandro Volta, under the theory advocated by Alexander von Humboldt of the existence of a distinct from the electric galvanic fluid. In an addendum to this report, read the same year, developed the application of the galvanism to telegraphy, from the experiments had been carried out on the subject. The proposal of Salvá was based on using the contractions of the muscles of the frogs as signals. Finally, having knowledge of the invention of the electric battery by Volta, he/she studied the use of this as a generator of electric power for the transmission of signals, and unveiled his ideas on the subject, at the same Academy of Sciences and arts, in 1804. On this occasion, back away from arguing about the nature of the galvanism, "as nothing is my attempt to know the cause of shakes that gives the column [Volta battery]..." As an indicator of the Telegraph, Salva suggested using, in addition to the contractions of the muscles of the frog, the detachment of hydrogen in the negative electrode of the cell: "this diversity of signs [of electrodes] would save us half of drivers in the galvanic Telegraph". It should be noted that Salva Campillo was the first scientist who raised the application of the pile of Volta to telegraphy.

In addition to these works related to electricity and its applications to telegraphy, Salva made other inventions, such as an agramadora designed in collaboration with his friend Francisco Sanponts and rock and a "barco-pez" for underwater navigation, that wasn't a suggestive idea, although apparently performed some experiments to make breathable air inside, without giving the solution. Interested also the aerostatic and meteorology, areas in which conducted systematic observations for forty years and led to the construction of appropriate instruments (hygrometers and barometers).




The inoculation process, submitted to the Court of the sages for what they deem, Barcelona: F. Generos, 1777. Response to the first piece published against inoculation Antonio de Haen, Barcelona: B. Pla, 1777. Dissertation on explanation and use of a new machine for agramar cannabis and linens... (in collaboration with Francisco Sanponts Roca), Madrid: Imprenta Real, 1874. Response... to the paper titled: nature and usefulness of the Antimoniales..., Barcelona: e. Piferrer VDA, 1790. Analogy inter scorbutum et quasdam febres theoriae Musicae, Barcelona: M. Barceló, 1794. Exposition of the teaching of clinical medicine in the actual study by S. M. baxo the direction of the Royal Academy Medico-practica of Barcelona. Year MDCCCI, Barcelona: Her. M. Barceló, 1802. Second year of the actual study of medicine clinic of Barcelona, Barcelona: M. Texero, 1806. Thoughts on the arrangement of the teaching of the art of curing, Mallorca: A. Brusi, 1812. Third year medical of the Royal School of medicine practice in Barcelona, Barcelona: M. Texero, 1818.En the memoirs of the Royal Academy Medico-practica of the city of Barcelona, 1, 1798, published: "Topography of the Department intended for the women in the Royal Hospice of Barcelona, and observed it in 1787 and 1794 epidemics", pp. 408-450; and "about earnings and damage of the purgative and ventilation in the smallpox", pp. 552-656.


PALAU DULCET, a.: Handbook of Hispanic-American bookseller, vol. XVIII, Barcelona-Madrid: J. M. Viader, 1948-1977, pp. 432-433.hernandez MOREJON, a.: bibliographical history of medicine española, vol. VII, VDA de Jordán e children, 1842-1852, pp. 360-369.JANER, f.: I commend historic del Dr. D. Francisco Salva, Barcelona: J. Verdaguer, 1832.COMENGE, L-ESCRICHE, T-ROBERT B.: solemn public meeting... to honour the memory de el Dr. D. Francisco Salvá y Campillo, Barcelona: Suc. of F. Sánchez, 1901.iglesies FORT, j.: La Royal Academy of science and arts in the century XVIII, Barcelona: Royal Academy of Sciences and arts, 1964.CASAS, F-VILLATORO, a.: "The library of Francisco Salvá", in Actas del Congreso Nacional de Historia de la Medicina, Valencia, 1972, vol III, pp. 67-80.CARRERAS rock, M.: "Comments on the first, second and third course of the Royal School of medicine practice of Barcelona, given by Dr. Francisco Salvá Campillo", in work of the Chair of history of the medicine of Barcelona, 1972-1973, Barcelona: rocks, 1974, pp. 33-53.lopez PIÑERO, J. M.: "The mentality antisitematica in 18th-century Spanish medicine", in modern medicine and Spanish society (16th - 19th), Valencia: Chair and Institute for the history of medicine, 1976, pp. 191-214.