While The Knick is a work of fiction, it is based on exhaustive historical research. Below, the show’s writers share some of the true facts of the era that are depicted in this episode.
William Stewart Halsted, who visits The Knick in a flashback, was one of the great surgeons of the era, as well as a cocaine addict. (photo courtesy of the Burns Archive).
Dr. Osler was one of the founding fathers of Johns Hopkins Medical School, famous for his speech “Aequanimitas." (photo courtesy of the Burns Archive).
The "Thackery Point” where the appendix is located is actually “The McBurney Point,” named for a doctor at Bellevue.
The stabbing is a true story. When an undercover cop accused his girlfriend of prostitution, Arthur Harris took exception.
Cops didn’t just let the riot continue, they actively participated in it.
Horse thievery was so common that there were “chop shops” where stolen horses were dyed quickly before being returned to the streets.
Before anesthetic and ether, speed was the most important factor in performing amputations. (photo courtesy of the Burns Archive).
It really did rain that night, which finally quelled the riots. (photo courtesy of the Burns Archive).