The beginnings of preservation and sterilization techniques go back to ancient times, Aristotle recommending to Alexander the Great that his troops should boil the water before they drank it. The principles of sterilization were not adapted to surgery until the Nineteenth Century. In 1870 Lister’s antiseptic methods were used by Germany during the Franco-Prussian war, saving many Prussian soldiers’ lives. By 1878, Robert Koch was demonstrating the usefulness of steam for sterilizing surgical instruments and dressings. German surgeons were beginning to practice antiseptic surgery, which involved keeping wounds free from microorganisms by the use of sterilized instruments and materials.