Austrian-born Brettauer was distinguished for his skillful surgical and diagnostic abilities in ophthalmology and for his role in the foundation of the Trieste Medical Society. He was given the sobriquet “The Messenger From Trieste” when he delivered the results of Carl Koller and Sigmund Freud's work on cocaine as a local anesthetic to the 1884 meeting of the German Ophthalmological Society in Heidelberg. Today, however, he is best remembered for his large collection of medicine-related coins and medals. The catalog that was produced to describe and illustrate this important collection in 1937 was reprinted in 1989 and remains one of the key texts for medical numismatics.
Brettauer. Arch Ophthalmol. 2011;129(1):29. doi:10.1001/archophthalmol.2010.325