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Medical History

Ethical Medical Practices of the Past?

September 29, 2018

Medical Practice is just that - medical "practice." Physicians attend college to learn new techniques and procedures, but when its all said and done, they are still just practi...

The Curious Case of the Woman with Four Legs

November 27, 2017

Myrtle Corbin, was known as the Four-Legged Woman, however, technically, only one pair actually belonged to her. The other pair belonged to her dipygus twin sister. Born in Lin...

The Curious Story of the Blue-Skinned Family of Eastern...

November 23, 2017

For nearly 200 years, the Fugate family of Kentucky remained largely sealed off from society as they passed their blue skin from one generation to the next. The B...

In 1600s, People Believed That Sniffing Farts Would Cur...

November 11, 2017

In the 1600s, some doctors recommended their patients to save their fart in jars and sniff them to help treat exposure to the bubonic plague. The logic behind thi...

Vintage Photos Reveal the 19th Century’s Fascination wi...

October 29, 2017

In the 19th Century, posing with and taking photographs of dead loved ones was commonplace, allowing people to have a keepsake of their departed family members....

Assassin’s arsenal: The 17th Century “Cabinet Book” Con...

September 30, 2017

The book below appears voluminous, but anyone who thought it has too much text inside is wrong. The interior is crafted into 11 drawers in varying sizes, wi...

The 'Accidental' Discoveries of 8 of the World's Most R...

July 11, 2017

Chlorambucil - Antileukemia Drug Chlorambucil is an anti-leukemia drug first approved by the FDA in 1957. It's origin go all the way back to the use of mustard ga...

Castrati Singers: Boys Were Castrated To Keep Their Voi...

June 13, 2017

In the 17th and 18th century the church banned women singers from performing in church music or on stage. This led to the castration of boys as a way to keep the...

Did You Know: One Woman, In Her Lifetime, Gave Birth to...

June 11, 2017

Her name was Valentina Vassilyev and she was a Russian peasant who lived from 1707 to 1782 and gave birth to 69 children during her lifetime, comprising 16 pairs ...

When Self-Electrocution Was Used To Cure What Ails You

June 6, 2017

The hydro-electric belt first appeared at the World’s Fair in London in 1851. It was comprised of several batteries and electrodes and was used to “cure” everything ...

The Mysterious Case of Mirin Dajo, The Human Pin Cushio...

May 19, 2017

In the 1940s, Mirin Dajo was known for his stage performances, in which he’d stand barechested while his assistant take fencing foils, and one by one, run him thr...

Phineas Gage: The Man Who Survived An Iron Rod Which We...

May 14, 2017

Throughout medical history, there have been countless stories of amazing accounts of survival defying logical explanation. One such event, dubbed as the “American...

The Forgotten Story Of The Radium Girls, Whose Deaths S...

May 12, 2017

During the First World War, hundreds of young ladies labored by painting watch dials using luminous radium paint in clock factories. Literally "glowing in the dar...

Fearing a Smallpox Epidemic, Civil War Soldiers Tried t...

May 3, 2017

Although they fought on opposite sides, the Union and Confederate forces shared a common enemy: smallpox. At the battle of Chancellorsville, fought May of 1862, n...

The Tragic Story Behind The Invention Of Coca-Cola

April 28, 2017

Wendy Clark, Coca-Cola marketing executive, once wrote of the man who invented the famous beverage: Today's Coca-Cola brand message is indeed to “make the world happier,”...

The 19th-century Pandemic that Killed 12 million People

April 12, 2017

Between 1855 and 1959 – over 500 years after the Black Death of the medieval times – a new plague pandemic ravaged the globe, leaving on its wake some 12 million dea...

Psychological Experiments From The Past That Went Horri...

March 17, 2017

Psychology is perceived as a relatively young science. Since its outset, multiple experiments have already been conducted that guided us to have a better understa...

Footage of US Soldiers Before and After Using LSD, 1958...

March 5, 2017

As part of the U.S. Military Chemical and Biological Warfare Program, soldiers are given LSD while executing close-order drills. They try to duplicate their actio...

5 of the Most Painful Medical Treatments of the Middle ...

February 28, 2017

The Middle Ages was an era full of interesting history, profoundly rich art, revolutionizing philosophy, some epic heroes, and even a bit of magic. Nonetheless, i...

The Story of Henrietta Lacks and Her 'Immortal' Cells

February 23, 2017

Who was Henrietta Lacks? She was a tobacco farmer hailing from southern Virginia who acquired cervical cancer when she was 30 years old. Her doctor at Johns Hopkins t...

Neuroscience Experiments from the 19th Century: Capturi...

February 21, 2017

Guillaume-Benjamin-Amand Duchenne de Boulogne was curious to determine how the muscles in the human face generate facial expressions that he believed to be direct...

Anna Coleman Ladd Masks Worn by French Soldiers With Mu...

February 19, 2017

The First World War had caused the death of millions of adversaries and civilians alike, while countless soldiers agonized from injury and disfigurement. Worried ...

These Women Should Be Famous...

February 7, 2017

Scientists Pearl Kendrick and Grace Eldering created one of the world's first whooping cough vaccines in 1930s Grand Rapids. On their own time, with a lab and tiny budget, Kendrick and Elde...

The Three Female Med Students Who Destroyed Gender Norm...

February 6, 2017

The three magnificently dressed ladies were students at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, snapped at a Dean’s reception, in 1885. The three in the phot...

The Alleged HIV 'Patient Zero' Man Has Been Exonerated

January 27, 2017

Gaetan Dugas, singled out as the first infection vector for the virus in the United States, was a homosexual flight attendant. Recent science has renounced his unwant...

The Curious Case of the Woman Who Was 'Pregnant' for 60...

January 16, 2017

A 92 year-old woman named Huang Yijun, from southern China debatably holds the record for the longest pregnancy ever… unbelievably for 60 years! Technically, she...

The Crumbling Smallpox Hospital On Roosevelt Island

January 13, 2017

For more than 3,000 years, smallpox was an epidemic in all parts of the world, which had caused the death of more than 400,000 people a year in Europe alone. Prior to th...

The Woman Who Performed Caesarian Section On Herself (A...

January 11, 2017

On March of 2000, a pregnant woman named Ines Ramirez Perez, 40-years old and living alone in a rural area of southern Mexico, was in her one-room cabin when she...

Faces of War: Men With Broken Faces and The Tin Nose Sh...

January 4, 2017

Located inside the 3rd London General Hospital, its properly known as the "Masks for Facial Disfigurement Department" but wounded tommies humorously called it "Th...

Parturition Chairs: The Birthing Seats of the 18th Cent...

January 4, 2017

From time immemorial until the 1800s, several gave birth with the help of specially designed seats, known as the parturition chairs. These allowed women to either...

Ten Assorted Vintage Artificial Eyes from 1870 - 1920

January 4, 2017

In the 19th century, advances in complicated eye operations were discovered as more and more doctors specialize in eye disease. When anaesthesia was introduced in 1846...

11 Horrifying Dentistry Tools Used in the Past

January 2, 2017

Before the 18th century, the official denstistry profession, as well as the training, has not been practiced. In the past, as explained by the American Dental Association, pe...

History of Dentistry: From Barber-Surgeons to Dentists

December 5, 2016

Few people know that barbering (the simple practice of cutting hair on the scalp) and dentistry co-existed for many years. As far back as the Bronze Age (3500 BC) men...

The First Woman to Survive C-Section in 1337

November 27, 2016

Births by cesarean section are so common these days that it is easy to forget what they were like before the advent of modern medicine: desperate gambits to save a baby by sacr...

"Probable Causes of Insanity" Among The Inmates of the ...

November 10, 2016

The new asylum building was equipped to handle 100 patients. Seven men, chosen by the Senate, were to serve as a Board of Managers. They were tasked to hire the s...

Mary Edwards Walker: The Only Woman to Receive the Meda...

October 21, 2016

She was the only woman in her medical class in 1855. Her medical practice, however, floundered because no one trusted a female doctor then. So she volunteered in ...

The Story of Jane Todd Crawford – The First Survivor of...

October 3, 2016

The 45-year-old patient, Jane Todd Crawford, had been misdiagnosed as being pregnant with twins. But when her pregnancy became long overdue, Jane started to get...

Plastic Surgeon Experimented on Wounded WWII Soldiers a...

September 25, 2016

During WWII, thousands of British soldiers were discharged for injuries sustained in combat. Many received severe scars covering their entire face or extremities....

World's Oldest Example of Cancer Found in 1.7 million-y...

September 20, 2016

Up until now the oldest evidence of human cancer dated back to around 3,000 B.C. But this recent discovery in Johannesburg by British and South African scientists...

9 Famous People in History Killed By Medical Misconduct...

August 29, 2016

Doctors work with us when our body is at its weakest. Sometimes it's inevitable that a doctor’s intervention will kill, directly or indirectly, rather than cure. ...

Oddly Beautiful X-Rays Of Women Wearing Corsets In 1908

August 12, 2016

In 1908, Doctor O’Followell’s Le Corset (The Corset) explored and showcased through x-rays, the nasty things corsets can do on a woman's body. These make me wince. ...

28 Photos Show Us How 'Strange' Medical Practice of the...

August 3, 2016

Back in the 1800s, the human body was still largely a mystery. Modern medicine was just starting to take shape, but compared to what we know today, doctors at the...

10 Horrifying Medical Procedures from the Past

July 14, 2016

Blood Letting. People used to believe that the reason why you’re sick is because you’re full of humors. You will then be cut on the skin to allow blood to flow out of the bod...

27 Shocking Hygiene Practices From The Past. Whoa!

July 10, 2016

Human hygiene has come a really long way since the dark ages. And to show you exactly how far we’ve come, here are some examples of horrible hygiene practices from the pa...

15 Vintage Photos of People Getting X-Rays Over The Dec...

July 5, 2016

X-rays was first introduced about 120 years ago. It was still considered dangerous back then, but despite the danger, the judicious use of X-rays allowed great me...

The Faces War Have Altered

June 17, 2016

Given its crushing trench nature and use of large-caliber artillery, World War I saw some of the most devastating wounds suffered by soldiers in the history of warfare. Before the days of sophi...

The Medical Stuff Used in the Past Will Give You the Wi...

June 14, 2016

US Civil War Surgeon’s kit. Walter Reed Physiotherapy Store, 1920s Obstetric Phantom, Italy, 1700 - 1800. Tool to teach medical students and midwives about chil...

15 Old Medical Photos That Will Make You Glad You Weren...

May 11, 2016

Before modern medical science became widespread, the human body was a mystery. Back in the 1800s, people were pretty much clueless and medical practitioners were ...

This Footage Of A Shellshocked Soldier From World War I...

April 14, 2016

Following the end of World War I, the world were faced with yet another dilemma, something they'd never seen before — a bizarre condition that was once known as s...

27 Vintages Photos of Medical Treatments Throughout His...

April 1, 2016

Modern medicine is still quite young. The fetal ultrasound was only developed in 1959 and penicillin wasn’t discovered until 1928. And when the 1918 flu pandemic ...

This Is What You Had To Go Through To Wear Contact Lens...

February 18, 2016

The best way to appreciate today’s technology is to see what people had to do or go through in the past. Credit: British Pathé