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28 Photos Show Us How 'Strange' Medical Practice of the Past Used To Be

Medical History | 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 time were remarkably uninformed, which led to some very strange medical practices to say the least.

1) Masks worn by doctors during the Plague. The beaks held scented substances.
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2) Children in an iron lung before the advent of the polio vaccination. Many children lived for months in these machines, though not all survived. c. 1937
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3) Corset damage to a ribcage. 19th century London
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4) Dr. Kilmer’s Female Remedy
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5) Tanning babies at the Chicago Orphan Asylum, 1925, to offset winter rickets
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6) Woman with an artificial leg, c. 1890-1900
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7) Wooden prosthetic hand, c. 1800
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8) Early plastic surgery. Selection of some items used to disguise facial injuries.
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9) Blood transfusion bottle, England 1978
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10) Dr. Clark’s Spinal Apparatus advertisement, 1878
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11) Neurological exam with electrical device, c. 1884
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12) Antique prosthetic leg
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13) US Civil War surgeon’s kit
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14) “Walter Reed physiotherapy store” 1920’s
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15) Boy in rolling “invalid cart” c. 1915
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16) Obstetric phantom, Italy 1700-1800. Tool to teach medical students and midwives about childbirth
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17) Radioactive yummies
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18) Lewis Sayre’s scoliosis treatment
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19) Claude Becks early defibulator
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20) Antique birthing chair used until the 1800s
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21) Knives for surgery, China, 1801-1920.
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22) Anatomical Model. Doctors were not allowed to touch the women’s bodies, so they would point to describe pain locations
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23) Radiology nurse technician, WWI France 1918
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24) 1855-1860. One of first surgical procedures using ether as an anesthetic
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25) Rush Medical College lecture auditorium, 1900, Chicago
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26) Treatments for insanity
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27) Leonid Rogozov, the only surgeon on an Antarctic expedition, performing surgery on himself after suffering from appendicitis. April 30, 1961
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28) Edward Mordrake
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H/T ebaums

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