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27 Vintages Photos of Medical Treatments Throughout History

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 affected New York City, top medical minds were so convinced the flu arrived on waves of “bad air.”

Here are 27 photos showing how much medical treatments have changed throughout the years...

Chest X-Ray

Photo: JACQUES BOYER/ROGER VIOLLET/GETTY IMAGES

1881: This is what an ambulance looked like.
Wiener Ambulance

Photo: HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

And in 1911...
medicine 3

Photo: BUYENLARGE/GETTY IMAGES

Ambulance trains used to transport wounded soldiers during the First World War
IF

Photo: SSPL/GETTY IMAGES

The inside of an ambulance train medical office in 1900
medicine 5

Photo: BAIN NEWS SERVICE/LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

In 1939, anesthesia is inhaled during labor/childbirth
Painless Birth

Photo: LONDON EXPRESS/GETTY IMAGES

Oxygen masks were one-size-fits-all, 1939
IF

Photo: H. H. HARTMANN/ULLSTEIN BILD/GETTY IMAGES

The iron lung helped people who couldn’t breath on their own, 1938
Iron Lung

Photo: LONDON EXPRESS/GETTY IMAGES

So did the respiratory jacket, 1938
Respirator

Photo: LONDON EXPRESS/GETTY IMAGES

The inside of an oxygen tent, 1937
Oxygen Tent

Photo: LONDON EXPRESS/GETTY IMAGES

A medicated fog used to treat cold and flu symptoms, 1929
medicine 11

Photo: UNDERWOOD ARCHIVES/GETTY IMAGES

Patients inhaled powdered medicines to heal respiratory disease, 1930
Respiratory Disease

Photo: HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

A flu mask in 1919
Flu Mask

Photo: TOPICAL PRESS AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES

What an anesthesia machine looked like in 1913
R. Dubois anesthetizing machine . France, on 1913.

Photo: BOYER/ROGER VIOLLET/GETTY IMAGES

An early fitness test, 1932
IF

Photo: FELIX H. MAN/ULLSTEIN BILD/GETTY IMAGES

Sun lamp therapy for children, 1929
Germany, Berlin. Children using a light bath. Picture by Pacific & Atlantic 1929

Photo: ULLSTEIN BILD/GETTY IMAGES

And for adults, 1930
Happy Not SAD

Photo: GENERAL PHOTOGRAPHIC AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES

A hip massage machine, 1928
Massage machines The new 'hip massage machine' from the US (original caption) - photo: Kutschuk - 1928 - Published by: 'Berliner Morgenpost' 16.11.1928 Vintage property of ullstein bild

Photo: ULLSTEIN BILD/GETTY IMAGES

A conrtaption used to stretch people taller, 1931
medicine 19

Photo: PHOTOQUEST/GETTY IMAGES

Frostbite and rheumatism therapy, 1910
Alternative Medicine

Photo: W. G. PHILLIPS/PHILLIPS/GETTY IMAGES

Electric water baths for better blood circulation, 1938
medicine 21

Photo: HEDDA WALTHER/ULLSTEIN BILD/GETTY IMAGES

Red Cross workers stretching surgical dressings, 1915
medicine 22

Photo: J. R. SCHMIDT/PAUL THOMPSON/FPG/GETTY IMAGES

An X-ray machine that was safer to operate, 1929
medicine 23

Photo: UNDERWOOD ARCHIVES/GETTY IMAGES

Developing vaccines, 1917
medicine 24

Photo: HARRIS

The 1912 version of a hazmat suit
Plague Doctor

Photo: HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

A medical college’s dissection room, 1902
medicine 26

Photo: HENRY RITTER/LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

And the ultimate drama, medical theater, 1902
medicine-27

Photo: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

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