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