Death masks have the ability to ease death-related anxieties because the people who have already crossed into the eternal unknown look as though they are blissfully slumbering.
Gladiator Blood: A Tonic of Life
The Romans believed that the blood of the young men slain violently in the gladiatorial games had the ability to cure diseases such as epilepsy.
The Putrefied Whale Cure
This since abandoned “cure” involved taking a long soak, but their experience was nothing like a trip to the spa. In fact, I imagine the whole ordeal was rather hot, foul-smelling, and gut-churning.
Chainsaw Babies and symphysiotomies
During the late 18th century, the chainsaw was utilized by doctors during complicated childbirths.
Deadly Nightshade and Doe-Eyed Beauties
Victorian ladies found themselves using eye drops containing a rather poisonous ingredient.
The Infamous Dead Body Roadside Attraction
An unidentified man was found dead in a ditch in Sabina, Ohio in the early 1900s. His body would go on to be embalmed and laid out on public display for 40 years in the hopes of uncovering his true identity.
A Crimson Gift: The Rise of Blood Transfusions
After the guns ceased and the dust settled, one of the only triumphs that remained was the expansion of the medical field’s abity to treat the sick and wounded. The knowledge hat was gained in those years of hardship would continue to influence how people are treated today.
The Unlucky Pustule: Small Pox Inoculations and Syphillis
Despite some unexpected side-effects, the overall success of vaccinations throught the war led to more widespread acceptance of inoculation by the general public in the following years.
The Red Market: Illegal Organ Trafficking
Although science has reached far beyond the capabilities of our wildest imaginations, it is still not yet possible for laboratories to perfectly replicate the intricate inner workings of our bodies, forcing us to rely on human donors for the gift of life.
Goat Testicles for Virility: John R. Brinkley
Between 1917 and the mid-1930s, John Brinkley made a fortune on his “revolutionary” surgical procedure which involved placing goat testicles into men’s scrotums to cure infertility and improve virility. What a BAAAHHH-d idea
Surgery Without Anesthesia: Babies Can’t Feel Pain?
Prior to the 1980s, many medical professionals believed that babies could not feel pain, therefore, medical procedures performed on infants took place without the use of anesthesia.
Images from the Dissection Room
At first glance, these images from a bygone time are gruesome and jarring. Dismantled corpses with a thousand-yard stare looking past the camera while groups of men and women gathered around with tools in their hands, pipes in their mouths, and open anatomy books.
Performing a Cesarean Section on His Own Wife: Dr. Jesse Bennett
Historically, most c-sections were performed for one main purpose, to save the baby. Mothers were expected to die from shock or complications resulting from infection.
Excavating Bladder Stones with Knitting Needles
The Lithotomy was described as far back as the 1st century A.D. by Greek physicians. The procedure only required three main tools, the knife, a hook, and a pair of forceps.
Spectacles of the Real: Public Morgues
Morgues or mortuaries are used today as storage sites for our corpses, keeping them as fresh as possible until disposal. Less commonly known though is the origins behind the word. The word comes from the French word, morguer, which means “to stare”.
Judging a Book by its Cover: Anthropodermic Bibliopegy
Quite a few medical books exist that are bound in human skin. This makes sense since doctors would have had regular access to skin from deceased patients.
Killer Wallpaper: A Green to Die For
The Victorians did not shy away from bright colors and patterns in their homes, and they were certainly unaware that some of those home design choices could cost them their lives.
The Virginia Quickstep: Diarrhea and Dysentery in the Civil War
Records are imperfect, and most Confederate records destroyed, it is estimated that 44,500 Union soldiers died of either diarrhea or dysentery.
Dead Except to Pain: Phantom Limb Phenomenon
An estimated 60,000+ amputations occurred over the course of the Civil War, leaving men maimed and forever physically altered. Due to the high levels of amputations that took place in field hospitals across the country, it was during this time that medical professionals began really documenting instances of phantom limb.
The Devil with a Cyanide Syringe
Petiot was arrested in 1944 and admitted to killing at least 60 people.