If the Shoe Fits: Why X-Rays were in Shoe Stores for Decades

The x-ray was discovered rather unexpectedly in a lab in Bovaria. In 1895, scientist Wilhelm Röntgen was conducting an experiment to see if cathode rays had the ability to pass through glass. He was mesmerized by the green light that was emitted and noticed that the beam could pass through most solid objects, all except…Read more »

Science and Quackery: Why Uroscopy was a Popular Diagnostic Tool in the Medieval World

Uroscopy was one of the most popular diagnostic practices of the medieval world and many early civilizations observed that characteristics of urine changed in relation to the well-being of the body (Armstrong). The academic literate world believed that close examination of urine could provide clues regarding disease and other bodily ailments. The word uroscopy comes…Read more »

A Stigmatized Disease: How Interpretation Impacted Leprosy Patients in the Medieval World

Leprosy in Medieval Europe was a heavy burden to bear for those suffering from the disease. Even though scientists have a better understanding of what causes leprosy, it is still stigmatized in areas of the world today. In Medieval Europe, the official cause for Leprosy was unknown, partially due to the fact that microscopes would…Read more »

The Miasma Theory

Throughout history, many people believed that bad smells were directly linked to instances of illness and death. Cities were often overcrowded places with low sanitation standards, therefore, diseases could spread throughout these city centers fairly quickly. People began correlating the bad odors of the city with disease (Parker 121). By the 18th century, the discovery…Read more »

Killing Rabbits

It is not surprising to learn that a wide variety of tests were developed throughout history in order to check if a woman was pregnant or not. Most tests were incredibly inaccurate, such as the Egyptian method of pouring a suspected woman’s urine on bags of wheat and barley. If the plant grew from the…Read more »

Cataracts: “You’re Doing What To My Eye!?”

(Photo Credit: Crucial Interventions) According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, roughly 24.4 million Americans aged 40 or older have cataracts (American Academy of Ophthalmology). Cataracts are typically defined as a condition in which the lens of the eye becomes clouded; thus reducing the person’s vision. Some common factors that are known to cause the loss…Read more »

Syphilis: “A Night With Venus, and a Lifetime with Mercury”

( Photo credit: Dreadful Diseases and Terrible Treatments) What is Syphilis: Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection that can be spread through unprotected sexual contact as well as from mothers to their unborn babies. It wasn’t until 1905 that scientists discovered that the microorganism to blame was Treponema pallidum. There are multiple theories regarding the origins…Read more »