Tag: medical history

History Medicine

Rheumatic Fever: An Ailment From a Bygone Era

Rheumatic fever is not a disease you hear much about in the 21st century.  It is a disease, however, that plays a minor role in my WW1 Trilogy as Hettie Bartlette’s father, Benjamin, suffers from the ailment. What is rheumatic fever?  It is a complication that can result from streptococcal infections such as strep throat.  It […]

History Medicine

Early 20th Century Dentistry: More Modern Than You Think

Dreading that next trip to the dentist?  You’re not alone. Patients a century ago, equally dreaded the visit, but thankfully, dentistry had modernized considerably by the early 20th century.  At least, you could reasonably expect pain medication and a speedy drill.  Let’s take a look at early 20th century dentistry. Dental schools got their start […]

History Journalism Medicine Victorian era Women's history

Blackwell’s Island Asylum: “What, excepting torture, would produce insanity quicker than this treatment?”

This post was written by a guest blogger.  If you would like to guest blog, please fill out this form. Elizabeth Cochran’s Heroic Actions to Expose Corruption at Blackwell’s Island Women’s Asylum By Paulette Mahurin The Blackwell’s Island Asylum was the first civic mental hospital in the city of New York. Starting in the early […]

History Medicine Victorian era

Victorian Poison Wallpaper: Death by Interior Design

We are slaves to fashion – both in our wardrooms and in our homes.  This also was the case during the Victorian era.  Homes in the Victorian era often were covered in wallpaper.  The Victorians loved wallpaper so much they covered every wall with it and sometimes the ceiling.  The wallpaper of choice was that […]

Edwardian era History United States Victorian era

Yes, There Really Was Cocaine in Coca-Cola

We don’t call the soft drink Coca-Cola “Coke” for nothing.  The original formula contained cocaine, but how much is debatable.  The beverage’s syrup was manufactured with the extract of coca leaves – the leaves contain cocaine – and the caffeine rich kola nut. The beverage was one of several coca drinks on the market in […]

Edwardian era History Medicine Victorian era

Tuberculosis: Necessitated the Opening of Sanatoriums

Tuberculosis, also known as consumption, was a common disease in the 19th century. So common, in fact, that sanatoriums were opened for treatment of the disease. These institutions exposed patients to fresh air and provided proper nutrition; however, for many patients it was where they died. Public campaigns were organized to stop spitting and encouraged people […]

History Medicine Victorian era

Cholera: The Mere Mention of the Word Caused Fear

Cholera. The mere mention of the word was enough to cause fear in 19th century communities. The disease struck suddenly and killed quickly. Its cause wasn’t identified until the 1850s. Symptoms Cholera is caused by a bacteria and, like typhoid, is spread by food or water contaminated with feces. Basic sanitation and water purification can […]

Edwardian era History Medicine Victorian era World War One

History of Burn Treatments: Making Patients as Comfortable as Possible

The need to threat burns in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was great. Women’s skirts would catch fire while cooking, or children’s clothing while playing too close to the fireplace or stove. An overturned kerosene or gas lamp would set a home or barn ablaze in minutes. During World War One, men also […]

Edwardian era History Medicine World War One

Treating Bone Fractures in the Early 20th Century

While a broken bone today can be a nuisance, in the early 20th century, it would be a serious, if not deadly, injury. People had known from ancient times to immobilize broken bones with a splint or a brace. Later, bone setters were used to move the bone into place before immobilization. The location of […]

Edwardian era History Medicine World War One

Surgery During World War One

During World War One, 19 million men were wounded, and an estimated 500,000 amputations were performed. As frightening as these numbers are, men who lived long enough to receive medical attention had a relatively high survival rate. This success was due in part to modern innovations such as antiseptics. Other medical tools included: Anesthesia Since […]

Edwardian era History Medicine World War One

Blood Transfusion Saved Lives During World War One

If war does have a silver lining, it’s the medical advances which come as a result. One of these advances is the blood transfusion. Blood transfusion was nothing new in 1914. Doctors had experimented with it since the 1600s. These early transfusions were from person to person, and sometimes didn’t work. Doctors weren’t sure why […]

Edwardian era History Medicine Victorian era

Diphtheria: Inspiration for a Race Held Annually Since 1925

In the early 20th century, diphtheria was among the top 10 causes of death. Death rates, however, were dropping. An antitoxin was developed in 1890 and began being used on patients the following year. It worked by neutralizing the toxins produced by the Corynebacterium diphtheriae bacterium. Sometimes the antitoxin, which was taken from horses, was […]

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