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Literature & Scholarship

Don’t Try Pre-Modern Medicine at Home!

Yvette Hunt’s new translation of the Medicina Plinii is a welcome addition to the history of medicine, particularly for those who don’t have the linguistic training to read it in Latin.[1] I can imagine it finding a place in the unit on medicine in my Introduction to the History of Science. [2] While the text […]

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History

More Medical Recipes from Thomas Scattergood’s Diaries

Thomas Scattergood copied a number of recipes into one of his later diaries, one that dates from just after the turn of the 19th century. As he notes on one page, he took many of these recipes from “the Countess of Kent.” The “Countess of Kent” was Elizabeth Grey. Shortly after she died in 1561, […]

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History

Thomas Scattergood’s Medical Recipes

At the end of the 18th century Thomas Scattergood spoke out against what he considered the harsh treatment people suffering from mental illness and advocated for the “humane treatment” of patients in asylums. Scattergood was an influential local Quaker who traveled extensively in the states and in England. In the early 19th century, he suggested […]

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History

Relics from Medicine’s Sordid Past

Digging through another box of stuff today, I came across two great relics from earlier medicine and science. The first is a phrenology bust. It is probably a late 19th- or early 20th-century reproduction of the L. N. Fowler busts that were fairly common in the latter part of the 19th century. The Fowler brothers, […]

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History

Medical Notes from the 1940s

I found recently a small binder of medical notes that seem to have been recorded by a student or maybe an intern of some sort at Boston City Hospital in the mid-1940s. Neatly divided into sections—Drugs, Gyn/Obs, Psych, Neur, Ortho/Fract, and Skin—they occasionally include a date and the names of different physicians. The largest section […]