Medical advancements have come a long way over the past few centuries. It’s amazing to consider how much technology has developed and the wealth of knowledge doctors, scientists and researches have gained over time.
However, how often do we stop to think about exactly how much things have changed in the medical world?
It’s strange to contemplate medicinal strategies back in the 18th century, when the machines, remedies and treatments were no where near current availabilities.
One thing it for certain, humans have always maintained a thirst for knowledge, all throughout history. While some of their historical efforts may have been a bit…disconcerting…there was never a dull moment in the progression of the medical field.
As a result of this incessant desire to find new and innovative ways to treat illnesses, we are left with some incredibly strange, creepy and simply bizarre photos of medical history.
1. Masks worn by doctors during the Plague
The mask had glass openings for the eyes and a curved beak to be placed over the doctor’s nose. The beaks were filled with aromatic items to help keep away bad smells, which were initially thought to be the leading cause of the disease.
2. 18th Century birthing chair
Long before epidurals, delivery rooms and caring obstetricians were these frightening birthing chairs. When the time came, the pregnant woman would be propped up in the chair as the midwife would sit below her, ready to catch the baby as it made its way into existence. Talk about making an entrance!
3. Baby tanning beds
In 1925, babies at the Chicago Orphan Asylum received tanning treatment to offset winter rickets, a defect that caused calcification of the bones due to a vitamin D deficiency.
4. A victorian caged grave
Often times graves were enveloped by metal cages to prevent the dead from escaping their tomb…you know, in case they were vampires.
5. An antique Morphine set
First introduced to the general public in 1817 as an analgesic, and also as a treatment for opium and alcohol addiction, Morphine was later discovered to be more addictive than either alcohol or opium! Oh, and this was how the drug was administered. No thank you.
6. Machines used to treat polio
Children were placed in negative pressure ventilators, also known as iron lungs, to enable steady breathing. Respiratory failure was a common result of polio, which swept the country in the early 20s, leaving many children living in these machines for months.
7. Radiology nurse technician
A nurse techhnicianer during poses for a photograph in France during WWI. The odd uniform was worn as protection from harmful radiology.
8. TB treatments
While these children holding hands around a glowing light may be reminiscent of some sort of demonic seance, this peculiar image captures early attempts to treat diseases such as lupus and tuberculosis. The infected children would gather around sun lamps, allowing their skin to produce vitamin D which aided in fighting off these common bacterial infections.
9. Walter Reed physiotherapy store
While there is not much information provided about the image below, the machine’s inventor, Walter Reed, was a US Army physician, who is mostly known for his yellow fever research – maybe it has something to do with that?
10. Patients at a mental institution wrapped in wet sheets
In order to keep patients subdued, doctors would contain them in cool, wet blankets. The cold was thought to produce a calming effect while the wraps kept bodies restrained.
Somehow my next dreaded doctors appointment doesn’t seem so bad anymore…as long as they don’t plan on wearing frightening bird-like masks!
Entertain your friends and family with these freaky photos and be sure to SHARE the love and pass it on!