Unearthing the Health of Victorian London

What bones tell us about the lives and deaths of the dead. In 2011, AOC Archaeology completed an archaeological excavation at St John’s Primary School, Peel Grove, in Bethnal Green, London, ahead of the construction of a new nursery school. The site was a former burial ground privately run as a commercial business by pawnbroker[…]

Health, Hygiene, and the Rise of ‘Mother Gin’ in Georgian Britain

Investigating health and hygiene in 18th century Britain, against a backdrop of industrialization and the subsequent over-crowding in the cities. Medical knowledge was very basic during the this period. While there were gradual improvements in healthcare, for many people even minor diseases could prove fatal. Living Conditions The growth of cities and towns during the[…]

When Television Was a Medical Device

Retracing the history of media technologies in the practice of medicine. Reba Benschoter readied herself to speak before the crowd of luminaries from industry, academia, and government who had gathered to talk about the transformative potential of new media in medicine. Among those assembled at the New York Academy of Sciences that day in 1966[…]

David Livingstone and Victorian Medicine

Analyzing the evolving state of British health in the nineteenth century and how Livingstone’s perceptions of this health influenced his understanding of Africa and his writings. By Christopher Lawrence British Health in the 19th Century The practice and understanding of medicine profoundly changed during the years of Livingstone’s life (1813-1873). These changes grew out of[…]

Curandero: Peruvian Shamans and Nature’s Medicine Cabinet

In Peru, the challenge of providing health care to the country’s citizens has spurred interest in alternative medicines that draw on cultural traditions. By Jane Palmer Under the clear, moonlit sky of Friday, July 13, 2018, Elide Sanchez Rivera steps into her own star—a large, white symbol chalked into the dusty ground. With the sound[…]

Jonas Salk and the Eradication of Polio

Even before the 1952 and 1953 outbreaks, labs had been worked diligently to find a cure for Polio. By Dr. Atif KukaswadiaEpidemiologist Poliomyelitis is an infectious viral disease. It enters through the mouth and is usually spread by contaminated drinking water or food. The virus passes through the stomach and then replicates in the lining[…]

Caterina Sforza: Fearless Regent and Scientist of 15th-Century Italy

Sforza was an early scientist who experimented with chemistry and medicine. By Amy Lifson Caterina Sforza, the infamous fifteenth-century Italian regent of Forlì and Imola, was also an early scientist who experimented with chemistry and medicine. On the cover of Meredith K. Ray’s NEH-supported Daughters of Alchemy, a portrait of her, reproduced and seen above,[…]

Medicine in the Middle Ages

In this period, there was no tradition of scientific medicine, and observations went hand in hand with spiritual and religious influences. By Dr. Rachel HajarCardiologyHamad Medical Corporation Introduction Superstition is the poison of the mind Joseph Lewis “The glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome” ended when Rome fell to Germanic tribes[…]

Medical Treatments in Ancient Egypt

The ancient Egyptians experienced the same wide array of disease that people do in the present day. Introduction The ancient Egyptians experienced the same wide array of disease that people do in the present day, but unlike most people in the modern era, they attributed the experience to supernatural causes. The common cold, for example,[…]

A Brief History of the Pharmacy in the United States

Today’s status of the profession and those who practice it results from an evolution over thousands of years. Introduction The statement that “What is past is prologue” [1] appears on the base of Robert Aitken’s sculpture “The Future” outside the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. This is to remind us that we should study[…]

Interpreting “Physick”: The Familiar and Foreign Eighteenth-Century Body

Eighteenth-century medical practitioners faced menaces like cholera, dysentery, measles, mumps, rubella, smallpox, syphilis, typhus, typhoid, tuberculosis, and yellow fever. Introduction Aspirin. It’s inevitable. When asked what medicine they’d want most if they lived in the eighteenth century, the visitors will struggle in silence for few moments. Then, someone will offer, “Aspirin?” Sometimes it’s delivered with[…]

Terrestriality: A History of Exploration and Its Effects on Health

Is the human body innately terrestrial, unsuited to a prolonged time away from its earthly element? On December 1, 2006, just past 18:30 GMT, Michael D. Griffin, Administrator of NASA, took the podium at the Royal Society of London. A physicist and engineer, Griffin nevertheless chose, at this event, to consider the history of the[…]

The Canon of Avicenna: Rabies in Medieval Persian Literature

A discussion of Avicenna’s 11th-century points of view on rabies and compare them with modern medical knowledge. By Dr. Behnam Dalfardi, et.al.Department of Internal MedicineShiraz University of Medical Sciences Introduction Rabies is an acute, progressive, and fatal anthropozoonotic infection of the central nervous system caused by viruses from the genus Lyssavirus and the family Rhabdoviridae[…]

The Hidayat: ‘Kabus’ (Night-Mare) in Medieval Persian Medicine and Research

Among the first three manuscripts written in Persian, Akhawayni’s Hidayat al-muta’allemin fi al-tibb was the most significant work compiled in the 10th century. By Dr. Samad EJ Golzari, et.al.Tuberculosis and Lung Disease Research CenterTabriz University of Medical Sciences Abstract Among the first three manuscripts written in Persian, Akhawayni’s Hidayat al-muta’allemin fi al-tibb was the most significant work compiled in[…]

Flower Power: Alexander Hamilton’s Doctor and the Healing Power of Nature

Rebecca Rego Barry on Dr. David Hosack, the doctor who attended Alexander Hamilton to his duel (and death), and creator of one of the first botanical gardens in the United States, home to thousands of species which he used for his pioneering medical research. Hosack mostly rejected customary treatments like bloodletting and doses of mercury.[…]

Hearing, Sensing, Feeling Sound: On Music and Physiology in Victorian England, 1857-1894

Acoustical science fundamentally transformed the ways that Victorians conceptualized the relations between aesthetics and the body. This article focuses on new developments in the burgeoning field of acoustical science that emerged in the mid-to-late-nineteenth century. During this time, sound science began to flourish in England, particularly through lectures by Hermann von Helmholtz and John Tyndall[…]