The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth and Other Curiosities from the History of Medicine

Author: Thomas Morris

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 0593080343

Category: Medical

Page: 400

View: 8715


"Delightfully horrifying."--Popular Science One of Mental Floss's Best Books of 2018 One of Science Friday's Best Science Books of 2018 · A mysterious epidemic of dental explosions... · A teenage boy who got his wick stuck in a candlestick... · A remarkable woman who, like a human fountain, spurted urine from virtually every orifice... These are just a few of the anecdotal gems that have until now lain undiscovered in medical journals for centuries. This fascinating collection of historical curiosities explores some of the strangest cases that have perplexed doctors across the world. From seventeenth-century Holland to Tsarist Russia, from rural Canada to a whaler in the Pacific, many are monuments to human stupidity – such as the sailor who swallowed dozens of penknives to amuse his shipmates, or the chemistry student who in 1850 arrived at a hospital in New York with his penis trapped inside a bottle, having unwisely decided to relieve himself into a vessel containing highly reactive potassium. Others demonstrate exceptional surgical ingenuity long before the advent of anaesthesia – such as a daring nineteenth-century operation to remove a metal fragment from beneath a conscious patient’s heart. We also hear of the weird, often hilarious remedies employed by physicians of yore – from crow’s vomit to port-wine enemas – the hazards of such everyday objects as cucumbers and false teeth, and miraculous recovery from apparently terminal injuries. Blending fascinating history with lacerating wit, The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth will take you on a tour of some of the funniest, strangest and most wince-inducing corners of medical history.

The Electric Corset and Other Victorian Miracles

Author: Jeremy Agnew

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 1476645264

Category: Medical

Page: 287

View: 2916


Through the Victorian and Edwardian eras, various health movements emerged in the transition to the modern age of scientific medicine. Strange medical devices and quack cures were pushed, often using crude remedies based on simplistic beliefs and the placebo effect. Currently, some of these treatments appear absurd, even cruel. Because some were properly used as appropriate therapies, it is difficult to label them altogether as bogus. This book takes a thorough look at unconventional medical gadgets, as well as the strange devices and therapies used by both fringe and legitimate healers, and places them in the perspective of modern medicine. The author argues that quackery should not be defined by the ineffectiveness of a therapy, but rather be based on the fraudulent intent of the people who pushed dishonest and deceptive remedies.