Just a quick update on a few exciting developments. My new book The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth will be on sale very soon. It’s a collection of my favourite medical curiosities, including some of the hilarious, bizarre or otherwise notable stories featured on this blog – many of them revised and expanded, and with a number of illustrations reproduced … Read more
In December 1863 a New York physician, Samuel Ward Francis, sat down to write a letter to The Medical and Surgical Reporter. The medical achievements of Dr Francis – whatever they may have been – are forgotten today, but his work as an indefatigable amateur inventor lives on in the records of the US Patent Office. I’ve collected several … Read more
In 1833 the London Medical and Surgical Journal caused a bit of a stink with an article which was given the headline ‘Bad Effects of Smoking Tobacco’. Its controversial thesis was that smoking was, well, not very good for you:
The practice of smoking is now so general, that our atmosphere is strongly poisoned with of tobacco-smoke. The air is … Read more
This blog usually deals with medical matters; but I couldn’t resist reproducing this article from the first number of the American Medical and Philosophical Register, published in 1814, even though it was contributed to the non-medical section of the journal. An engineer called James Sharples – holder of a patent relating to steam engines – contributed an essay about … Read more
The Athenaeum tries a spot of prognostication in 1854:
If we may judge by our library table, homoeopathy is not in 1854 what it was in 1851. However frequently new delusions arise to occupy the human mind, there is a sure and inevitable law by which the old ones die.
Homoeopathy is evidently hastening towards that limbo of forgetfulness into … Read more