Death from peas

In July 1842 the London Medical Gazette printed one of the most intriguing headlines in the history of the journal:

Death from peasThe story accompanying it was told by George Johnson, a physician’s assistant at King’s College Hospital in London. This is what he had to relate: 

peasJohn Lydbury, aged 60, labourer, was brought to the hospital on Monday, June 27th, when Read more

The fire-proof man

The fire-proof manIn 1828 The Lancet reported the antics of  a person they called ‘the fire-proof man’, a Cuban with extraordinary abilities:

The French medical journal, La Clinique, gives an account of the experiments of M. Martinez, the fire-proof man, as he is called, who is now one of the principal objects of attraction at Paris. M. Martinez is not, like the Read more

Scared to death?

Remarkable incidentThe invention of the guillotine in 1789 coincided with a dark era in French history.  The phase of the revolution known as the Terror saw tens of thousands executed by the device, which remained the French executioner’s weapon of choice until the twentieth century. The medical aspects of the guillotine provoked a number of journal articles, in particular discussing how … Read more

Killed by a cough

brain forcedIn 1734 James Jamieson, a surgeon from Thurso in the Scottish borders reported this case in the Medical Essays and Observations.  It began with a common-or-garden accident:

Some Slates falling from the Roof of a House four Storeys high, upon the Head of a Girl about thirteen Years of Age, broke and shattered her Cranium at the Place where Read more