Medicated chocolate? No thanks

This from the Medical Times and Gazette, published in 1869: From an interesting article on cacao and chocolate, by M. Marchand, in a recent volume of one of the great French Medical dictionaries now in course of publication, we learn that chocolate is much more largely used in France than in this country as an agreeable … Continue reading Medicated chocolate? No thanks

The child with Bonaparte in his eyes

At least twice a year one or other of the newspapers prints a story about one of those mysterious apparitions in which the likeness of Jesus is burnt on to a piece of toast, or can be seen (if you squint) in the seeds of a watermelon.  In 1828 the London Medical Gazette reported a strange Napoleonic … Continue reading The child with Bonaparte in his eyes

An exercise in futility

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 – … Continue reading An exercise in futility

Sand, to be taken twice daily

The Annals of Medicine for 1799 contains a letter from a Dr Guthrie, an Scottish physician then working in St Petersburg.  At the invitation of the journal’s editor, he related a series of interesting cases he had encountered in his practice there.  One of them came from a former housemaid, who had visited his study … Continue reading Sand, to be taken twice daily

Hard to stomach

In 1823 The Lancet’s regular summary of goings-on at the London hospitals contained this interesting report of an early public demonstration of the stomach pump.  The experiment documented here took place at Guy’s Hospital: Friday, Nov. 21. At half past one o’clock the operating theatre was crowded to excess, in consequence of its having been stated … Continue reading Hard to stomach

The bird and the bees

In August 1868 the British Association for the Advancement of Science held its annual meeting in Norwich.  One of the members invited to present a paper was Lydia Becker, an amateur astronomer and botanist; among her accomplishments she could count a gold medal from the Royal Horticultural Society and the respect of Charles Darwin, with … Continue reading The bird and the bees