After these 15 photos you’ll be glad to have been born in the 21st century! No. 6 is terrifying.

With all these modern medical miracles, we easily forget that before - without all our medicine, equipment and modern techniques - life wasn't so rosy posy. Certain treatments were worse than the ailments they were meant to treat! These 15 photos illustrate perfectly the medical world of yonder days. Be happy you were born in this age!
1. Under this strange bucket with floppy ears hides a nurse. This particular suit from 1918 was designed to protect from x-rays.
2. Until the 19th century, surgery was performed without any anaesthesia. This young man from 1855 is lucky he was put out with ether before they started sawing off his leg.
3. These orphans from Chicago, during the legendary winter of 1925, are receiving a dose of artificial sun. At the time, it was one of the best treatments for rickets.
4. Physiotherapy, in 1920, was slightly different. These look more like ovens than anything else.
5. An advertisement from 1885 for toothache drops, containing cocaine. No wonder those kids look so happy…
6. This wheeled torture device dates back to 1878. It was used to treat scoliosis.
7. These living mummies are patients in a psychiatric ward. They are wrapped in humid blankets to keep them calm.

8. In 1890, heroin was all the rage as a cough syrup. A little extreme, wouldn’t you say?
9. This old box isn’t a radio with two spoonfuls of ice-cream, but an old defibrillator from the 40’s !

10. This weird looking human laboratory is actually an iron lung, designed for several people in 1950. Given that polio affected respiratory muscles, these machines were the only things keeping these kids alive. They could stay lugged in for years.
11. This peculiar looking glass houses charming contemporaries: leeches, the popular universal cure-all until the 19th century.
12. This poor lady suffers from scoliosis. This infernal contraption is meant to allow the doctor to “inspect” how twisted her back is.
13. This panacea from 1928, called “eternal sunshine”, consists of irradiated water. Assuredly delicious and healthy.
14. This chair, dating back to 1750, was designed for birthing. Apparently the back is adjustable, so that’s nice.
15. This old prosthesis from 1890 looks surprisingly futuristic, although it’s functionalities are very limited.


These 15 old photos really make one appreciate the advances of modern medicine. I’ll keep these in mind next time I go to the doctor’s.

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