Bizarre Images Depict Medical Treatments Throughout History
The history of medicine is amazing. From the beginning of our existence, we look for ways to solve the suffering and illness of the human being. And many of the findings on the subject happened by chance, when researchers trying to treat one disease eventually resolved another, or simply bumped into healing by accident.
Many human trials were important in advancing medicine, but some of them were also controversial, such as experiments conducted during World War II, at a high cost to human lives. Not to mention bizarre practices to cure some illnesses or even feelings.
Some of the strangest treatments of ancient medicine would prove useful; While caution — warming a burning iron rod and then pressing it into a person's body — did not heal broken hearts when the rod was pressed against the patient's chest, the practice was a precursor to electrical surgical instruments.
And while doctors were wrong in prescribing arsenic (known as "the king of poisons") to treat syphilis and skin conditions, one form of the chemical has been used to treat acute promyelocytic leukemia.
It also took a long time for people to use medical technology safely. A French doctor named Dr. Maxime Menard had to have his finger amputated because he developed cancer due to frequent radiation exposure while operating an X-ray machine (and in an impressive juxtaposition to modern medicine, Menard smoked a cigarette while the finger was surgically removed) .
When Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovered X-ray in 1895, the New York Times was so skeptical that it referred to it as the "supposed discovery of how to photograph the invisible." Check out the gallery with more images from the medical field, recorded between 1900 and 1940.