Official Baby Care Guides by the Department of Hygiene, Kansas State Board of Health From the Early 20th Century

When it comes to childrearing advice, we’ve come a long way, baby. Modern parenting isn’t easy. Childcare books and blogs are filled with so much contradictory advice, it makes you want to throw your own tantrum. But there’s good news: You don’t live in centuries past, when baby advice wasn’t merely contradictory; it was alsoContinue reading “Official Baby Care Guides by the Department of Hygiene, Kansas State Board of Health From the Early 20th Century”

Faces From the Front: Incredible Before and After Photos Show World War I Soldiers’ Horrific Facial Injuries

These incredible before and after photographs show how British and French soldiers had to have their faces completely rebuilt having been maimed during World War One. The photos are part of a book, Faces from the Front, looking at the early development of plastic surgery. It highlights the work of young surgeon Harold Gillies, whoContinue reading “Faces From the Front: Incredible Before and After Photos Show World War I Soldiers’ Horrific Facial Injuries”

Magic Massage From Dr. Swift

Victorian era advertisement for a massage treatment to cure female “hysteria.” You don’t have to be Einstein to figure out exactly what the “doctor” is doing, and as shocking as it may seem to modern sensibilities, treatments such as this were considered perfectly acceptable in the 19th and early 20th century. The ad definitely appearsContinue reading “Magic Massage From Dr. Swift”

With Copper, Foil and Paint, a Little-Known American Sculptor Saved Scores of World War I Soldiers From a Faceless Future

Born in Philadelphia in 1878, Anna Coleman Ladd was a classically trained sculptress who in 1917 founded the American Red Cross Studio for Portrait Masks in Paris. Anna was inspired to offer her talent as an artist to help soldiers in France after reading an article about Francis Derwent Wood and his “Tin Noses Shop”Continue reading “With Copper, Foil and Paint, a Little-Known American Sculptor Saved Scores of World War I Soldiers From a Faceless Future”

20 Vintage Photos of Iron Lungs for Polio Victims From Between the 1930s and 1950s

In the early 20th century, polio was one of the most feared diseases in industrialized countries, paralysing hundreds of thousands of children every year. A highly infectious disease, polio attacks the nervous system and can lead to paralysis, disability and even death. The symptoms – pain and weakness, fatigue and muscle loss – can strikeContinue reading “20 Vintage Photos of Iron Lungs for Polio Victims From Between the 1930s and 1950s”

125 Reasons You Could End Up in a Lunatic Asylum in the 19th Century

Reasons for admission into the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in West Virginia from 1864 to 1889 included laziness, egotism, disappointed love, female disease, mental excitement, cold, snuff, greediness, imaginary female trouble, “gathering in the head,” exposure and quackery, jealousy, religion, asthma, masturbation, and bad habits. Spouses used lunacy laws to rid themselves of their partners andContinue reading “125 Reasons You Could End Up in a Lunatic Asylum in the 19th Century”

40 Amazing Photos of the 1918 Spanish Flu

Spanish flu, also known as the Great Influenza epidemic or the 1918 influenza pandemic, was an exceptionally deadly global influenza pandemic caused by the H1N1 influenza A virus. The earliest documented case was March 1918 in Kansas, United States, with further cases recorded in France, Germany and the United Kingdom in April. Two years later,Continue reading “40 Amazing Photos of the 1918 Spanish Flu”

Rare Vintage Photos Capture Student Life at the World’s First Medical College for Women From the Late 19th Century

The Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, founded in 1850 as the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania, was the first medical school in the world for women authorized to award them the M.D. It was established in Philadelphia by a group of progressive Quakers and a businessman who believed that women had a right to educationContinue reading “Rare Vintage Photos Capture Student Life at the World’s First Medical College for Women From the Late 19th Century”

Before and After Photo Comparisons of Lobotomy Patients

Today, the word “lobotomy” is rarely mentioned. If it is, it’s usually the butt of a joke. But in the 20th century, a lobotomy became a legitimate alternative treatment for serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia and severe depression. Physicians even used it to treat chronic or severe pain and backaches. There’s a surprising historyContinue reading “Before and After Photo Comparisons of Lobotomy Patients”

18 Harrowing Photographs of Heroin Addicts in New York in the 1960s

In February 1965, LIFE magazine published an extraordinary photo essay on two New York City heroin addicts, John and Karen. Photographed by Bill Eppridge, the pictures — and the accompanying article, reported and written by LIFE associate editor James Mills — were part of a two-part series on narcotics in the United States. A sensitive,Continue reading “18 Harrowing Photographs of Heroin Addicts in New York in the 1960s”