28 Rare Medical Photos In History That Show How Doctors Treated Their Patients in the Past

History is filled with stories of strange medical practices, even hilarious ineptitude. Here’s a collection of creepy historical photos in the practice of medicine.

1. Masks worn by doctors during the Plague. The beaks held scented substances.

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2. Children in an iron lung before the advent of the polio vaccination. Many children lived for months in these machines, though not all survived. c. 1937

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3. Corset damage to a ribcage. 19th century London

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4. Dr. Kilmer’s Female Remedy

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5. Tanning babies at the Chicago Orphan Asylum, 1925, to offset winter rickets

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6. Woman with an artificial leg, c. 1890-1900

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7. Wooden prosthetic hand, c. 1800

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8. Early plastic surgery. Selection of some items used to disguise facial injuries.

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9. Blood transfusion bottle, England 1978

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10. Dr. Clark’s Spinal Apparatus advertisement, 1878

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11. Neurological exam with electrical device, c. 1884

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12. Antique prosthetic leg

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13. US Civil War surgeon’s kit

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14. “Walter Reed physiotherapy store” 1920’s

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15. Boy in rolling “invalid cart” c. 1915

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16. Obstetric phantom, Italy 1700-1800. Tool to teach medical students and midwives about childbirth

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17. Radioactive yummies

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18. Lewis Sayre’s scoliosis treatment

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19. Claude Becks early defibulator

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20. Antique birthing chair used until the 1800s

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21. Knives for surgery, China, 1801-1920.

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22. Anatomical Model. Doctors were not allowed to touch the women’s bodies, so they would point to describe pain locations

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23. Radiology nurse technician, WWI France 1918

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24. 1855-1860. One of first surgical procedures using ether as an anesthetic

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25. Rush Medical College lecture auditorium, 1900, Chicago

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26. Treatments for insanity

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27. Leonid Rogozov, the only surgeon on an Antarctic expedition, performing surgery on himself after suffering from appendicitis. April 30, 1961

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28. Edward Mordrake

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