Unpacking History One Discovery at a Time
I’m fascinated by medical practices during the 19th Century. When I’m reading newspapers I always spend time looking at the ads and the social pages. I once saw an article that proclaimed cocaine was the answer to just about every that ailed one. When you get a diary or journal or letter, that’s even better.
18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Tuesday, September 2, 1913: Papa was very sick today. He fainted this morning. I was scart quite a bit for I thought he was worse than what he really was.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Whew, what happened? I’d be “scart”, too.
What did the family do? Did they pull out a book that included information on home health care –perhaps the Compendium of Every Day Wants—to figure out how to treat him?
This is what the Compendium had to say:
This is caused by an interruption of the supply of blood to the brain. Lay the person down at once so that the head is lower than the body. Sprinkle the face with cold water and hold ammonia or smelling salts to the nose. If the person has any tight clothing, loosen such garments. Open the window…
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