Dr. Fahrney’s Teething Syrup was one of the “miraculous” Victorian products that promised to cure everything from teething pain through the common cold to cholera and dysentery.
Advertised as medicine for babies, 👶 this concoction included alcohol, 🍸 morphine, 💉and chloroform😴.
I came across this gem on this episode of Sawbones: Opium.
The Egyptomania that took over Europe in the 19th century caused a few disturbing trends in society. One of them were so-called unwrapping parties, during which people would observe or even take part in unwrapping ancient mummies, stealing the valuables they could find, or even dissect what was left of the body for “souvenirs” or magic-like medicine. Such parties were supposedly happening in London.
While some scholars today question whether such parties really happened, we can be quite sure that at least one person – surgeon Thomas Pettigrew – was fond of such gatherings, turning them into bizarre shows.
Remember to check out Caitlin Doughty’s video on this topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVDo2tsJeXA
Doctor Thomas Dent Mütter was an exceptional surgeon 💉 who pioneered many techniques that helped burn victims and people with extreme deformities, labeled by others as lost causes and “monsters” (it was a medical term at the time! 😰).
Mütter himself suffered from several illnesses throughout his life, which made him very sympathetic to patients’ lot. He used to explain the procedures to patients and prepare them for surgeries both physically and mentally. He boasted to be one of the fasted surgeons in the U.S., an important feature in the pre-anesthesia times, and wrote a book on special techniques used during such surgeries. This didn’t prevent him from becoming the first surgeon to administer ether anesthesia in Philadelphia and adapt his methods over time according to the newest discoveries.
Mütter was also a colorful figure known for extravagant style and expression, something that Europeans loved about him and many Americans … not so much. Today he’s best known for an enormous collection of medical specimen and oddities you can visit in Philadelphia (I highly recommend it! 💀)
Check out this riveting biography for more outstanding stories from Mütter’s life: https://www.goodreads.com/…/20949450-dr-m-tter-s-marvels
Victorian mourning veils were popular accessories worn by grieving women. ⚰️ The veils could be as long as six feet and were traditionally made out of black crape, a scratchy fabric believed to be the most appropriate for mourning. 🖤
Unfortunately, some of the black dyes (like logwood dye) used in the production were quite poisonous, 🐍 causing a variety of ailments from light rashes to serious respiratory problems. Widows were especially affected by these dangers as the Victorian society expected them to wear crape veils for at least a year and a day during the so-called deep mourning stage.
You can check out an interesting article about Victorian mourning stages and mourning fashion here: https://www.racked.com/…/171…/19th-century-mourning-veil