Yankauer Ether Mask (From the Collection #11)

The Story The management of pain was, and still is, an essential part of medical practice. Until the 1840s, Western medicine relied on substances such as alcohol and opium to deaden the senses. The introduction of nitrous oxide (laughing gas), ether and chloroform by the mid-nineteenth century enabled surgeons to safely and effectively reduce pain … More Yankauer Ether Mask (From the Collection #11)

The Plague Doctor, Popular Culture, and COVID-19

At the time when doctors believed that miasmic fumes were responsible for the transfer illnesses, rather than germ theory, medical professionals developed elaborate outfits to protect against the believed noxious air. The bubonic plague ravaged across Europe and Asia through the 14th to 17th centuries, with the prevailing theory was that it was caused by the miasmic theory of “malignant air”. In reality, the bubonic plague was actually spread when infected fleas from small animals entered into the human system by a flea bite. “The Plague Doctor” uniform was quite useless in assisting to protect against the disease, which killed an estimated 200 million people worldwide. But in many ways, the protective uniform worn by these doctors seems similar to what current medical professionals wear when treating those with infectious diseases. … More The Plague Doctor, Popular Culture, and COVID-19