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A Medical Miscellany for Genealogists

1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0788403750
ISBN-10: 0788403753
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Heritage Books Inc. (May 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0788403753
  • ISBN-13: 978-0788403750
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,747,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Mark Howells on January 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
The other night, my great aunt was talking about "St. Vitus' Dance" as a disease someone had once and I was forced to pull down my copy of Medical Miscellany for Genealogists to figure out what she was talking about. Turns out to be a nervous condition. It was then that I realized how much I depended on this splendid little volume being close to my research desk.
Family historians are constantly confronting antiquated, slang, foreign, or otherwise strange terms for diseases and causes of death. This book alphabetically lists old terms for diseases, cures, and practitioners.
Did you know that corn smut (a fungus found on corn) was used for stimulating contractions in childbirth? That "summer complaint" was infantile diarrhea or that "phossy jaw" was the result of over-exposure to phosphorus? Or that "Oil of Whelpes" (the ingredients are disgusting) was used to cure gun shot wounds or that "prairie women" was the term used for women brought to mental asylums suffering from depression caused by living too long on the isolated prairies of Kansas & Nebraska?
One of the most useful things about this book is the tremendous amount of cross referencing done between different terms for the same ailment. It is a terrific reference book.
Between the gruesome names for some of the diseases, the horrible cures, and the quackery of the practitioners, it's very clear that you did not want to get sick in the past.
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A Medical Miscellany for Genealogists
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