The medical profession has advanced greatly over the past few centuries.
In the mid-19th century aggressive “heroic” medicine, in which the body was thought to be restored through bloodletting, blistering, and vomiting, was largely replaced by a more rational and scientific approach. However, these new discoveries also provided an opportunity for quackery to flourish alongside genuine advances. Some topics, especially those related to women’s health and sexuality, remained unmentionable well into the 20th century. This often resulted in misinformation and practices that caused more harm than good. Commonly found in historical collections are artifacts and documents that illustrate changes in the medical profession and highlight antiquated practices and beliefs that seem barbaric by today’s standard.