Friday, June 23, 2017

Hepatitis Treatments

Below is a brief outline over the 19th century for the treatment of Hepatitis. As I was preparing this list I couldn't help but thank the Lord that I was born in this time period than back in that one. If your characters develop this disease, I sure do pity them.

In the American Journal of Medical Sciences Vol. 8 ©1830 the treatment for hepatitis was the use of leeches and bleeding.

I found a reference in the Medical Examiner ©1839 that mentions the use of the "blue pill" but also the use of the leeches.

Leeches and Bleeding is still standard course of treatment in 1845 cited in the Half-yearly abstract of the medical sciences. It also states a light diet is in order.

In 1871 Beeton's Medical Dictionary it states that blood letting is not recommended now except in severe cases. It mentions the most common treatment is to try to an support the system during the course of the disease. It also mentions the possibility of using Mercury.

In 1885 A Revised and Enlarged Edition of Clark's new system of electrical medication we find the use of electricity as the practice of apply the current to 'as much as the patient can bear' for 20 minutes once or twice a day.

In 1899 The Practitioner's manual, by Charles Allen acknowledges that the treatment is symptomatic, in other words it only treats the symptoms not the cause of the disease.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Red Lip Salve

Not to be confused with lipgloss or lipstick as we know it now. This salve was to prevent and treat the chapping of lips. This tidbit came out of the "New Receipts for Cooking" by Miss Leslie ©1854 Alkanet is a plant that is the source of a red dye. The second clip immediately follows the first with a recipe for cold cream. Lipstick as we know of it was first used in the 1890's.

RED LIP SALVE.—Mix together equal portions of the best suet and the best lard. There must be no salt about them. Boil slowly, and skim and stir the mixture. Then add a small thin bag of alkanet chips; and when it has coloured the mixture of a fine deep red, take it out. While cooling, stir in, very hard, sufficient rose or orange-flower water to give it a fine perfume. A few drops of oil of rhodium will impart to it a very agreeable rose-scent.

Cold cream for excoriated nostrils, chafed upper lips, or chapped hands may be made nearly as above, but with one-third suet, and two-thirds lard, and no alkanet. When it has boiled thoroughly, remove it from the fire, and stir in, gradually, a large portion of rose-water, or a little oil of rhodium, beating very hard. Put it into small gallicups, with close covers.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

1871 Singer Sewing Machine Advertisement

Hi all,

I thought I'd add to today's post with another advertisement for the sewing machine most of us think of when thinking back on the 19th century. The reason to add this post is to show while the other machine (Today's earlier post) was around so was Singer's.

1871 Sewing Machine

Today I thought I'd share an ad I found in a Charleston Newspaper from 1871. The shape of the machine is what struck me as so different.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

James Bogardus Cast-iron Building

To give you an idea of who this man was and what he accomplished I'm sharing his obit with you.

1874. April 13. James Bogardus, an eminent American inventor, died, aged seventy-four years. He was bora in Catskill, N. Y., March 14, 1800. He began his career at the age of fourteen, in working upon watches. Several inventions marked his efforts in this direction, and obtained favorable notice at exhibitions. The " ring-spinner," in spinning cotton, was his first great invention, mi. Telegraph made in 1S28. A machine from Great usecj in making bank note plates, the first dry gas states. meter, the first rotary fluid meter, a celebrated medallion engraving machine, an engine turning machine, a glass pressing machine, besides other important changes in other machines, were the subject of his inventions. The manufacture of wrought iron beams was suggested by him, and the first complete iron building in the world was erected by him. He was skilled in scientific lines, and some of his Suggestions have been of great value in those directions. His life was full of practical results.

Here's a link with a picture and some history on cast-iron buildings. James built the first one in 1847. Many of the buildings used facades and other used the cast-iron for support beams.

Here is a link to the building built in 1848. Cast-iron Building

In 1856 he wrote a book titled "Cast iron buildings: their construction and advantages." Unfortunately this book is not available for a free download. But much has been written on James Bogardus.

And here is a link to the World Catalogue with the search for the book. Perhaps a location near you has a copy.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Mustard Plaster

We've all heard about them and perhaps some of you have used one but I think for most of us today this is definitely a thing of the past. Below you'll find the recipe for a Mustard Plaster from "New Receipts for Cooking" by Miss Leslie ©1854.

MUSTARD PLASTERS.—Mustard plasters are frequently very efficacious in rheumatic or other pains occasioned by cold. It is best to make them entirely of mustard and vinegar without any mixture of flour. They should be spread between two pieces of thin muslin, and bound on the part affected. As soon as the irritation or burning becomes uncomfortable, take off the plaster. They should never remain on longer than twenty minutes ; as by that time the beneficial effect will be produced, if at all. When a mustard plaster has been taken off, wash the part tenderly with a sponge and warm water. If the irritation on the skin continues troublesome, apply successive poultices of grated bread-crumbs wetted with lead water.

A mustard plaster behind the ear will often remove a toothache, earache, or a rheumatic pain in the head. Applied to the wrists they will frequently check an ague-fit, if put on as soon as the first symptoms of chill evince themselves.

Definition of ague-fit
An obsolete term for a chill following a fever, which is said to be typical of malaria. This term is not used to working medical parlance, though it continues to be used by laypersons.
Source: Medical Free Dictionary,

Friday, June 16, 2017

Hair Shampoo

Today we have an incredible amount of hair care products. In the 19th century they seemed to have equally as many. Below is a list of the various types of hair care products concluded with a recipe for shampoo.

Hair dye
Luster Oil
Hair Oil or Dressing (perfumes)
Hair Tonic
Restorative products
Handoline--for the hair--as used in India
Hair Curling Liquid
Hair Bleach
Depilatory (Hair Removal)
Dandruff products

BOB HEATER'S SHAMPOO—Hair Tonio—Very Strong.
—First put oil of sweet almonds, 4 ozs., into alcohol, 1 pt., and put in oil of bergamot, 2 drs., or 1 dr., with oil citronella, 1 dr., when it can be had; then add aqua ammonia, 4 ozs.; rye whiskey 8 ozs.; gum camphor, % oz.; mix. Shake before applying, and rub in thoroughly. .
Remarks.—" Bob" Heater, a barber of Dresden, Ohio, where I married, and afterwards lived 14 yrs., obtained the first part of this receipt from a Mr. Squires, and put to it what we call the addenda or added portion, which makes it a strong and efficient tonic, to be used in cases where there is much falling out of the hair, or if considerable dandruff is present. He used it upon my own hair during the winter of '74, which myself, wife, and son spent in the " old home." It eradicated the dandruff and stopped the falling hair, and I still have an excellent head of hair at nearly 68 years of age, while at that time I thought it was all going. He had equal success with some others in a similar condition.
Source: Dr. Chase's Third, last, and complete receipt book and household physician©1888 pg 633-634

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Millefleurs Perfume

In the New Receipts for Cooking by Miss Leslie ©1854 you'll find lots of recipes for general food cooking. However in the middle chapters of the book are recipes for Perfumes, Remedies, Laundry-work, Needle work, etc. One of the perfume recipes for hair is listed below: Millefleurs literally means a thousand flowers.

MILLEFLEURS PERFUME.—Mix together an ounce of oil of lavender; an ounce of essence of lemon; an ounce and a quarter of oil of ambergris; and half an ounce of oil of carraway. Add half a pint of alcohol, or spirits of wine, which should be of the inodorous sort. Shake all well together. Let it stand a week, closelycorked, in a large bottle. You may then divide it in small bottles.
By mixing this perfume with equal quantities of olive oil, and oil of sweet almonds, instead of alcohol, you will have what is called millefleurs antique oil, which is used to improve the hair of young persons.

This began a search for me about the various hair treatments of the 19th century on Monday I'll continue to share what I've learned so far.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

100 Hundred Dollar Note

When the first $100 bill was issued it was actually called a Note. In 1862 the first U.S. $100 note was issued. In 1863 you could purchase $100 gold certificates. In 1869 Abraham Lincoln was represented on the note.

These bills were larger than our current currency. They were approximately 7.4"x3.1"

You can find some good information about the $100 note at The paper money experts and some pictures of the bill.

At Wikipedia you can find nearly the same outline however they have an image of the Lincoln note.

Another source with some great images of the Hundred Dollar bill can be found at Matter of Life

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

1877 Railroad Strike

For a good overview of the strike, I recommend starting with Wikipedia.

Another source would be History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850: 1877-1896 by James Ford Rhodes.

The strike was fueled by several things, one the decrease of the wages being paid to the employees and the 1873 depression. It probably became as violent as it was because of Taft and how he won the election. But all of that is speculating, which our characters might do in conversation. If you choose to use the strike in your novel be sure of the dates and the time it entered your area.

Monday, June 12, 2017

1873 Depression

I don't know about you but when I hear the word Depression, I think of the Great depression of the 1929. But the 19th century wasn't without it own share of economic depression. A while back I wrote a post about the Panic of 1873

In google books I came across a periodical called "Commercial and Financial Chronicle, Vol. 17" There is an article written there about the two possible causes for the panic. Click Here to read the prevailing thoughts of the day regarding the cause of the 1873 Panic and Depression.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Sprained Ankle Part 2

Below is an excerpt from "Transaction" Volumes 28-29 by the Texas Medical Association ©1896 I share this tidbit not only for the medical information of the time but also for the 6 case histories the author cites. Not because of the unusualness or the significance of these injuries happening in the 19th century but because these same events could happen today, with the exception of jumping down from one's buggy. Enjoy!
PS Tomorrow's post will give more food for thought about sprained ankles and the treatment mentioned below.

My excuse for offering a paper on this subject is because I have found so few physicians who have adopted this method of treatment in sprained ankles.

The treatment of which I am going to speak is by basket strapping, with adhesive plaster. This originated with Mr. Edward Cottrell, of London, as far as I know. Dr. V. P. Gibney, of New York, commenced using this treatment in 1888. One year later I consulted him in a case of this kind, and he advised the basket strapping. The patient, however, rebelled, and would not allow me to try it. I then determined to test its value on some other case when opportunity presented. Speaking of this class of injuries, Dr. Gibney said: "I had learned to look upon a sprain as a kind of mystery involving a laceration of fibrous structures about the joint, a rupture of the ligament or ligaments, sometimes a teno-synovitis, sometimes contusion of the cartilege, and was inclined to look with a certain degree of admiration or pity on the man who was able to say that this ligament or that ligament was torn or detached from the bone; but was never able to say which was which, and I treated my cases as most men do to-day, by fomentation for a little while, then plaster of paris bandage or silicate of sodium, rest on axillary crutches, subsequent rubbing and massage, etc., etc. I confess I was never enamored of this treatment, and I had a grave apprehension always when I took charge of a case, lest I should get a stiffish joint following treatment, an irritable joint—one very much like the joints left after tuberculous disease in children, where suppuration has not been a part of the disease. The external features of a sprain, the signs, were always very well pronounced. One could see the puffiness in the neighborhood of the malleolus or over the dorsum of the foot, the localized swelling with extra heat, and sometimes ecchymosis."

The method adopted by Dr. Gibney, as described in Mr. CottrelPs little book, is as follows: "Cut strips of rubber adhesive plaster about one-half inch in width and long enough to completely encircle the foot. Then, with the foot raised, begin strapping the ankle and lower third of the leg, as I would an ulcer. The first strip came over the outer side of the foot down near the base of the little toe. It was put obliquely so that the next strip should cross this, one end beginning near the heel and terminating under the ball of the great toe. The third strip overlapped the first about one-half and was snugly applied, while the fourth overlapped the second in same direction, and so on until I had completely covered the foot, ankle and lower third of leg."

In the cases I have treated this way, I have generally tried to hold the foot elevated, rubbing it gently to reduce the swelling as as much as possible for half an hour or so before applying the strips. I have treated quite a number of cases in this manner, and must say that it is the most satisfactory way that I have ever treated sprained ankles. I have notes of six cases in particular in which I adopted this method of treatment.

Case 1.—D. L., a colored porter at the depot, sprained his ankle badly by a bale of cotton turning over on it. When I saw him it was swollen badly and quite painful. I had it elevated, after bathing thoroughly and gentle rubbing kept up for about half an hour, while I was cutting my plaster ready to apply. I then applied it as described, and also a cheese-cloth bandage over the plaster to hold it more snugly. I told him to put on his sock and shoe and lace it up around his ankle, which he did, and continued at his work. He wore the plaster for about one week, considered his ankle was well, removed it and had no further trouble.

Case 2. — Mr. ti., a lawyer by profession, jumped out of his buggy one afternoon in the country, lighting on a stone which turned under his foot, causing a very painful sprain. I saw him in about two hours afterwards; his ankle was swollen quite badly and very painful. I followed the same course of treatment, applying the adhesive strips and bandage. He staid in bed until the next morning, got up and put on his shoe and walked about the house some that day; and the next day went to his office, and continued from that time going on and attending to his business. His ankle, however, was somewhat sore in a week's time, and some of the strips had become loose, when I removed them and applied another dressing. He wore that for a week longer, then removed it and had no further trouble.

Case 3.—Mrs. D., a lady about 35- years old, rather tteshy and heavy, applied to me with a sprained ankle, which had been done about a week. She had not been able to walk without suffering a great deal of pain, or going on crutches. I applied the basket strappings as in the other cases. Her relief, however, was not so prompt as in the two former cases, but said it felt more comfortable immediately after the dressing was applied; she could wear her shoe and go with much less pain than before. It continued improving slowly and at the end of two weeks she was able to walk and have the dressing removed.

Case 4.—Miss C, a young lady about 15 years old, clerking in a dry goods store, stepped on a stone one morning while coming to the store, and sprained her right ankle. She called in my office soon afterwards. The ankle was swollen and painful: was hardly able to bear her foot on the floor. I applied the basket dressing, after which she put her shoe on and continued at work in the store. It gave her a little pain for a few days, but she continued goingr and wearing the dressing. I rebandaged the ankle in about a week. She wore the second bandage a week longer, when the ankle was well.

Case 5.—Miss H., a young lady attending school, jumped off the steps one evening; her foot turned, causing a painful sprain of the left ankle. I saw her two hours afterwards; she had been keeping it in hot water for some time before I saw it. I had it elevated for half an hour, having some one to rub it during that time, and then applied adhesive strips and bandage, as in the first case. She remained in bed that night, got up and put on her shoe the next morning. While she felt considerable soreness of the ankle, she could walk without much pain, and continued to do so. All pain and soreness was gone in about three days. She wore the dressing about a week, removed it and had no further trouble.

Case 6.—Mr. H., an attorney, stepped on a stone in his yard at noon and sprained his left ankle. It hurt him for a little while right badly, but he afterwards walked up to his office with the aid of a stick. It was hurting him so badly by night that he was hardly able to get home, and after walking home it became exceedingly painful. I saw it about eight hours after the injury, applied the adhesive plaster and bandages, told him' to get a laced shoe to put on the next morning, and try to walk around the house, which he did, and the next day he went to his office and continued using his ankle every day. He wore the dressing about ten days, then removed it, his ankle being perfectly well. There were no after effects.
I am highly pleased with the results I have had with this method of treating sprained ankles. With the old method of putting them up in plaster paris sometimes for weeks, we often find, upon taking them out, the joints sore and stiff, unable to move it. The modern method has certainly saved much valuable time patients. The old method would have perhaps made larger bills for me, but I feel that we are more than recompensed by gratefulness from our patients when we can save them time and suffering.

Dr. Gibney, in commenting on this treatment, says: ilI have treated sprained ankles in this way at my clinic and in the outpatient department of the hospital. Both at clinic and at hospital we kept pretty full notes of cases, but they have not been tabulated. Suffice it to way that members of my staff and students have been very much impressed with the facility with which patients get about when thus treated, and medical friends who have asked me about sprains, and have adopted the plan here advocated, have reported to me almost uniformly the brilliant results they have obtained. I do not call to mind any adverse opinion."

Sprained Ankle Part 1

Below are some additional examples of various treatments for Sprained Ankles. I've tried to arrange them in the order of their publication. From what I've read it seems that wrapping the sprain was quite common and in the earlier part of the century the use of leeches to help bring down the swelling.

In this account you'll find the mention of the treatment of leeches but the physician came up with another alternative.
"The external appearance of the leg, and particularly the redness and tightness of the skin, would have tempted me under ordinary circumstances to prescribe the application of several leeches, and some embrocation afterwards; but I knew such a course would not greatly expedite her recovery, and the object in this case was to shorten the usual period of confinement. With confidence therefore I recommended a moderately strong ammoniated lotion, all over the leg and instep, which was applied and kept on for five minutes.' It took away the inward pain in that time, though it augmented apparently the exteral soreness and redness of the skin. After the lapse of half an hour from the first application, seeing that no blister was produced (none being desirable) I repeated the lotion, considerably diluted. and recommended that the compress should be suffered to remain on the leg during the night. The lady of the house, under my instruction, applied that same night similar compresses, with the diluted lotion, to the bruises on the knee and hips. On the following morning every thing had returned to its natural state, the swelling and redness had disappeared, and the patient could put her foot to the ground and walk without inconvenience."
Source: Dunglison's American Medical Library Part 3 pg155 ©1838
(ammoniated - To treat or combine with ammonia)

In the Retrospect of Medicine Vol. 59 pg 165 I found the quote below which is in keeping with yesterday's post giving us a better time frame for when this practice was begun.
I tightly strapped the foot and ankle, from the toes to the middle of the leg, with strips of ordinary adhesive plaster.

"Severe sprains are often serious fractures, though no bone be broken, or only a bit may be chipped off; the ligaments and fascise are ruptured, blood being extravasated into the joints, into the sheaths of tendons, and for some distance not infrequently between the layers of muscles. The swelling is great, the pain intense. The orthodox treatment by leeches and fomentations is valueless, compared with circular compression and perfect immobilisation." (Gamgee on Fractures, 1871.)
Source: The Retrospect of Medicine Vol. 74 pg 175 ©1877

The circular compression is described below:
"For a sprained ankle, place the end of the bandage upon the instep, then carry it round, and bring it over the same part again, and from thence round the foot tow or three times, finishing off with a turn or two round the leg above the ankle."
Source: Ayer's Every Man His Own Doctor" ©1879

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Spectacles or Eyeglasses

Eye glasses have been around in various forms since before Christ(BC). In the 19th century we saw some development in spectacles and by the end of the century they were becoming more common place and designer fashionable. I stumbled on a book "Spectacles and Eyeglasses" by Richard Jones Phillips ©1895 that goes into the process of making eyeglasses. Below is an excerpt about the type of materials used to make these spectacles, I thought it fitting when writing about our characters putting on spectacles we know some of these little tidbits. Also there are some great photographs and illustrations in the book.

The Material of Spectacle Frames is usually gold, silver, or steel. Various alloys have also been employed, and sold as aluminium or nickel. So far as I have examined them, they consist principally of tin, and contain little or none of the metals whose names they borrow. Real nickel is too flexible a metal to be used with advantage for spectacle frames, while, so far, no means have been found of soldering aluminium firmly. Were this difficulty overcome, the lightness, stiffness, and freedom from rust of aluminium would make it an excellent material for cheap frames. Silver, like nickel, is too flexible, except for workmen's protective goggles, or some such purpose, where very heavy frames are allowable. Gold, of from 10 to 14 karat, is, by far, the best material for frames. Finer than this it is too flexible, while if less pure it may blacken the skin. In the end, such frames are cheaper than steel, as, owing to the liability of the latter metal to rust when in contact with the moist skin, the gold will outlast it many times over. In eyeglasses, however, the parts are heavier, and the metal is not in contact with the skin; so that there is not the same liability to rust. The gold frames furnished by opticians in this country usually have a stamp mark on the inner side of the right temple, near the hinge, which denotes the fineness of the gold: thus 8 karat is marked -(-; 10 karat, B. 12 karat, *; while 14 karat, or finer, is marked 14k, etc.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Four dead in Five Seconds

We've all heard about the Gun Fight at the OK corral which happened on Oct. 26, 1881 in Tombstone Arizona. But I stumbled upon this gunfight and thought I'd share a little about it.

In El Paso, Texas on April 14, 1881 the famous "Four Dead in Five Seconds" gun fight occurred. This is one of those cases where the town hired a gun fighter to be the Marshal. You can read more about this gun fight on Wikipedia.

There's a short video of a reenactment of this incident on You Tube.

There was a blurb written in the Old West Gunfights webpage.