Dr. Betterman and the story of how modern medicine came to a small town

“All doctors have to put on a bold front. […] I am not ashamed to confess that I do not know it all. Probably never will. I do try to use the best things and methods that rational science has to officer. All medicine has much yet to learn.” So writes Dr. Amos Betterman in […]

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Medical Treatments in the Late 19th Century

Travel back to a time when two thirds of Americans lived on farms or rural villages. Indoor plumbing was rare and homes were heated by sooty wood burning stoves and kerosene lamps. Work was physically difficult and accidents happened often. Serious diseases like cholera, yellow fever, typhoid fever, diphtheria, malaria, and tuberculosis are common. Dr. […]

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1890 Rx

Last week, while leafing through a 1890s medical book from the museum’s library, I found a small slip of paper between the pages. It was a prescription recipe for the pharmacy of H. Waterman in Ravenna, OH. As I looked over the neat handwriting, I realized that the drug names were written in Latin and […]

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Early pharmaceutical tools

Before the industrial production of medicines, all syrups, ointments, pills, and salves were made by hand- often by a trained apothecary or pharmacist. Over the years, specialized tools were developed to assist these specialists in making a variety of medicines. Mortars and pestles were used to grind, pulverize, and mix herbs and powdered medicines. They […]

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