“19th century coal miners would traditionally take canarys in cages down into the mine with them. The birds would act as an early warning system for carbon monoxide gas. When the canary stopped singing the miner would know that he had to escape the chamber he was in.” “This particular yellow canary was obviously a favoured pet as well as a working bird. Inscribed with the legend : ‘In Memory of Little Joe. Died November 3rd 1875. Aged 3 Years’”
Photograph, taken in 1925 of a girl visiting the grave of her twin sister who died in a house fire the year before. Parents of the girl saw her, on many occasions, talking to her sister like she was playing in her room, but no one was there, and they thought it was just part of the grieving process.
Jane Bielawski and her doll 'Missy'. Following the suspicious deaths of some of her playmates in a New York tenement, police attempted to interview Jane. According to reports, the young girl went 'crazy' and accused her doll of the murders, before throwing the doll out of her apartment window while screaming, "Bad dolly! Naughty dolly!" Jane was taken to Bloomingdale Asylum to be treated for 'hysteria'. She was never to leave the institution, dying there an old woman in 1968.
Bullet Extractor (1500s) Elongated bullet extractors could reach bullets embedded deeply in the patient's body. Extractors like this one had a screw tip that could be inserted in the wound and lengthened to pierce the bullet so that it could be pulled out.
Myrtle Corbin "Myrtle was able to control the limbs of her sister but was unable to use them for walking and she herself had a difficult time getting around as she was born with a clubbed foot. Technically, the ‘Four-Legged Woman’ only had one good, usable leg. Myrtle was a popular attraction with P.T. Barnum, and later with Ringling Bros. and Coney Island.
At the former Oregon State Insane Asylum, between 1883 and 1970, thousands of people died while they were in the hospital. If a person's body was not claimed by their families, their cremated ashes were sealed in a labeled canister and stored at the hospital. "On my first visit to the hospital, I am escorted to a decaying outbuilding, where a dusty room lined with simple pine shelves is lined three-deep with thousands of copper canisters." David Maisel (photo also courtesy of David Maisel)
The July 1889 find in Nampa, Idaho, of a small human figure during a well-drilling operation caused intense scientific interest last century. Unmistakably made by human hands, it was found at a depth (320’) which would place its age far before the arrival of man in this part of the world. The find has never been challenged except to say that it was impossible.