Studio photograph of a young girl wearing a pair of artificial legs. The legs were manufactured by James Gillingham (1839-1924), a boot/shoemaker based in Chard, Somerset. Gillingham started making artificial limbs after a local man lost an arm firing a cannon in 1863. He then began making prostheses on a permanent basis and Chard eventually became a major centre of the British artificial limb industry.
Battery, Baghdad, 250 BCE. The Baghdad Battery is believed to be about 2000 years old (from the Parthian period, roughly 250 BCE to CE 250). The jar was found in Khujut Rabu just outside Baghdad and is composed of a clay jar with a stopper made of asphalt. Sticking through the asphalt is an iron rod surrounded by a copper cylinder. When filled with vinegar - or any other electrolytic solution - the jar produces about 1.1 volts.
Lady Sarah Forbes Bonetta Davies (photographed by Camille Silvy, 1862) She was born into a royal West African dynasty, and was orphaned in 1848, when she was around five years old, when her parents were killed in a slave-hunting war. In 1850, Sarah was taken to England and presented to Queen Victoria as a “gift” from the King of Dahomey. She became the queen’s goddaughter and a celebrity known for her extraordinary intelligence. She spent her life between the British royal household and her…
For hundreds of years, a mystery surrounded the cathedral of Venzone, a small city in the province of Udine, Italy. Instead of decomposing normally, bodies buried in the tombs beneath the cathedral were perfectly preserved and still recognizable decades later, a fact which led the townspeople to periodically retrieve and commune with their dead loved ones.
Sanju Bhagat, whose stomach was so swollen he looked pregnant, said he'd felt self-conscious his whole life about his big belly. Doctors, believing he had a tumor, operated in June 1999. But as they cut deeper into Bhagat's stomach, gallons of fluid spilled out and then something extraordinary happened. First, one limb came out, then another limb came out... Bhagat had been carrying the mutilated body of his twin brother in his stomach all his life....
Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), sometimes referred to as Stone Man Syndrome, is an extremely rare disease of the connective tissue. A mutation of the body's repair mechanism causes fibrous tissue (including muscle, tendon, and ligament) to be ossified when damaged. In many cases, injuries can cause joints to become permanently frozen in place. Surgical removal of the extra bone growths has been shown to cause the body to "repair" the affected area with more bone.
Thalidomide first appeared in Germany on 1st October 1957. It was marketed as a sedative with apparently remarkably few side effects. The Drug Company who developed it believed it was so safe it was suitable for prescribing to pregnant women to help combat morning sickness.
A Knocker-up was a profession in England before alarm clocks were affordable or reliable. It was their job was to rouse sleeping people so they could get to work on time. They used a heavy stick to knock on the clients’ doors or a long and light stick, often made of bamboo, to reach windows on higher floors. Some of them used pea-shooters. The knocker-up would not leave a client’s window until sure that the client had been awoken.
In 1800, James Potts, a man from London, England, designed a prosthesis made of a wooden shank and socket, steel knee joint, and an articulated foot. The articulated foot was controlled by catgut tendons that ran from the knee to the ankle. Potts’ prosthesis became known as the “Anglesey Leg” after the Marquess of Anglesey, who lost his leg in the Battle of Waterloo and wore the leg.
Awakening from Keto-acidosis: The scientists went to a hospital ward with diabetic children, comatose and dying from diabetic keto-acidosis. This is known as one of medicine's most incredible moments. The scientists went from bed-to-bed and injected the children with the purified extract - insulin. As they injected the last comatose child, the first child injected began to awaken. One by one, all the children awoke from their diabetic comas. A room of death became a place of joy and hope.