“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’”
This museum is based in Philadelphia and has a rare collection of oddities and monstrous medical mysteries. The museum has a old stately home feel to it, high ceilings and dark wood cabinets containing jars of preserved human kidneys and livers. In amongst all this finery are a the Hyrtl Skull Collection, a nine-foot-long human colon, the Soap Lady and a two-headed baby.
That’s the "Scold’s Bridle", a gruesome mask used as punishment for "rude, clamorous woman," who are considered to be spending too much gossiping or quarreling in the Medieval times. It came complete with a bell on top, no less: Time spent in the bridle was normally allocated as a punishment by a local magistrate. The custom developed in Britain in the 1500s, and spread to some other European countries, including Germany. When wearing the mask it was impossible to speak.
Bottle of Godfrey's Mixture used in the pharmacy of a mental health hospital in Victoria Australia circa 1860. It contained laudenum (an opiate) and treacle (molasses) and was used as a sedative. Collection Museum Victoria
Rasputin’s penis had a rather colourful life while still attached to its owner. Since his death, it has continued to be an object of fascination. Rasputin had a reputation for using his penis as a method of spreading his holy message amongst women. It was a conspiracy of nobles who finally murdered Rasputin – and, it is claimed, castrated the body. The organ of Russia’s greatest Casanova can now be seen at the Erotica Museum in Petersburg.
Fairies, Nymphs, & Demons - A Bizarre Collection of Strange Specimens. The specimens of Alex CF feature an incredible collection of cryptozoology. His page features amazing stories behind his collection that include descriptions of demons, fairies, nymphs, and other assorted oddities. His pieces are for sale.
This is the charred head of a dodo. In 1755, the curator of the Ashmolean Museum purged the museum's mouldering contents and tossed them on a bonfire. Among the “useless” items was a stuffed dodo from the late sixteenth century, thought to be the last surviving taxidermied specimen in the world. Only the charred head and a foot were salvaged.
Female hysteria once common medical diagnosis. Today no longer recognized as disorder. During this time, female hysteria was widely associated with sexual dissatisfaction. For this reason, the patients would undergo weekly “pelvic massages.” During these sessions, a doctor would manually stimulate the female’s genitals, until the patient experienced repeated “hysterical paroxysm” (orgasms).