Happy Hour with the Historian: 18th c. Medical Practice
Join us on Thursday, August 17 for an evening happy hour on the lovely summer grounds of Graeme Park, and a lecture on 18th century medical practices.
Any assessment of 18th c. health care, when life expectancy on both sides of the Atlantic averaged 43 years, must include people ranging from educated physicians through barbers and midwives to neighborhood quacks. Diseases were attributed to superstitions, bad behavior, or foul air. Remedies included everything from herbal extracts, poultices, and cold baths to the most “advanced” treatments of bloodletting by non-sterile instruments or even leeches. During the entire century people lived in constant fear of smallpox and yellow fever. Important events happened in the last decade of the century regarding these two diseases: the horrendous epidemic of Yellow Fever in Philadelphia and the startling circumstances that led to development of a vaccine for smallpox.
The lecture will include an overall assessment of health care in colonial America and England; specific treatments and procedures available at the time and a demonstration of several items of medical equipment; and a focus on two events in the last decade of the 18th c. – the Yellow Fever epidemic in Philadelphia and the development of smallpox vaccine in England.
Presented by Jim Miller. Jim is a Graeme Park volunteer and former board member. He holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology and was a professor at Delaware Valley University before retiring.
$5 admission (free admission for members). Cash bar and food. We start pouring at 6 p.m. and the lecture starts at 7 p.m. Details to follow.