Monday, June 22, 2009

Could be worse...

This catalogue from 1923 is a wonderful collection of oddities. The thing that surprises me about the majority of the surgical instruments is that they have not changed in the past century. However, the ones below are definitely dated.

Therapeutic corsets are not worn very often. Occasionally scoliosis patients will wear them as children, but the leather straps, canvas, and buckle look definitely went away and dwells in the realm of the whip and ball-gag set. 
I am particularly fond of the humane restrain section, another one that would amuse many fetishist. The boards-on-a-bed contraption is quite frightening for being humane. The straight-jacket is pretty standard, but the other things seem, well, disturbing. 
And well, this final image just seems funny. To this day, they have special hosiery for various purposes. But I don't think most of the items listed are still used. Who knows though? Well, actually medical professionals would know, but I am not one of those yet. I am just a lowly research assistant and student who humors himself with medical texts. 
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  1. I work at a site where people bring their trash. About a month ago this guy who was probably 60 took one of those abdomen/neck harnesses out of his car. He was asking me if he should throw it in the compactor or the non-compacted bin. I asked him what it is. "My daughter has scholiorosis and she ware ths thing for 10 years. It worked." I said "wow, I bet it's hard to throw away." he agreed that it felt wrong, but she never wanted to see the thing again.

  2. People wear various devices such as that for extremely long periods of time. I can understand the desire to rid oneself from such remnants of past ailments, but the desire to hold onto healing elements in part of the human condition.