Thursday, March 20, 2008
My doctors and dentists always sent me postcards when I was due for another appointment, but they always had pictures of frogs or kitties dressed as nurses, or a dancing molar, or some other such false advertising. I think early modern doctors would have just put it out there without all the sugarcoating.
The Mikrokosmographia is an anatomical textbook written by Helkia Crooke. I've used it in past projects...it's a great resource for insight into the way people understood the body in early modern Europe. Here's an even better picture of the image from the Schoenberg Center, which is maybe my new favorite website (although nothing will ever replace EEBO in my heart).
Here's what's on the table, according to the book: "Razors of all sortes, great, small, meane, sharpe, blunt, straight, crooked, and edged on both sides; Sheares or Sizers; round and large long Probes of Brasse, Siluer, Lead; a Knife of Box or of Iuory, Pincers of all sorts; hooks, Needels bent rather then straite, Reeds, Quils, Glasse-trunkes or hollow Bugles to blowe vp the parts, Threds and strings, Sawes, Bodkins, Augers, Mallets, Wimbles or Trepans, Basons and Sponges; the Figures of all which wee haue heereunder delineated, together with a Table whereon to lay the dead, or binde the liuing Anatomy, with the rings, chains, cords, & perforations fit for that purpose."
Well, I guess that means I'm off to Home Depot! Apparently with a few household and garden items, I too can set up a medical practice!
PS -- If you're into this stuff, might I suggest Jonathan Sawday's The Body Emblazoned, and although it's a bit later, The Knife Man, about England's first surgeon, John Hunter (1728 – 1793).