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Keeping Death at Bay

Keeping Death at Bay

Chapter:
(p.3) Chapter One Keeping Death at Bay
Source:
Gone to the Grave
Author(s):
Abby Burnett
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781628461114.003.0001

Before the creation of antibiotics and vaccines, pure food and drug laws, and safety standards, there were many unusual ways in which to die. Both the most common causes (tuberculosis, burning to death) as well ones all but unknown today (rabies, bleeding) are discussed. This chapter examines the training of early Arkansas doctors, and the therapies once believed to prolong life or aid healing, such as visiting spa towns to drink medicinal spring water, the fresh air cure for TB, or the use of such folk superstitions as madstones and Biblical charms. Medicine shows, plant-based home remedies and patent medicines are also discussed.

Keywords:   Tuberculosis, Rabies, Madstones, Medicine shows, Patent medicine

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