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This summer I have, again, found a fantastic job for an aspiring historian.  While last summer I was a research assistant working on a digital local history project (woosterhistory.org), this year I’m interning at the Dittrick Museum of Medical History in Cleveland.  It’s been a really fun job so far, and one of the perks is that I get to be around beautiful rare books and antique medical supplies.  I can’t really take much credit for the beauty of these images–my iphone pictures I took in the basement can’t really do much justice to these artifacts.  Still, I thought I’d share some of my favorite finds! (You can keep up with my findings on my Instagram and after I leave, keep up with the museum’s Instagram)

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Martin Frobenius Ledermüller’s Mikroskopische Gemüths- und Augen-Ergötzung, 1763.


C. G. Calwer’s Käferbuch, 1876.


Various medications from Japan.


Helleborous Niger, “employed as a stimulant to the menstrual flow when the patient complains of flashes of heat, burning of the surface, especially of nates and thighs, and sensitiveness of the perineal and pelvic structures; also in the treatment of hypochondria and hysteria.” Don’t mind the poison label underneath.


Happe’s Botanica Pharmaceutica, 1785.


Robert Hooke’s Micrographia, 1665.


Robert Hooke’s Micrographia, 1665. (Ice crystals)


Vincent Tagereau’s L’Impuissance de l’homme et de la femme, 1887 edition.


Leeuwenhoek’s letters to the Royal Society of London, published 1684-88. These are the cork slices he looked at under his homemade microscope, discovering and coining the word “cells”.


Distilled water. Prime candidate for snake-oil medicine status.


Sylvanus Hanley’s British and Foreign Shells, 1856.


Hartmann Schedel’s Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493. I got chills looking at this history of the world from the perspective of Europeans who didn’t even know the continent I’m standing on existed.


Happe’s Botanica Pharmaceutica, 1785.

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De Alchimia Opuscula, 1550.

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Happe’s Botanica Pharmaceutica, 1785.


William Withering’s An Account of the Foxglove, 1785.


Edwin D Babbitt’s The Principles of Light and Color, 1878.