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Popular Medicine in America, 1800-1900

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WATCH A GUIDED TOUR OF THE COLLECTION     

Explore the medicine chests and bookshelves of the everyday nineteenth-century American through a colourful array of advertisements, popular texts and much more.

This resource offers access to an outstanding collection of highly visual primary source material, together with supplementary features designed to aid research and teaching.

"The Library Company’s collections of popular medical books and advertising ephemera are among the largest in the country, making Popular Medicine in America, 1800-1900 a unique digital resource for the study of the social and cultural history of medicine in America during this period."

James N. Green, Librarian

Library Company of Philadelphia

Popular Medicine in America presents materials from the Library Company of Philadelphia’s extensive collection. The resource documents the history of ‘popular’ medicine in America during the nineteenth century, featuring a wide variety of material that was aimed at the general public rather than medical professionals, and which enabled the ordinary person to treat himself and his family at home using an array of inventive methods and fashionable techniques.

The material includes:

  • Advertisements (in the form of posters, broadsides, trade cards, and leaflets)
  • Popular educational texts aimed at a non-professional audience
  • Writings on preventive medicine and guides to a healthy regimen
  • Sex guides

Key themes covered:

  • Botanic/herbal medicine
  • Hydrotherapy
  • The Thomsonian Movement
  • Homeopathy
  • Phrenology
  • Sexual health
  • Women’s health and childbirth
  • ‘Quack’ cures

This resource brings together a diversity of highly significant and unique documents, making them accessible to scholars keen to explore this rich and wide-ranging subject.

WATCH A GUIDED TOUR OF THE COLLECTION     

Popular Medicine wins Platinum.