Strangely Beautiful Illustrations of 19th- Century Patients With Skin Diseases
These plates come from an 1833 book by French dermatologist Jean-Louis-Marie Alibert with a classically unwieldy 19th-century title: Clinic of the Saint Louis Hospital, or, Complete Treatise of the Diseases of the Skin, Containing the Descriptions of These Diseases and of the Best Ways to Treat Them.
Julia Child's List of Discarded Titles For Mastering the Art of French Cooking
In this 1960 letter from Julia Child to her editor Judith Jones, the cook and author suggests a long list of potential titles for the book that eventually sold millions of copies as Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Written from Oslo, where Child had moved with her husband Paul for his State Department job, the letter is a freewheeling brainstorm, with the eventual winner penciled in at the last minute.
Watch Gene Kelly Channel "Combat Fatigue Irritability" in a WWII Navy Training Film
In this training film, recently digitized and made available by the National Library of Medicine, Gene Kelly plays a Navy enlisted man suffering from “combat fatigue irritability.”
An 1870 Map of the U.S. Shows Where All the Money Was
Ship's Manifest From 1833 Shows 83 People Caught in the Domestic Slave Trade
This manifest documents the names, heights, ages, and “complexions” of 83 enslaved people shipped on the schooner LaFayette from Alexandria, Va., to Natchez, Miss., in 1833.
Eight Types of 18th-Century Lady Drunks (Some NSFW)
This print, by the British caricaturist Richard Newton, depicts eight types of inebriated women. Titled “Samples of Sweethearts and Wives!,” the print presents a catalog of female debauchery: women lolling on couches, vomiting copiously, running into posts, and being carried home by long-suffering men.
Mugshots of Bruised and Battered Boxers in Early 20th-Century San Francisco
This two-page spread comes from an album that contains images of almost 1,100 boxers active in San Francisco between World War I and the 1930s. The album is part of the Graphic Arts Collection at Princeton University.
Do Cigarettes Make You Insane? Some Anti-Tobacco Arguments From the 1920s.
As many laughable '50s-era ads attest, it took Americans until relatively late in the game to begin pinning blame on tobacco for illnesses like cancer and emphysema. Less known is the moral panic of the 1910s and 1920s, in which concerned citizens worried that young people who smoked cigarettes were under the influence of a dangerous drug and were prone to criminal acts of violence.
How Literate Are You by 1918 Standards? Take This Oddly Poetic Test.
Here is one version of the Devens Literacy Test, used on Army recruits during World War I. (See three other versions here.) The test was designed by psychologist E.A. Shaw and named after Camp Devens, in Ayer, Mass., where it was developed. It begins with simple queries meant to be answerable by people with minimal education, moving forward into more and more difficult questions targeted at soldiers who had been to college.
How to Sketch a Terrible Place: A Union POW's Hand-Drawn Map of Andersonville Prison
This sketch, drawn by Robert Knox Sneden, a Union mapmaker who spent 13 months as a Confederate prisoner, depicts the layout of the notorious Andersonville Prison in April 1864.