John Harvey Kellogg was arguably the most famous physician of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He introduced the concept of eating clean foods, exercise, and other healthful innovations. He was also the guy who invented cornflakes. And, in my opinion, he was a very bad man. The worst kind of bad, in fact: the…
The people of the Victorian era had a very specific fear: poison murder.
While sculpture and the study of anatomy have always worked in tandem, models of the human—specifically female—form took a specific turn during the 1800s, when anatomical wax sculptures of women’s bodies became a source of public curiosity and entertainment. A model of this kind was called an “anatomical Venus.”
If the dogged pace of the modern age has left you weary, anxious, and afflicted by aches and malaise, you may require a more historical diagnosis. We tend to refer to these symptoms collectively as burnout, but the Victorians called it “neurasthenia.”
I’m covered in flop sweat, my hands are shaking, and an itchy flush in my cheeks hints that tears are just moments away. While the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast is a mere 20 miles from the Providence Amtrak station, I’ve been lost for 30 minutes and it feels like a bad sign.
With the harnessing of electricity and the advent of the telegraph, the 19th century was a great time for advancements in communication. Not just between the living, but also between the living and the dead.