Medical Practices

Are you interested in learning how medical care has changed over the years? This exhibit explores medical practices from the pioneer days to the early twentieth century. Pioneers often relied on folk medicine and herbal remedies that sometimes included toxic ingredients including mercury and turpentine. Without the advancements of modern medicine that we have today, minor infections and common illnesses like the flu often led to death.
In rural areas like McMinn County, doctors would travel many miles to visit patients in their homes. A standard medical bag would hold numerous powders and pills, smelling salts, castor oil, and several antiquated tools in case emergency surgery was required. This exhibit also includes early dentistry artifacts including manual tooth extractors, rubber false teeth, and a foot pedal drill from the 1930s.