9 Dangerous Things That Used to Be Normal in the Past


In the event that you think individuals these days do bizarre things, you should look at our similarly late history. You’ll see that our predecessors used to do significantly more abnormal things. However, their activities were really lawful.

I has an accumulation of startling things that were admissible previously.

Cocaine treatment

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© KiloByte/Wikipedia Commons

100 years ago, people didn’t treat this substance as harmful. On the contrary, it was available in drugstores and sold without a prescription to heal coughs and toothache. Cocaine was also recommended as a sedative for kids. And, as with other pharmaceutical drugs, cocaine was widely advertised.

Sending kids through the mail

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© Smithsonian Institution/flickr.com

It sounds like a joke, but at the beginning of the 20th century, Americans had the opportunity to send their kids through the mail absolutely lawfully. It cost around 15 cents if their kid weighed no more than a standard parcel. Such “solicitous” parents probably wanted to save some money by sending their kids to relatives.

Outdoor baby cages

In the 1930s, such wire cages were very common among British families. With the help of these dangerous constructions, kids could breathe fresh air while their mothers were busy with household duties. It’s unbelievable, but these cages were considered safe. What were parents of that time thinking about?

Garden hermit

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© Johann Baptist Theobald Schmitt/Wikipedia Commons

Rich people often have weird whims. But in the past, their obsessions made people suffer. In the 18th century, it was popular to have a personal hermit who lived in your garden. A hermit wasn’t allowed to wash or cut their nails and hair. They lived in a handmade grotto. Owners always showed off in front of visitors and were proud of their “live decorations.”

Doubtful treatment methods

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© Medical Archives/Wikipedia Commons

Not so long ago, doctors had no clue about disinfection and used strange methods: bloodletting as a remedy for all diseases, tongue cutting against stammering, as well as lobotomy and electric shock treatment. Even the most successful doctors of that time, like orthopedic surgeon Lewis Sayre (pictured with a patient), did lots of operations with lethal outcomes.

“Amusement excursions” to mental hospitals

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© Wellcome Images

Patients of psychiatric hospitals were treated awfully in the past: staff rarely fed people, though relatives paid for patients’ accommodation. But it wasn’t enough for asylum owners. They created a small business: willing visitors could pay a certain sum of money to have a look at the poor people and even poke them with a stick.

Body parts collection

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© Australian War Memorial/Wikipedia Commons

Only insane people collect human body parts as trophies nowadays. But it was just a standard hobby causing no disgust in the past: reputable gentlemen had their own pathoanatomical rooms at home. Even soldiers used to take home their enemy’s skull. In this picture, we see an American sailor: during the Second World War, he took the skull of a Japanese soldier.

Smoking during pregnancy due to doctor’s prescription

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© margaretgunnng.blogspot.com

Smokers are restricted in many ways today. But 70 years ago, American doctors recommended their pregnant patients to smoke to get rid of constipation. So a woman who had just given birth to a baby wasn’t prohibited to smoke in the hospital. It’s scary to imagine our life if medicine still followed such views.

Preview photo credit Smithsonian Institution/flickr.com, Medical Archives/Wikipedia Commons


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