• REVIEW: Medical Monopoly

    BOOK REVIEW Joseph M. Gabriel, Medical Monopoly: Intellectual Property Rights and the Origins of the Modern Pharmaceutical Industry (Chicago & London: The University of Chicago Press, 2014). In the 1980s, historians began to refer to the “medical marketplace” as a model for analyzing the experiences of health and illness. Adopting a normative understanding of the… Continue Reading

  • Blowena: A Sideline Cure for Deafness

    During the early twentieth century, a man by the name of George P. Way set up his “Artificial Ear Drum Company” in Detroit, Michigan. The company advertised patented eardrums that Way boasted could restore hearing loss even after twenty-five years. Tiny and invisible, these eardrums increased amplification while providing the wearer immense comfort, as an… Continue Reading

  • Powell’s Electro-Vibratory Cure for Deafness

    In 1905, Dr. Guy Clifford Powell, of Peoria, Illinois invented and marketed a device he called the “Electro-Vibratory Cure for Deafness.” The apparatus apparently cured a patient of deafness by pumping air through the ears via cotton-covered electrodes soaked in salt water. After pumping in air, a jolt of electricity generated by the solenoid coils… Continue Reading