• [My Guest Post] The Window Operation: Hope Through Surgery

    This fall, REMEDIA  a collaborative blog on the history of medicine, launched a special series exploring the histories of surgery. I contributed a post for the series, on the development of the fenestration operation in the 1930s, as a “hope for the deaf.” The post aims to weave together the history of surgery and history of… Continue Reading

  • Can Vitamin B Cure Deafness?

    In 1934, a surgeon examined the medical histories and nutrition diaries of his deaf patients. He soon noticed that most of his patients ate very little food containing vitamin B, which was essential for heathy nerves. He then pondered: could cases of nerve deafness be cured simply by adding more vitamin B to a diet?… Continue Reading

  • Actina: A Wonder of the 19th Century

    The history of the Actina, an “electric pocket battery” claimed to cure eye and ear diseases, rightly began in a manufacturing factory in Bristol, England. There, William C. Wilson, born in 1837 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, started a company in the 1870s selling “galvano-magnetic clothing.” After working as an apprentice cabinet maker and an auctioneer in London,… Continue Reading