The Early Modern Commons

Search Results for "dangers"

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Your search for posts with tags containing dangers found 32 posts

Stand well back

It’s Guy Fawkes Night, the annual festival when we British celebrate (inter alia) the barbaric torture and execution of a religious dissident four hundred years ago by setting off brightly-coloured explosions in our gardens and public spaces. Which...
From: Thomas Morris on 5 Nov 2018

What You Need To Know About Eating Bracken Fiddle heads!!!

As woodsmen & woods women we spend a good deal of time in the woods whenever we can, one of the things many of us do is seek out wild edible foods to supplement foods that we are carrying. Bracken fiddle heads are widely known to be an edible food,...
From: A Woodsrunner's Diary on 26 Aug 2018

A curious surgical case

In 1846 John Kyle, a surgeon from the Ohio village of Cedarville, submitted the following case report to The Western Lancet.  The headline gives some indication of the unusual nature of the circumstances: In the spring of 1846 I was called to see...
From: Thomas Morris on 16 May 2018


In 1882 a young doctor from Clayton West in Yorkshire had his first paper published in a major medical journal.  Dr Duncan Alistair MacGregor was not interested in making a name for himself: after completing his training in Edinburgh he had set up...
From: Thomas Morris on 24 Jan 2018

Making a mark

One evening in 1877 a medical student at the University of Paris, a young man by the name of Vielle, made a little piece of medical history – although perhaps not in a way he might have hoped for. This is how he later recalled the experience: About...
From: Thomas Morris on 21 Jan 2018

Survival Prepper Forum

I am constantly looking for a decent Australian survival forum, so far no luck. The Australian survival forums I have found so far are no better than the American ones. America is different from Australia in many ways, so the discussions on those forums...
From: A Woodsrunner's Diary on 14 Dec 2017

The pea pod polyp

In December 1761 a leading French journal, the Journal of Medicine, Surgery and Pharmacy, published a splendid little article by a surgeon from Bordeaux, a Monsieur Renard. The headline describes it as being about ‘a pea that sprouted in the cavities...
From: Thomas Morris on 11 Dec 2017

Mr Dendy’s egg-cup case

In 1834 the Lancet published a wonderfully unusual article by Walter Dendy, a surgeon from Blackfriars in London. The heading at the top of each page refers to it simply as ‘Mr Dendy’s Egg-Cup Case’ – a splendid description of...
From: Thomas Morris on 27 Oct 2017

An abominable, disgusting habit

There are plenty of common myths about Victorian social mores, but anything you have read about their disapproval of onanism (masturbation) is likely to be true. Nineteenth-century medics were apparently united in their condemnation of the practice, which...
From: Thomas Morris on 8 Jun 2017

A freak accident

In March 1827 The London Medical Repository and Review included a short report of an inquest which had been held a couple of weeks earlier. The deceased was a small child, whose name is not revealed – and since children were often referred to at...
From: Thomas Morris on 12 May 2017

Death by barley

Nineteenth-century medical journals are not short of ghastly occupational injuries. Factories, building sites and the new railways were frightening places, and there is barely an issue of a major journal that does not contain at least one article about...
From: Thomas Morris on 25 Apr 2017

A fishy business

In 1739 a surgeon from the village of Kelvedon in Essex wrote to the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society to communicate ‘three extraordinary cases’ from his practice. The first and last are separated by over thirty years, which...
From: Thomas Morris on 3 Apr 2017

Deafened by a kiss

Some injuries recorded in the medical literature were not the result of some ghastly accident, but had an apparently innocuous cause. Here’s an example from the Archives of Otology, published in 1880. It was reported by Daniel Bennett St. John Roosa,...
From: Thomas Morris on 17 Mar 2017

A leech on the eyeball

Bloodletting is an inescapable theme of a medical blog set largely in the nineteenth century. Although venesection (opening a vein) was frequently used, for minor complaints the weapon of choice was the leech, which could extract a small amount of blood...
From: Thomas Morris on 15 Mar 2017

The mystery of the poisonous neckerchief

In 1873 The Medical Times and Register published an unusual case report from one  Joseph G. Richardson, a doctor from Philadelphia: J. B., a farmer, 74 years old, residing near Darby, in the vicinity of Philadelphia, came under my care in the out-patient...
From: Thomas Morris on 13 Mar 2017

A nineteenth-century hacking scandal

In November 1870 a London surgeon took the unusual step of writing anonymously to The Times to complain about his son’s headmaster. The son in question was a boy at Rugby School, and the letter was headlined ‘Rugby and its Football’:...
From: Thomas Morris on 2 Jan 2017

Mother knows best

Sometimes doctors don’t have all the answers. Here’s a case in which the medics actually gave up on their patient, who was then cured by her own mother.  This story is taken from Dr S.D. Gross’s Practical Treatise on Foreign Bodies...
From: Thomas Morris on 18 Nov 2016

Rings on his fingers

In 1855 Dr D. D. Slade of Boston reported the following freak occurrence to The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal:  I was awakened at about 3 o’clock, a few mornings since, by a young man who said that he had lost the little finger of his...
From: Thomas Morris on 6 Nov 2016

The perils of being a writer

Having spent most of the last year sitting in seclusion writing and editing my first book, I was amused to come across an essay by the eighteenth-century Swiss physician Samuel-Auguste Tissot.  Tissot is perhaps best known today for his work L’Onanisme,...
From: Thomas Morris on 20 Oct 2016

Conceived by a bullet

There are many cases of supposed virgin births in the early medical literature, but few are as wonderfully unlikely as this one published in The Lancet in early 1875:  The following rich gynaecological contribution is reported in the columns of the...
From: Thomas Morris on 31 Jul 2016

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By default, this searches for any categories containing your search term: eg, Tudor will also find Tudors, Tudor History, etc. Check the 'exact' box to restrict searching to categories exactly matching your search. All searches are case-insensitive.

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This search feature has a number of purposes:

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Caveats and Work in Progress

This does not search post content, and it will not find any informal keywords/hashtags within the body of posts.

If EMC doesn't find any <category> tags for a post in the RSS feed it is classified as uncategorized. These and any <category> 'uncategorized' from the feed are omitted from search results. (It should always be borne in mind that some bloggers never use any kind of category or tag at all.)

This will not be a 'real time' search, although EMC updates content every few hours so it's never very far behind events.

The search is at present quite basic and limited. I plan to add a number of more sophisticated features in the future including the ability to filter by blog tags and by dates. I may also introduce RSS feeds for search queries at some point.

Constructing Search Query URLs

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This is the basic structure:{search term or phrase}

For example, the URL for a simple search for categories containing London:

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In this more complex URL, %20 is the URL encoding for a space between words and &exact=on adds the exact category requirement.

I'll do my best to ensure that the basic URL construction (searchcat?s=...) is stable and persistent as long as the site is around.