From burying scurvy victims up to their necks in the earth to drinking kerosene mixed with sugar to treat influenza, mid-nineteenth century medicine in the mining communities of the West usually consisted of home remedies that were often remarkable for their inventiveness but tragically random in their effectiveness. Only as a desperate last resort would people turn to the medical community, which had developed a deplorable reputation for quackery and charlatanism because of its lack of licensing regulations and uniform educational standards. No One Ailing Except a Physician takes readers back to those free-wheeling days in the mining towns and the dark recesses of the mines themselves, a time when illness or injury was usually survived more due to sheer luck than the interventions of medicine. This book is a must for both mining and medical historians, as well as the general reader interested in the history of the American West.
Duane A Smith and Ronald C Brown