Popular Medicine

The University of Cambridge now has trial access to the Popular Medicine resource until 10 November 2016.

Access the trial here:


We want to know what you think of this resource.  Is it useful to you; if so, in what way?  Please send us your thoughts and feedback by writing an email to: ejournals@lib.cam.ac.uk.  Thank you!

This unique collection showcases the development of ‘popular’ medicine in America during the nineteenth century, through an extensive range of material that was aimed at the general public rather than medical professionals. Explore an array of printed sources, including rare books, pamphlets, trade cards, and visually-rich advertising ephemera.

The collection illustrates the history of ‘popular’ remedies and treatments throughout the nineteenth century, using primary source material from the Library Company of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  The collection includes; trade cards, ephemera, pamphlets, printed books, posters, admission cards, anatomy guides and street guides.

The material covers key themes including; botanic medicine, the health of women and children, homeopathy, phrenology, electrotherapy, hydrotherapy, sexual health and production and trade.   The increase in advertising by the commercial manufacturers of medical aids, highlights that the intended recipient of these materials was the ‘ordinary man’, rather than medical professionals.  The intention was to encourage him to help himself, and his family, using a vast array of different ‘self-help’ methods and fashionable techniques.



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