Special Exhibit "In Search of Healing: Medical Practices of the Gilded Age"
Rutherford B. Hayes never knew his father. His father died of typhus three months before Rutherford was born. Rutherford's wife, Lucy, lost her father in a cholera epidemic when she was only two years old. Together, the Hayeses lost three of their children to dysentery, scarlet fever, and some unidentified illness. The ineffective and often dangerous medical practices of the time made disease the ever-present danger that loomed over every family. But in less than a century, researchers would understand that the spread of cholera could be prevented through water sanitation; the discover of penicillin would slash the mortality rate of scarlet fever; and solders bound to fight in Europe during World War II would be vaccinated against typhus. This exhibit will document the procedures and conventional and medical wisdom that prevailed in the late 19th century. Admission is included with the price of a regular museum ticket.