Researching Lady's Wager revealed some interesting facts about the Regency, especially in regards to medicine. Here are a few of my favorite discoveries.
- Nitrous Oxide - Discovered in 1775 by Joseph Priestley and used by Dr. Humphry Davy in the late 1700s and early 1800s to get high. Dr. Davy suggested its use as an aid to surgery but no one picked up on the idea until the 1840s.
- Maternity Hospitals - They've been around longer than you think. Lying-in hospitals as they were originally known, began to appear in London in the mid-seventeenth century. The Queen Charlotte Maternity Hospital began its life in the early seventeenth century as the General Lying-In Hospital. It was renamed the Queen Charlotte Maternity Hospital in 1813 in honor of the Queen's generous patronage.
- Surgeons - By the Regency, improvements in surgical techniques and practices increased the reputation of surgeons. No longer viewed a simply barber butchers, they became a part of the established medical system, receiving and contributing to formal medical education.
- Antiseptics - Dr. Davy joins us again, this time as one of many scientists working to define the newly discovered iodine. Although people understood that vinegar, wine and thyme could stop wounds from becoming infected, the lack of germ theory prevented the widespread use of antiseptics until the late nineteenth century.
After discovering the above, I am once again very thankful for modern medicine.