Brain Pickings

How To Take a Bath: And Other Vintage Visual Guides from the Early 1900s

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Steaming like it’s 1899.

The history of health is peppered with gorgeous anatomical flap-ups, strange medical art, and vibrant vintage illustrations, with a side of beautifully illustrated pseudoscience. But few come close to these vintage gems from the early 1900s, found in a French edition of Friedrich Eduard Bilz’s 1888 naturopathic medicine guide Das Neue Naturheilverfahren (The New Natural Healing) (public library). Charmingly illustrated in the familiar style of early twentieth-century medical art, they offer visual directions to various methods of curing disease, from steam baths to massage to swimming.

Complement with Fritz Kahn’s weird and wonderful 1926 classic Man as Industrial Palace.

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