History Sandwiched In Lecture

The Strange Origins of Modern Medicine

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

12:15-1 pm

Does the shape of your skull reveal your character? Can cold water cure everything? These are just some of the alternative medical cures popular in 19th-century America. Discover how these alternative remedies challenged the dominance of mainstream medicine, drawing support from everyone from Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln to Harriet Beecher Stowe and Charles Darwin.

Learn about Wisconsin's water cures and the Milwaukee brothers who prescribed electrical belts and vests to anyone who came through their doors. Historian Erika Janik will share some of the eccentric narratives from her book "Marketplace of the Marvelous: The Strange Origins of Modern Medicine." A book signing will follow the presentation.

Next Event in This Series

The next event in this series takes place on Tuesday, August 12.


Wisconsin Historical Museum
30 N Carroll St
Madison, WI 53703

Location Information

Four floors of changing exhibit galleries, permanent exhibits and the museum store ― located on Madison's Capitol Square

Accessibility Information

The site is fully accessible to visitors requiring a wheelchair for mobility.