If you think people nowadays do unusual things, you should check out our comparatively recent history. You’ll see that our ancestors used to do even weirder things. But their actions were actually legal.
GIGGAG has a compilation of scary things that were permissible in the past.
Only 100 years ago, people considered cocaine substance as harmless. The drug was available for sale and was offered with no prescription. It was used for healing coughs and toothache and was even recommended as a sedative for kids. Like many other pharmaceutical drugs, cocaine was also widely advertised.
Today this sounds a joke, yet at the beginning of the 20th century, Americans were able to send their children through the mail and that was allowed by the law. The cost for that was around 15 cents when the kid weighed no more than a standard parcel. Parents did that when they wanted to save some money by sending their kids to relatives.
During the 1930s, were invented the wire cages and they were quite popular among the British families. Those dangerous constructions allowed kids to breathe fresh air as their mothers were busy with their household duties. Those cages were considered safe but what were the parents thinking about?
We know well that rich people often have weird whims. Yet in the past their obsessions resulted in people suffering. During the 18th century, it was popular to have a personal hermit who lived in the garden. He was not allowed to wash and even to cut their nails and hair. Hermits lived in a handmade grotto and their owners showed them off in front of guests as "live decorations." Unbelievable!
In the past doctors knew nothing about disinfection and used very strange treatment methods as bloodletting. Have you heard about tongue cutting against stammering, lobotomy and electric shock treatment? Even some of the most successful doctors like Lewis Sayre, the orthopedic surgeon (pictured with a patient), did lots of operations with lethal outcomes.
During the 1950s, radiation was considered as safe and kids were playing with "atomic" toys as the one depicted in the picture. The toys included real polonium and uranium in small quantities.
Human zoos were quite popular in the past. Their aim was to show people from Asia and Africa and explain the Darwin’s theory. That shameful entertainment existed for long years. The photo shoes the Belgian human zoo in 1958.
The patients of psychiatric hospitals were treated quite awfully in the past. Those people were rarely fed even though relatives paid for their accommodation. The asylum owners were so greedy that they even allowed willing visitors to have a look at the poor people and also poke them with a stick, if they pay a certain sum of money.
The collection of human body parts as trophies is considered unspeakable nowadays but it used to be a normal hobby in the past. Some reputable gentlemen had path anatomical rooms at their houses while the soldiers collected parts of enemy’s skull. The photo shows an American sailor during the Second World War, who took the skull of a Japanese soldier.
Smoking is considered a very bad and dangerous habit today, yet 70 years ago the American doctors used to recommend their pregnant patients to smoke in order to get rid of constipation. Thus women who had just given birth to babies were not prohibited to smoke in the hospital.