History of Medicine: 16th Century - 18th Century

  • Jan 1, 1580

    Influenza Epidemic

    Influenza Epidemic
    One of the first major worldwide epidemics of the virus that led to tens of thousands dying worldwide. At the time influenza was one of the worlds most dangerous diseases with a high infection and mortality rate.
  • Mental Illnesses Acknowledged

    Mental illnesses were first acknowledged thus leading to the theory that people would be treated the way they acted. People who acted like they were animals were treated as such.
  • Smallpox epidemic

    Smallpox epidemic
    A major smallpox epidemic on the northern east coast of America claims the lives of 90% of the local Indian population. One of the many at the time that eventually wiped majoriety of the Indian population on the Eastern coast of America.
  • Medical Thermometer

    Medical Thermometer
    The first medical thermometer was invented by an Italian by the name of Santorio who was a noted physiologist.
  • Malaria Treatment

    The first working malaria treatment was discovered by using the bark of a tree that contained quinine.
  • Private Mental Asylums

    Private mental asylums began being set up by those who were already caring for mentally ill family and friends to give care to others, for a price.
  • Microscopes

    Microscopes were now used for medicinal purposes such as finding different types of bacteria that could damage the bodily systems of people.
  • Discovery of Capillaries

    Discovery of Capillaries
    Discovery of capillaries and their importance to the circulatory system.
  • First Blood Transfusion

    First successful attempt at a blood transfusion between two dogs. The donor dog bled to death but the patient survived which was seen as a success.
  • The Great Plague

    The Great Plague
    One of the most famous final major outbreaks of the bubonic plague that killed 15% of England in a period of about 6 months.
  • Human Blood Transfusion

    Human Blood Transfusion
    First successful blood transfusion from a sheep to a 15 year old boy. One of the three popular transfusions at the time that paved the way for future blood transfusions
  • Toothbrushes

    Toothbrushes became popular especially among the wealthy as a way to increase dental hygiene.
  • Micro-organisms discovered

    Micro-organisms discovered
    The first micro-organisms relating to disease were discovered. These were small kinds of bacteria that were seen to cause infections
  • Mental Asylums

    Mental Asylums
    The first mental asylums started being built, taking responsibility for care off of family and friends of mentally ill. Some asylums however were more like zoos than mental institutions where visitors would pay to see the institutionalised.The first to be built was the Pennsylvania hospital for the insane