Weird Universe

Seventeenth Century

Pigeon Blood Visine

Back in the 17th century, if you suffered from a burst blood vessel in your eye, the medical treatment of the day called for squirting pigeon blood in your eye. This was to be repeated 5 or 6 times. The treatment is recorded in a number of medical manuscripts, such as this anonymously authored one from 1663 preserved in the Wellcome Collection. [via The Recipes Project]

For a stroke or pricke in the eye if it causeth payne:
Take a pidgeon and let him blood in one of the winges in the vein & let the blood spinne out of the veine into the eye & it will helpe you yf you use it 5 or 6 tymes.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Apr 26, 2014 | Comments (4)
Category: Medicine, Seventeenth Century

Floram Marchand

As magic tricks go, the "I can vomit wine" claim has died a deserved death. One imagines that neither David Copperfield, nor even Penn & Teller, will be reviving the spectacle of Floram Marchand any time soon.

Floram Marchand: The Great Water Spouter

In the summer of 1650, a Frenchman named Floram Marchand was brought
over from Tours to London, who professed to be able to 'turn water into
wine, and at his vomit render not only the tincture, but the strength
and smell of several wines, and several waters.' Here - the trick and
its cause being utterly unknown - he seems for a time to have gulled
and astonished the public to no small extent, and to his great profit.
Before, however, the whole mystery was cleared up by two friends of
Marchand, who had probably not received the share of the profits to
which they thought themselves entitled. Their somewhat circumstantial
account runs as follows.

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