During the Bubonic Plague, doctors wore these bird-like masks to avoid becoming sick. They would fill the beaks with spices and rose petals, so they wouldn’t have to smell the rotting bodies.
A theory during the Bubonic Plague was that the plague was caused by evil spirits. To scare the spirits away, the masks were intentionally designed to be creepy.
Mission fucking accomplished
Okay so I love this but it doesn’t cover the half of why the design is awesome and actually borders on making sense.
It wasn’t just that they didn’t want to smell the infected and dead, they thought it was crucial to protecting themselves. They had no way of knowing about what actually caused the plague, and so one of the other theories was that the smell of the infected all by itself was evil and could transmit the plague. So not only would they fill their masks with aromatic herbs and flowers, they would also burn fires in public areas, so that the smell of the smoke would “clear the air”. This all related to the miasma theory of contagion, which was one of the major theories out there until the 19th century. And it makes sense, in a way. Plague victims smelled awful, and there’s a general correlation between horrible septic smells and getting horribly sick if you’re around what causes them for too long.
You can see now that we’ve got two different theories as to what caused the plague that were worked into the design. That’s because the whole thing was an attempt by the doctors to cover as many bases as they could think of, and we’re still not done.
The glass eyepieces. They were either darkened or red, not something you generally want to have to contend with when examining patients. But the plague might be spread by eye contact via the evil eye, so best to ward that off too.
The illustration shows a doctor holding a stick. This was an examination tool, that helped the doctors keep some distance between themselves and the infected. They already had gloves on, but the extra level of separation was apparently deemed necessary. You could even take a pulse with it. Or keep people the fuck away from you, which was apparently a documented use.
Finally, the robe. It’s not just to look fancy, the cloth was waxed, as were all of the rest of their clothes. What’s one of the properties of wax? Water-based fluids aren’t absorbed by it. This was the closest you could get to a sterile, fully protecting garment back then. Because at least one person along the line was smart enough to think “Gee, I’d really rather not have the stuff coming out of those weeping sores anywhere on my person”.
So between all of these there’s a real sense that a lot of real thought was put into making sure the doctors were protected, even if they couldn’t exactly be sure from what. They worked with what information they had. And frankly, it’s a great design given what was available! You limit exposure to aspirated liquids, limit exposure to contaminated liquids already present, you limit contact with the infected. You also don’t give fleas any really good place to hop onto. That’s actually useful.
Beyond that, there were contracts the doctors would sign before they even got near a patient. They were to be under quarantine themselves, they wouldn’t treat patients without a custodian monitoring them and helping when something had to be physically contacted, and they would not treat non-plague patients for the duration. There was an actual system in place by the time the plague doctors really became a thing to make sure they didn’t infect anyone either.
These guys were the product of the scientific process at work, and the scientific process made a bitchin’ proto-hazmat suit. And containment protocols!
I’m gonna do a supernatural related doodle a day from now until the end of HELLATUS for the SPN FANDOM!! Requests are open! These will all be marked under the tag dpdoodlesSPN if you wanna keep track of it! Here’s DAY 1 a sleepy kevin Tran workin on the tablet to help buffer my mid season final feels……
Anonymous asked : OH MY GOD DO YOU NOT REALIZE THAT JOHN IS FUCKING MARRIED TO A WOMAN IN THE BOOK?!?!? IF THEY DON'T MAKE JOHN STRAIGHT, IT WILL BE A GREAT INJUSTICE DONE TO BOTH THE AUTHOR AND THE BOOKS.
Ah, hello, Person Of Immense Politeness. I suspect you’re here to talk about my OTP. Luckily for you, I’m in a good mood, so I’m going to go through this nice and rationally.
Yes, as a matter of fact, I am aware of that. As it happens, I’m an English literature student, and have not only read all 4 novels and 56 short stories, but studied them in depth. I’m writing a series of essays on them at present, actually.
Perhaps you’re unaware of other adaptations, so let me inform you that in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, Holmes is gay, in Elementary, Watson is a woman, Moriarty is also Irene Adler and the series is set in New York, and in Basil the Great Mouse Detective, the characters are mice. Also, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle cared very little for Sherlock Holmes, and, despite claiming that ‘Holmes is as inhuman as a Babbage’s Calculating Machine, and just about as likely to fall in love’ in 1892, he later wrote a play, and when appealed to by William Gillette, who was to portray Holmes, for permission to alter his character, Doyle replied ‘You may marry him, murder him, or do anything you like to him.' HE DIDN’T CARE ABOUT HIS CHARACTERS BEING ALTERED.
You are completely avoiding historical social context. In the Victorian era, MEN COULD NOT MARRY MEN AND WOMEN COULD NOT MARRY WOMEN. In fact, the Marriage Equality Bill was only passed in England THIS YEAR. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s close friend, Oscar Wilde, was sentenced to two years of hard labour which so severely damaged his health that he died 3 years later, because of UNPROVEN CLAIMS that he was a sodomite, i.e. homosexual. Do you know what was used against him in court? The Picture of Dorian Gray. HIS NOVEL. Because it contained homoerotic subtext. Doyle wanted to portray Watson as a heart in contrast to Holmes’ head, and as such, he had to be romantic. HETEROROMANCE WAS THE ONLY OPTION IN THE ERA IN WHICH HE WAS WRITING.
MEN DON’T HAVE TO BE STRAIGHT TO MARRY WOMEN. Wilde himself was gay, and he was married to a woman called Constance Lloyd. In the Victorian era, marriage was nowhere near so much based on love as it is today - it was about money, power, status, convenience, all kinds of things. Now, I do believe that Watson loved Mary Morstan, but this context is important to recognise. Now, onto BBC Sherlock: in the 21st century, far more sexual and romantic orientations are recognised. Bisexual and pansexual men marry women. That doesn’t make them unable to also feel love or attraction for men. In fact, even straight people are capable of finding themselves sexually and/or romantically attracted to a member of the same sex. In any case, to quote Performance in a Leading Role: 'I find the concept of binary sexual identity limiting and improbable. As with all else about human beings, sexual responsiveness exists on a continually changing scale that is affected by a dizzying array of variables, so there’s no point in attempting to predetermine a pointless and ultimately confining label.'
This may come as a surprise to you, but I DON’T WANT MY OTP TO BE CANON. Yes, that’s right. I view Holmes (both in the books and in BBC Sherlock) as aromantic (see the above quote on Babbages Calculating Machines from Doyle), and as an aromantic person, and thus someone who belongs to a severely underrepresented group, I would actually be quite upset if Sherlock were written into a relationship with John or anyone else within the programme, but contrary to popular belief, it is very possible to enjoy fandom as a separate entity from canon. Yes, I enjoy reading fanfiction and looking at fanart in which Sherlock & John are portrayed as a romantic couple, because I am interested in what dynamic that kind of relationship between them would take. THAT DOESN’T MEAN I ACTUALLY WANT IT TO HAPPEN ON-SCREEN. Wow. Big concept, I know. Take a minute.
Shipping makes me happy. Fandom makes me happy. Sherlock makes me happy. I think it extremely rude of you to come into my ask box under the cowardly guise of anonymity to try to take that happiness away from me (you failed completely, I might add), when it literally affects you in exactly 0 ways.
So, in conclusion:
SOMEONE JUST MENTIONED THIS POST TO ME AND I REMEMBERED THAT I RECEIVED IT AT 4AM JUST AS I WAS ABOUT TO GO TO BED AND I’D HIT POST LIMIT BUT I STAYED UP UNTIL 5AM JUST TO ANSWER IT OH MY GOD PAST SELF