Qtown History: 8/13/ 1897
The Quincy Morning Whig August 13, 1897
Boy bitten by rattlesnake. Robert Fullman was being treated at Blessing Hospital after being bit by the snake. His hand and arm were badly swolen, but he was expected to recover. The boy was working on the farm picking cucumbers. When he moved a vine he uncovered the snake which bit him on the middle finger of the left hand between the knuckle and the joint.
As Robert screamed in pain, additonal workers rushed to his assistance. They killed the snake, and took action to count the poison, by killing a chicken, and having robert place his hand within the chicken’s carcass. He was then transported to Blessing Hospital where through the use of ligature around the arm, the swelling and spread of the venom.
Did you catch the part of that story that made me go wha? I’m talking about the part where after the snake bit the kid, the people killed a chicken and stuck the bitten boy’s hand in the carcass.WTF? According to website Article Alley, “One primitive culture´s answer to snakebite was to immediately rip a live chicken in half and place one side of the carcass against the wound. As the chicken meat turned green this was taken as a sign the poison was being drawn out. No one has bothered to test this for any possible real solution.”
I can’t help but think it’s a miracle anybody survived any minor affliction in 1897 with that kind of “advanced medicinal common knowledge” Who knows though, perhaps in the future looking back at what we consider cutting edge medical attention will be considered as rudimentary and bizarre as sticking a snakebite victim’s hand inside a chicken carcass. I suppose it’s all about perspective.