Google Books has an awesome number of old medical texts online–stuff from the 1850s and on up, and it’s just fascinating to see what these clinicians believed to be true about certain diseases. A Manual of Clinical Medicine and Physical Diagnosis
is one of my favorites, as well as A cyclopedia of domestic medicine and surgery. If I’m reading it right, they once believed that bile was somehow secreted through the hepatic veins and into the bile duct.
I wonder what they’ll be thinking when they read our medical journals 150 years from now.
(Update: Also cool is the fact that many of these books came from my own medical library! And when I say “my own,” I mean Stanford’s, but still.)