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The whale cure for rheumatism in Australia

Date: 31 May 1902
Sheet: 397 x 295 mm
Sight: 375 x 257 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Engraving
Object No: 00006998

User Terms

    This article was printed in 'The Graphic' and features seven descriptive engravings showing a comical scene of a man being treated for rheumatism. The bizarre remedy involves placing a patient into the carcass of a whale for extended periods of time. Australian whalers testified how this practice cured people of chronic arthritis. Contemporary remedies also advocate the use of fish products including Cod Liver oil to relieve arthritis symptoms.
    SignificanceThis engraving reflects medical treatments and practices during the early 20th century and the influence of the whaling industry on society.
    HistoryIllustrated weekly magazines became increasingly popular in Europe and America during the mid 19th century. They used large eye catching illustrations to accompany articles on politics, war, travel, exploration, fine arts, science and literature. The Graphic was a British weekly magazine first published in 1869 it ceased production 1m 1932.

    During the 1800s and early 1900s whaling was a large scale commercial enterprise conducted across the globe. Whales were a valuable source of oil, baleen and ambergris, and used in the production of lamp fuels, lubricants, candles, corsets, buggy whips, medicines, perfumes and soaps. The main industry centered on the American north-east coastal town of New Bedford which saw hundreds of ships heading out to the Pacific Ocean on a weekly basis. The warm waters of the Pacific were a rich breeding ground and migration route for whales. Australia's close proximity to these areas allowed the development of a number of whaling stations.
    Additional Titles


    Web title: The whale cure for rheumatism in Australia

    Related People
    Illustrator: William Ralston
    Publisher: The Graphic

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