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Mechanical leech

Date: 1849 | Identifier: Country Doctor Museum
During the 19th century leeches were used as a means to remove blood from the body to restore the balance of health as described by humoral theory. French civil engineer M. Alexander invented the artificial leech, sending a wave of excitement through the scientific world. In 1849 the New York Herald reported “they never fail, they give no pain, they cause no trouble, they inoculate with no disease, they do not crawl and scare one, and wriggle and refuse to bite.” During the 20th century, the practice of leeching almost disappeared in the US. Now, however, artificial leeches are making a come back, with a new design being developed at the University of Wisconsin. more...
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