This was our last trip as a class to the Brooklyn Historic Socitey (BHS), and I have to say I really enjoyed going to the BHS. It sparked my interest observing and read documents that are from many years ago. At our last visit as a class, we read journals from a man name Gabriel Furmans. He wrote his experinces in Brooklyn during the 19 century, for 30 years. There were 3 journals and the one my group read was not what I expect it to be. Furmans had different recipes for cures different illnesses. There was cure from a cold, fevers, drunkenness and even cancer. When I saw that I was very interested because scientist are still trying to figure out a cure for cancer. But when we continue to read, it said that Furmans, himself had “a cancer” on his nose. His cure for it was to boil potatoes and then to apply it to the cancer. So I assume that what Furmans and the people in his era called cancer is what we call a pimple. I looked up on google for medical terms from the 19th century. One link was http://www.thornber.net/medicine/html/medgloss.html and they define cancer as a malignant and invasive growth or tumor. Which sounds like the cancer we know as cancer today. So I’m just assuming that Gabriel Furmans didn’t understand what cancer meant or did he really find the cure for cancer?
Another thing that caught my attention while reading Gabriel Furmans’ journal, was when he wrote about a big storm that had occurred. He stated that a herring, which I also looked up and its a type of fish that is found in the north atlantic ocean, was said to have fallen from the sky. Furmans states that people had thought it was carried then drop by a bird but no one could see any cuts on the fish. So people was lead to believe that the herring was sent from the heavens.
Even though it was our last visit as a class, I know its not going to be my last. It was definitely a fun and interesting experience. And I am really thinking about the internship at the BHS.