Surgeons' Notebooks Released By British Archives

For British sailors in the 1800s, rum was often the sickness and the cure. Britain's National Archives just released hundreds of old journals from navy surgeons. One man at sea was nearly paralyzed by a scorpion. The surgeon wrote that he was revived by "application of rum to the part."

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ARI SHAPIRO, host:

Good morning. I'm Ari Shapiro.

For British sailors in the 1800s, rum was often the sickness and the cure. Britain's National Archives have just released hundreds of old journals from navy surgeons. One man at sea was nearly paralyzed by a scorpion, and the surgeon wrote that he was revived by application of rum to the part. Another sailor received rum and oil for a tarantula bite. But grog was not just medicine. One surgeon noted: Drunkenness nowadays in the navy kills more men than the sword.

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