Dr. Pembroke’s Clinic – Anatomy Night School

During the intellectually ravenous period of the mid to late 1700’s, the study of medicine was flourishing and blooming like some strange, bloody, sticky anatomical flower, as doctors engaged themselves in the long road to true, empirical understanding of the human body. Luminaries such as my personal hero John Hunter, amongst others, were eager to expand their skills […]

Pembroke’s Remedies – Cocaine Wine!

In a warm, mahogany paneled drawing room, adorned with filled bookshelves, gorgeous chandeliers and lofty ceilings, Dr. James D. Pembroke sits in an armchair, leaning slightly to one side. To his right, upon a handsome George III oak side-table, sits six or seven bottles of what appears to be wine, yet upon closer inspection they all bear […]

Pandora Cinematheque: The Backwater Gospel

If you enjoy frontier-western style ambiance, gratuitous mob violence and old-timey religious revivalism, then this film is for you. The Undertaker is coming to town, but whose corpse does he intend to claim? Yours? Mine? Or everyone’s. (A warning – this little gem is extremely violent – which isn’t a bad thing)

Dr. Pembroke’s Remedies – Electric Corsets!

The most enduring folly of civilization is the persistent focus on personal aesthetics; sleek, flowing hair, accentuated toned muscles, minuscule waists, youthful and blemish-free skin. Like the beauty equivalent of a carrot tied to a stick held before the most gullible donkey of all time, humans spend their entire lives pursuing an ideal of beauty that once acquired […]

Dr. Pembroke’s Clinic – Dirty Jobs of the Victorian Era – Angora and Anthrax

Taken from Pembroke’s Articles of Occupational Concerns, 1881 In the last few entries, we’ve been carving a merry little path through the history of occupational hazards; diseases, ailments, gross misconduct of employees, gross idiocy on the part of the workers themselves, and all around sickness in the workplace in this grand 19 century of ours. […]

Dr. Pembroke’s Clinic – Dirty Jobs of the Victorian Era – Matchmaking

And will the match trade die? And will the match trade die? Then thirty thousand working girls Will know the reason why. Daily News (25 April 1871) The humble match, a remarkably simple invention, and as I’m sure many of you will testify, a most convenient and useful household item, with your oil and gas lamps, […]

Dr. Pembroke’s Clinic – Dirty Jobs of the Victorian Era – Chimneys and Testicles

In the last article we examined the life of the lowly chimney sweep – the  ever suffering but integral member of the Victorian working community – as if to say anyone had it easy. They did not. With conditions being so poor, pay so very meager and the a life expectancy of 30 years, I feel the very […]

Dr. Pembroke’s Clinic – Dirty Jobs of the Victorian Era – Chimney Sweeps Pt. 1

Onyxfeld, 1872 – Late Spring The limits of human endurance are never more emphatically tested than during the labor of an honest days work. The industrial revolution is as exacting on its human machinery as it is beneficial to the rich who profit, and the maladies, diseases and injury unleashed upon the mortal frame are […]

Skip to toolbar