This was, of course, before the discovery of antibiotics. Women died in childbirth and shortly afterward, children died of common childhood diseases such as mumps, measles and scarlet fever. Everyone was vulnerable to the contagions of the Cholera, the Influenza, Typhoid Fever, Bilious Fever, and other diseases that don’t give us much cause for concern today.
Traditional medicine was often ineffective, and alternative medical fields such as botanic medicine and steam doctoring were common. There was considerable conflict between the different approaches, much as we often see today between traditional and alternative medicine.
I’ll be adding info and editing this page – perhaps adding subpages, as time goes on.