The Costume of Yorkshire, Leech finders

The Costume of Yorkshire, Leech finders The Costume of Yorkshire, Leech finders (print) Leech finders [women collecting leeches] from The Costume of

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Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

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License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

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Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

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License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

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The Costume of Yorkshire, Leech finders
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Leech finders [women collecting leeches] from The Costume of
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Print, coloured aquatint from The Costume of Yorkshire / George Walker, 1814. engraved by R. Havell after G. Walker, pub. April 1, 1814 by Robinson & Son, Leeds, Pl. 35 Leech finders [women collecting leeches] mounted: 35x43.5cm

Leeches, a type of worm with suckers at both ends of the body, were used in bloodletting. It was the job of the leech finders, usually women, to collect these creatures for medical use. The leeches attached themselves to the legs and feet of the women who plucked them off and stored them in the little barrels of water. Doctors grew rich at the expense of these low paid women. Leeches were such a popular treatment that by 1830 demand outstripped supply all over Europe. Today, leeches are used following plastic and reconstructive surgery as they help restore blood flow and circulation. The print appeared in Costume of Yorkshire, published by George Walker in 1814.

Details

Category:
Art
Object Number:
1989-753/6
Materials:
paper and aquatint
Measurements:
overall: 235 mm x 322 mm
mat: 437 mm x 356 mm x 4 mm,
type:
print