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Cokato exhibit features devices and methods from early medicine
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Dec. 22, 2014

By Kristen Miller
News Editor

COKATO, MN – Visitors to Cokato Museum’s most recent temporary exhibit will likely make them appreciate their next trip to the doctor’s office, after seeing just how far modern medicine has come.

The exhibit, “This Won’t Hurt One Bit – The practice of medicine that might make you cringe, just a little,” features items from the museum’s collection that are related to early medicine.

“Over the last few years, we’ve been donated some very unique and fascinating pieces,” commented Mike Worcester, director.

The collection grew to the point where the museum could now dedicate an exhibit to this topic. “Thanks to the generosity of our donors,” Worcester said.

Among the items is an exam table used for about three decades by Dr. O. L. Peterson, a family physician in Cokato during the first half of the 20th century. His office was located in the upstairs office of the Peterson Drug Store, now the Enterprise Dispatch.

The museum also has Dr. Peterson’s record books, showing he took “meticulous” records of the patients he treated.

These items were all donated by his family. “We’re glad we were able to use them,” Worcester commented.

On display are a number of medical devices used in early medicine.

Bloodletting tools, for example, were used in medicine for centuries under the theory that if you would get the “bad blood” out, it would make the person better, Worcester explained.

Electric shock therapy was also a fad in medicine that was said to cure a multitude of ailments.

Other items on display include various surgical tools, a baby scale, medicine and elixirs, pharmaceutical and optometry tools, and more.

Visitors will also find a few interactive areas of the exhibit, including a crossword game and the chance to create a miracle drug for curing an ailment.

The exhibit will be open through March.

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