Imagine living at a time in history when this "trephine drill" was a cutting-edge neurosurgery tool. This device, on display at Phisick Medical Antiquities Collection, would grip the skull of the patient while the doctor turned the handle on the skull drill. The groovy innovation here? You could quickly pull the drill bit back when you popped through the skull, so you weren't as likely to hit brain. Nice. Another biotech invention of the nineteenth century after the jump.

This freaky Victorian-Era pseudo-medical device is called a Lebenswecker (or "life awakener"):

Of this hammer full of tiny needles, Phisick Medical Antiquities says:

The theory was that rubbing the skin with toxic oils and piercing it with the Lebenswecker would produce a counter irritation which would divert the bodies attention away from illness and infection and a host of other complaints and so doing restore health.

Actually, that doesn't sound much different from what hippies in my neighborhood tell me about homeopathy. Lebenswecker and Trephine Drill [via Phisick Medical Antiquities, via Retrospectacle]