Gruesome But Truesome QR Code

Gruesome But Truesome

When: Tuesday - Friday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Warren County History Center, 105 S. Broadway, Lebanon, OH 45036

Details: Bring your smart phone and scan QR codes to experience the exhibit through video! (No smart phone? No problem--you can explore the exhibit without one, too!)

Cost: Included with general admission price. Click here for tickets and details.


View the Introductory Video of the Gruesome but Truesome Tour

Jewelry made from human hair?
Post-mortem portraits?

Seeing is believing, so come explore the "Gruesome But Truesome" exhibit, a collection of artifacts and displays showcasing historic medical and other practices that may seem a little strange or even downright gruesome...

Gruesome but Truesome Video Tour - Doctor's Amputation

Doctor's Amputation Kit

Amputation was the most common surgery performed during the American Civil War making up three out of every four operations done. If a Minnie Ball struck a soldier in an appendage and hit a bone, the bone would splinter carrying dirt and skin into the wound. The surgeon's only course of action was usually amputation.

Gruesome but Truesome Vidoe Tour-The Trephine

The Trephine

The corkscrew-like instrument in the doctor’s amputation kit is a trephine. It is an instrument used for cutting out a round piece of the human skull. Trepanation or trepanning is the oldest surgery known to man.

Well into the 18th century, trepanning was a common practice. Dutch Prince Philip of Orange was said to have been trepanned 17 times by his physician. One French doctor, within a two-month period, drilled 52 holes in the skull of one patient.

Gruesome but Truesome Video Tour-Bloodletting


Bleeding a patient was the most common medical practice performed by doctors for almost 2,000 years, up to the late 19th century. Bloodletting was based on the belief that blood and other bodily fluids were considered to be “humors” and a proper balance of these humors was needed to maintain good health. Quantities of blood therefore were withdrawn from a patient to cure or prevent illness and disease.