A hundred years ago, the state of medical knowledge was a bit thin by our standards, but it was much better than what came before. A list at Cracked makes us glad to live in the time we do, despite the price of health insurance. You are probably familiar with some of the frightening treatments on the list, but some may be new to you, like the practice of stuffing balls into a person's lung. I am not making this up.
It was a procedure called plombage, which was the process of collapsing a person's lungs with acrylic balls to allow them to "rest" and heal the lesions caused by tuberculosis. The drawback to this therapy was that sometimes the balls were never taken back out, which led to infection, sepsis and other serious complications related to having your lung tissue inundated with balls made of the same material used to craft RuPaul's fingernails.
There are other treatments that are illustrated with pictures that may be disturbing. Link
(Image credit: New England Journal of Medicine)