Asked in HistoryDoctors
Why did doctors wear bird like face masks?
September 17, 2011 5:56AM
Mainly it was because when they were handing out potions, medicines, if the patient had a medical reaction to the medicine they could have a chance of catching an illness or at the worst, death. They wore masks to hide identity, so they werent a known man in the area, also so they didnt lose business. Another theory is that they wore the masks because it was widespread that birds spread the plague and if they wore it, this would direct the plague to the mask, away from the victim. Best answer I have thanks.
For some time, including around the time of the Black Plague, the long "beaks" of the bird masks would be stuffed with spices and incense, which was thought to fulfil two purposes - firstly and most importantly, it would cover the stench of death and disease, and some wearers thought that by wearing it they were warding off the diseases.