Insulin Becomes Available for Diabetics, 1923We tend to take it for granted that diabetes can be treated, but such was not always the case. Diabetes was nearly always a death sentence before the 1920's, and children were kept in large wards, visited by their grieving families.
It was near the end of the 19th century before anyone suspected that substances created in the pancreas had anything to do with digestion, and well into the 20th century before the hormone insulin was even isolated.
|Charles Best and Dr. Banting|
Soon after the first trials, Eli Lilly and Company got involved, and were successful in producing large batches of insulin. On April 15, 1923, insulin was available for sale.
|Madame de Pompadour|
Madame de Pompadour's Death, 1764
Being Chief Mistress to the King of France was serious business in the 18th century. The position had a title, maitresse-en-titre, and came with its own apartments, significant expense accounts, and often a title.
One of the most famous, and most successful, of the mistresses of Louis XV was Madame de Pompadour. She was born Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, and was intelligent, beautiful, and well-educated. She was taught to sing, dance, play the clavichord, paint, recite, and all the other skills that made a young woman a pleasure to be around. At the age of 19 she was married, and quickly produced two children. She and her husband were happy enough, and Jeanne quickly rose in society, conducting her own salons, inviting many of the intellectuals of the day.
King Louis met her at a masked ball, and was enchanted. However, in order to be presented at court, she needed to have a title, so the king provided her with one, purchasing an estate and making her the Marquise de Pompadour.
|This portrait was begun shortly before her death.|
The Marquise had two miscarriages, in 1746 and 1749, and after that she was no longer to serve the King's needs in the bedroom. She arranged for other, lesser mistresses to accommodate him, and maintained her position and power by providing entertainments, companionship, and friendship to the King. She was the King's maitresse-en-titre until her death from tuberculosis at the age of 42.