The history of human organ transplants is a series of small steps. Skin transplants have been around a long time, but the first successful replacement body organ was a transplant of thyroid tissue in 1883. The possibility of moving organs from one person to another opened up a whole world of speculative fiction. Randolph Hartley wrote a short story for Life magazine’s short story contest in 1915 called “The Black Patch.” In the hundred years since, we’ve become used to organ transplants, but the premise that unfolds here is still gripping. It opens with:
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I wear a black patch over my left eye. It has aroused the curiosity of many; no one has suspected the horror that it hides.
One has to wonder if Hartley won that contest, and what tale could have possibly bested it. You can read the entire story (it’s not long) at Futility Closet. -via Nag on the Lake
(Image credit: FOTO:FORTEPAN/Saly Noémi)