These nursing uniforms come from the Philippines, Denmark, British Honduras; Hong Kong, Madeira, Kenya; Nepal, Dominican Republic, and Colombia. The nurses, one suspects, do not.
The photo, though, is really interesting. I'd love to know more about why nursing uniforms differed so dramatically. Some of it is surely cultural. But then you look at things like the sleeves on the Hong Kong nurse and you think there's got to be a practical reason behind some of this stuff.
This comes from Hidden Treasure—a book that catalogs amazing images from the archives at the National Library of Medicine. You can see a slideshow of images from the book—including Hitler's head x-ray!—at Wired.
Via David Dobbs
Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.