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Jump Back in Time Gilded Age (1878-1889)
Drawing of Bell's Metal Detector
The drawing for Alexander Graham Bell's metal detector

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Charles J. Guiteau Shot President Garfield
July 2, 1881

Over the next few weeks, surgeons tried to locate the bullet in the president's back. Even Alexander Graham Bell tried to help by inventing a metal detector. Unfortunately for the president, the bullet was imbedded so deeply in his body that the metal detector could not locate it. Even more unfortunate was that the importance of sterilization in the operating room hadn't been realized yet. It was the infection, caused by doctors probing the president's wound with unwashed hands, that eventually killed James A. Garfield.
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