Plague doctor’s masks are a distinctive and iconic symbol of the medical response to the plague in the 17th century. The masks were made of leather and featured a long beak-like protrusion. The beak was filled with aromatic substances such as herbs, spices, and perfumes. The idea was that the aromatic substances would help protect the doctor from the “miasma” or bad air that was believed to be the cause of the disease. The masks also had glass eyepieces to protect the doctor’s eyes from infection. They were often accompanied by a long coat and gloves made of waxed fabric. While the masks may have helped protect the doctor from some airborne diseases, they were largely ineffective against the plague, which was primarily spread by fleas on rats.