A devil of a cure

One must always be grateful for small mercies. When a giant jazz-hands Satan is trampling amok on your planet of residence, you can at least...

What the Apothecary Ordered

I’m delighted to announce that 10 August is the UK publication day for a pocket volume I compiled for Old House Books, an imprint of...

‘A new sensation’ – hair-brushing by machinery

Among the gems released into the public domain by the British Library last December is an advertisement for Batkin & Kent, Hairdressers and Perfumers of...

Strange case: ‘At all events the blade fell’

Injuries acquired in unusual circumstances, spurious news stories of medical happenings, bizarre or gruesome reports from doctors’ casebooks… Strange cases is an occasional feature on the Quack...

‘A Damnable Villain’ – Byron H. Robb and the Electro-Magnetic Brush Co.

The Quack Doctor is delighted to welcome guest blogger Robert K. Waits, author of The Medical Electricians: George A. Scott and His Victorian Cohorts in...
Welcome to our virtual collection of health advertising, fraudulent schemes and medical oddities of the past.

A devil of a cure

A company in early 20th-century Kansas named their constipation medicine after an unlikely figure. Satan.

New book

Out now: 'What the Apothecary Ordered', a pocket compendium of bizarre remedies.

Machine hair-brushing

The hair-brushing machine, invented in 1862, took the barber shops of Victorian Britain by storm.

'The blade fell'

In 1909, a morbid Parisian gentleman ended up regretting his fascination with the guillotine.

A Damnable Villain part 2

In the second of Robert K Waits' guest posts, electromagnetic fraudster Byron H Robb moves to Texas and adopts a new identity.

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