Patient testimonials were (and indeed remain) an integral part of the promotion of non-evidence-based health products. While 19th-century newspaper advertising only had room for concise endorsements, promotional books and pamphlets allowed medicine proprietors to give more detailed case studies of those who had supposedly benefited from their products. This one by Mr M C Battey, a railroad ticket agent from New Orleans, describes the gruesome condition from which he was rescued by Radam’s Microbe Killer.


William Radam, inventor of the Microbe Killer, pictured in 1890
William Radam, inventor of the Microbe Killer, pictured in 1890

NEW ORLEANS, November 1, 1889.

Radam’s Microbe Killer Company:

I consider it only your due that I add my testimonial to the thousands given you, all breathing praises of the wonderful remedy discovered by William Radam, and named by him ‘Microbe Killer’. To me it has proven a God-sent gift, for to its wonderful effects I firmly believe I owe my life.

For the past fifteen months I have suffered all the agony a man could, covered with ulcers from thighs to neck, on front, back, and sides, the result of blood poison, caused by my own imprudence. Over a year ago I had an ulcer appear on my leg, big as a hen-egg. To open it I used a large-sized hypodermic needle, laying the needle aside without cleaning it with carbolic acid or other agent, as I should. When a second ulcer came I used the same needle to open it, and thus put into my system all the old poison contained within the needle.

The effects were terrible indeed. Malignant ulcers began to come, often ten at a time, on all parts of my body. They caused the most intense suffering, day and night. Poisonous pus constantly exuded. They would not heal, although I used every agent known. I began to lose flesh rapidly, my weight being reduced from one hundred and seventy to one hundred and twenty-five pounds. I had no appetite, no ambition, no strength.

M C Battey when suffering from ulcers
M C Battey when he began taking the Microbe Killer

I gave every medicine advertised, as well as various physicians’ prescriptions, a thorough trial, and got rapidly worse instead of better. I gave up all hope of being cured, and neither my family, friends, nor myself believed I could possibly live to see this year out. Finally, owing to the persuasions of Mr. Meyers, of the Picayune, I consented to try the Microbe Killer as a last resort, and I frankly confess I had no faith in it, as I had used S. S. S. and B. B. B. and P. P. P., five bottles of each, and received no relief, and I believed there was no cure for me. But I determined to give your remedy a fair trial, and I thank God I did. I determined to use heroic treatment, and not follow directions, so I began on your strongest preparation, No. 3, .and drank it freely as water, eight or nine times a day, using a jug, or gallon, every five or six days; at the same time I used the remedy as a wash, bathing the ulcers night and morning, forcing the liquid into the sores with a sponge.

I soon found the benefit of such treatment, for the ulcers at once ceased to come; they began to discharge a healthy pus, my appetite returned, I slept well (as all soreness had gone from my body), the color came back to my face, body, and hands, my flesh returned, until now I weigh one hundred and sixty pounds; my family regained lost hopes, my friends congratulated me on my improved appearance, and I said good-by to disease.

Logo of Radam's Microbe Killer

I have used seven gallons, and do not propose to quit until I am perfectly cured, although I believe I am now, yet I do not propose to give the microbes a chance to multiply yet awhile. I give you permission to show the photograph I enclose. It was taken when I commenced to use your remedy. If I had one of my present appearance it would show the gain which has been effected; but it might mislead the unthinking, as although the sores are healed up the scars remain, and many of them I will carry to the grave. But to all and every one I truthfully say that I owe my cure and my life only and solely to the unstinted use of the Microbe Killer, and so long as I live I shall use no other medicine for the cure of any disease, for I firmly believe with Mr. Radam, that microbes are the cause of every disease, and I also believe his remedy is the only cure there is in the world.

I have had the worst case of blood poisoning I ever saw, and I believe my case is the only one which has ever been cured. You can find a score of men who can vouch for the facts I have given. Nearly every one of them has seen my body in its worst condition, and all will testify that only Microbe Killer has cured me.

Yours truly,


709 Burgundy Street.



Source: Radam, W, Microbes and the Microbe Killer, New York, 1890

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