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Devices and therapies

Inventions and treatment systems to keep you in tip-top condition.

The Dolly Dimpler

ADvent Calendar Day 6 Designed to create adorable dimples where there were none before, devices like this appeared in the 1920s. Evangeline Isabella Gilbert of Rochester, NY, filed a patent in 1921 (not granted until...
Maggot sheds at Jerusalem Farm, pictured in the Leeds Mercury, 31 July 1911. (British Newspaper Archive)

A breath of maggoty air

No one likes to be the hapless person who wanders into the garage and finds a forgotten turkey carcase humming with maggots and surrounded in a fug of pungent effluvia. I suppose it would...

The intangible power that controls human destiny

ADvent Calendar Day 8 The marvellous book on offer from the New York Institute of Science in the first decade of the twentieth century was called The Philosophy of Influence, and promised 'The secret of...

Bailey’s Rubber Complexion Brush

  A harmless alternative to the arsenical preparations then in vogue for improving the complexion, Bailey's rubber brush was intended to improve the circulation, clear the pores and allow the blood to free itself of...

10 Victorian products for Movember

As more than a million people across the world spend this month growing moustaches to raise awareness of – and funds for – Movember's men's health projects, here are a few 19th-century products to help them...
The New and Delightful Method - Punch vol 45 p175

‘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 Stafford, (or Staffford – whoever proofread it probably hoped...

Dr W. S. Rice’s Rupture Method

I had this post all specially planned for 21 May 2011 and now you tell me today has nothing to do with ruptures? Honestly, I don't know why I bother. Well, I might as well...
Cigares de Joy

Cigares de Joy

ADvent Calendar Day 17 . Although smoking and asthma now seem an unlikely combination, cigarettes were an efficient way of getting medication into the lungs. According to the Medical Times and Gazette in 1875, the Cigares de Joy were...
The Cartilage Company, from 'Recreation', Feb 1906

How to grow tall

ADvent Calendar Day 11 Rochester, NY, might ring a bell for attentive followers of this calendar, as it made an appearance on Day 8 as the location of the New York Institute of Science. That...
Ramey's inhaler

Ramey’s Medicator: an inventor’s survival

Advertisements for Ramey's Medicator claimed that it would overcome 'death dealing disease.' What most customers didn't know, however, was that the inhaler would never have existed at all if its inventor had not survived...