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Devices and therapies

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

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...
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...

ADvent Calendar 1: The Health Jolting Chair

  Every day until Christmas, The Quack Doctor will be showing a different historical health-related advertisement. First is this brain-refresher and household blessing - the Health Jolting Chair (1885), courtesy of the US National Library...

Claxton’s Patent Ear Cap

ADvent Calendar Day 4 'It has often been observed by experienced elders, that since it became the fashion for babies to discard caps, protruding ears are but too common. They are very ugly, and the...
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...

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...

To Short Persons

TO SHORT PERSONS.——Anyone (Male or Female) wishing to increase in Height and Symmetry of Figure, by means of a remarkable physiological discovery, may send a stamped directed envelope to Captain F. STAFFORD (U.S.). 1,...

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...

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...

The most uncanny look

 IRRESISTIBLE EYES MAY BE HAD BY TRANSPLANTING THE HAIR. a story from The Dundee Courier, 6 July 1899 If your eyes are unattractive you may make them irresistible by transplanting the hair. Transplanted eyelashes and eyebrows are the...