Richard and Edward Chrimes

Notorious Chrimes: The Blackmail Pills

In 1890s London, the 'Lady Montrose Pills' blackmail scheme efficiently and heartlessly targeted more than 8,000 victims. In this comprehensive account of the case, Dick Weindling introduces the Chrimes brothers, who manufactured this audacious scam.   In...

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 gain comfort from the fact he has kept his...
Antidipso British Monthly Dec 1903

To raise false hopes

I appeared on Great British Railway Journeys, series 7, episode 11, on 18 Jan 2016. The episode is available on BBC iPlayer, and here's some more information about one of the remedies featured:   ‘Tears and...
Esther Jane Neumane

Guest post: England’s ‘only female doctor’?

Last year, The Quack Doctor featured some bottles from the collection of Michael Till, including this gorgeous and rare example of Cavania's Wonder-Worker Lotion. A father and daughter team, Professor and Mademoiselle Cavania practised in...

Avoiding the trickcyclist and nutpicker: First World War home remedies and miracle cures

I'm delighted to welcome author Suzie Grogan to The Quack Doctor. Suzie's latest book, Shell Shocked Britain: The First World War's Legacy for Britain's Mental Health was published in October 2014. In this guest post,...
Grimstone ad, 1840

Mr Grimstone and the Revitalised Mummy Pea

In a Highgate garden known as the Herbary grew plants destined to invigorate nostrils all over the world. Savory, rosemary and lavender scented the air, while orris-root thrived under the carefully cultivated soil. Dried,...

Valentine’s Meat-Juice

  The Quack Doctor is not a hearts and flowers kind of person, so was interested to learn of a dark side to this product's history. Brought into production in Richmond, VA, in 1871, Valentine's Meat-Juice...

Wonder-workers and styptics

When your Magic Chicken is suffering from cholera, there's no need to panic. This bottle for the Magic Chicken Cholera Cure is one of around 195 medicine bottles in the collection of Michael Till,...

For the blood is the life

The Quack Doctor is currently providing Victorian remedies for Sky Living’s online newspaper, The Inquisitor, which accompanies the channel’s new ten-part drama, Dracula. If you are visiting the site for the first time via...
The Mormon Elder's Damiana Wafers

The Mormon Elder’s Damiana Wafers – the most powerful invigorant ever produced

As a target of drug manufacturers, impotence has stood the test of time. In the late 19th century, mail order remedies and relatively anonymous purchases from a chemist were ways of avoiding the embarrassment of...