There is Hope
for You!
Derk P. Yonkerman, Specialist,
discoverer of a remarkable Cure for

To every consumptive person there is  hope  of  life
and health,   for,   incredible  as  it  may  seem,  a
specific which cures Consumption has at last been
found.    Seeking   year  after  year,  working  early
and late, complete success  has  at  last  crowned
the  efforts  of  that  renowned  Specialist,  Derk  P.
Yonkerman,  and  to-day  hundreds  of  former  con-
sumptives, once hopeless and helpless, testify with
joy  and   heartfelt  gratitude  to  the  healing  power
of  his  remarkable  discovery.   This  latest  product
of science is, we  believe,  destined  to revolutionize
the treatment of consumption, for it has  cured after
all other remedies tried and failed  and  changes  of
climate proved  unavailing;  so  potent  is its healing
power  that  even  cases pronounced hopeless have
been by it restored to perfect health.
If you are  in  consumption  you  may  prove   for
yourself the virtue of this wonderful specific.
Simply send your  name  and  address to the Derk
P.  Yonkerman  Co., Ltd.,  Dept.  444, 6, Bouverie
Street,   London,   E.C.,  and  they will forward by
return   of   post  a  free  trial  treatment,  together
with   explicit   directions  for  the  treatment  and
cure  of  Consumption.  Don’t  delay.  If  you  have
Consumption  your   life  is   in   danger  and  you
should   not   hesitate   to   avail  yourself  of  this
marvellous cure.

Source: The Penny Illustrated Paper, Sat 4 February 1905

A rare foray into the 20th century today, with Derk P. Yonkerman’s Tuberculozyne. Yonkerman hailed from Michigan – or to be more precise, a town named Kalamazoo. (Which I had only ever heard of as the name of the cat in Della and the Dealer, but I looked it up and the modern-day city looks absolutely delightful.)

In 1882 Yonkerman graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College and began practising at the Cleveland Veterinary Infirmary in Ohio. In 1901, after tests on cattle, he announced a treatment for TB, claiming to have discovered a way of introducing copper into the blood in order to kill the bacilli (Davenport Daily Republican, Iowa, 6 June 1901). By early 1902 the product was being advertised in the US, and it reached Britain about a year later.

In the UK, a month’s treatment cost £2 10s and comprised two bottles of liquid labelled No 1 Tuberculozyne and No 2 Tuberculozyne. After every meal, the patient had to put thirty drops of each into a glass of milk, stir well and drink immediately.

The BMA analysed the two mixtures and found No 1 to contain potassium bromide, glycerine, oil of cassis, tincture of capsicum, cochineal to give it its bright red colouring, caustic soda and water. No 2, a brown liquid, was glycerine, essential oil of almond, burnt sugar, water and 0.01% copper. The estimated cost of ingredients for the two together was 2½d.

Patients could send off for a free sample, which was a ½oz bottle of each liquid. If they did not go on to purchase further supplies they would receive regular letters offering increasing discounts.

In 1912, the American Medical Association publication, Nostrums and Quackery, quoted the BMA analysis and noted that, whereas in the past British quacks had once been a nuisance to America, ‘the current has set in the other direction and now instead of the American public being fleeced by the English medical fakers the American quack is finding the English public “good pickings”‘. This was due in part to the US Food and Drugs Act of 1906, which meant quacks like Yonkerman had to be very careful what they claimed. The British laws were less strict, allowing for much more exaggerated claims in the advertising and packaging.


Secret Remedies: What they cost and what they contain, British Medical Association, 1909

Nostrums and Quackery: Articles on the the Nostrum Evil and Quackery reprinted, with Additions and Modifications, from the Journal of the Americal Medical association, 2nd ed. 1912


  1. sorry wrote the last one wrong have a free sample of derk p. yonkerman kalamazoo. mich would like to know if it is worth any thing? thank you. phone number is 5087994147

  2. I have a copy of a sworn deposition signed by Derk P. Youkerman and William Shakespeare Jr. dated jan 20, 1905 and notarized. It is from Kalamzoo County, MI. In it they offer $1000 to anyone who can show that they have ever printed or used a letter that was not given to them by patients who acknowledged being cured, etc.

    If you want it as a collectible, make me an offer

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