How to grow tall

ADvent Calendar Day 11ADvent 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 it was home to another dodgy organisation is no coincidence. Thomas Adkin, the Institute’s President, was also a director of The Cartilage Company, which vowed to elongate short people so they could avoid the kind of embarrassing situation encountered by the fellow in this 1906 advert.

The public face of the brand, however, was Kilion Leo Minges, and the product for sale was his invention – a torturous-looking device. The user had to wear a head-harness with a rope running through a pulley on the ceiling. By pulling on the rope, the person could attempt to stretch the body while stirrups on the floor prevented him or her being lifted off the ground.

The Cartilage Company, from 'Recreation', Feb 1906

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