‘Eat! Eat! Eat!’ Those notorious tapeworm diet pills

Peoria, Illinois, 1912: the horror begins. A society lady, encouraged by a friend’s success with an easy new weight-loss treatment, pays $25 for ‘two rather...

On thorny ground: the human x-ray scientists

Imagine being able to see through a steel door, or to force the germination of poppy seeds and at once destroy them with the power...

Detective Caminada and the quack doctors

Angela Buckley’s book, The Real Sherlock Holmes: The Hidden Story of Jerome Caminada, published in March 2014, tells the story of a real-life Victorian supersleuth....

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...
Welcome to our virtual collection of health advertising, fraudulent schemes and medical oddities of the past.

Fat or fiction?

The tapeworm diet is credited with a long history, but did our great-grandmothers really use parasites for weight loss?

Explosive party tricks

Victorian Christmas party hosts found some ingenious - and potentially dangerous - ways of entertaining their guests.

Human X-Rays

In 1911, the Grant brothers of Maidstone claimed to be 'human x-rays', able to cure disease and even bring people back to life by the power of their minds.

Caminada's quacks

Angela Buckley, author of 'The Real Sherlock Holmes', writes about Detective Jerome Caminada's campaign against medical fraudsters.

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