The Worm-Doctor of Shoreditch

John Gardner, Image Courtesy of Wellcome Library, London

It’s a while since we last heard from our old friend Ascaris lumbricoides, so it’s time he made another appearance on The Quack Doctor together with a few of his helminthic chums. I’m putting together a talk about the career of John Gardner, a former soldier and picture-framer who became …

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The Balm of Zura, or Phoenix of Life

Source: Trewman’s Exeter Flying Post, 3 April 1823 Much of the evidence on this one is anecdotal, but the proprietor of the Balm of Zura, Dr A. Lamert, certainly sounds quite a character. Lamert was the son of a London-based German quack who dabbled in ophthalmology before moving on to …

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The Poor Man’s Friend

Source: Trewman’s Exeter Flying Post, 20 July 1826 In 2003, the Daily Mail ran a story titled: Beeswax is ‘miracle’ cure. The article referred to an 18th/19th-century ointment called The Poor Man’s Friend, a popular remedy for wounds and skin conditions. The reason it hit the 21st-century press was that its …

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Rowland's Alsana Extract

The Rowlands – a father and son team – mainly produced cosmetic products. The one shown below veers more towards the medical side of things, as did their Cerelaeum elixir for headaches and vertigo. They also sold a tooth powder called Odonto, a beauty preparation named Kalydor and a hair dye called the Essence of …

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Wainwright's Staffordshire Cordial

    Image: Kavalkade vor Schloss Heiligenberg by Allbrecht Adam, 1831 .    WAINWRIGHT’s STAFFORDSHIRE CORDIAL,         AND ROYAL ENGLISH MEDICINE FOR HORSES, WHICH  has  been  given   with   unprecedented  success  in the   most   dangerous   stages   of   the  Sleeping  or  Raging Staggers,  Gripes,  Colds,  Coughs, Fevers,  and all disorders originating …

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