A nameless tramp’s discovery

Deep in the piney woods of Louisiana there grow certain herbs. Clean, fresh, green little herbs they are, redolent with the smell of the pines and of the wholesome earth that has given them birth. Years ago, a nameless tramp discovered that these little herbs contained a marvelous power to …

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The Diagraphoscope – a wonder-working machine

Twentieth-century businessman X. W. Witman saw a lot of potential in X-rays. Doctors might get excited about their emerging medical application, but for him X-rays offered something even better – the chance to get rich quick. If you could X-ray Witman’s head, the plate would display a fine collection of …

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Live Lizards Found in Girl’s Stomach

CLEVELAND, O., Dec. 23—.Two live lizards three and a half inches long, several smaller ones, and a number of lizard eggs, were taken from the stomach of Lovel Herman, nineteen, four days before she died. A postmortem examination showed that the wall of the stomach had been attacked by the …

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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 became popular with orthodox physicians and was advertised in professional publications, including the British …

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Happy Christmas from The Quack Doctor

………………………………………………………………………………….. FATHER CHRISTMAS AND THE DOCTORS Old Christmas comes but once a year, Of that there is no question; But when he comes we all feel queer, Hurrah for indigestion! Dyspepsia follows in his train, The Stomach-ache attends him; And every sort of inward pain A gay enjoyment lends him. …

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If the patient is not alarmed

I just rediscovered this book, which I’ve owned for years but had forgotten about. It’s a marketing publication produced by Elliman and Sons, who manufactured the hugely popular Elliman’s Embrocation (for people) and Royal Embrocation (for animals) at Slough from 1847 onwards. The book, which has the cover title Horses, …

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Bomb the first sneeze with Kilacold

  If you think a chlorine bomb sounds more like something from the battlefield than the medicine cabinet, then you’d be right about the origins of this 1920s remedy. The product, and a brief trend among physicians for treating colds with chlorine, arose from experiments made by the US Chemical …

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The Voice of the People

Why would you visit The Quack Doctor to read about the famous Beecham’s Pills, when five seconds of Googling will give you more information than you could possibly read in a lifetime? Well, obviously you wouldn’t, so that’s why I’ve never blogged about them. I just wanted to do a …

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No More Baldheads, No More Dandruff

Whether they promised to cover a bald head with a mop of curls, to rejuvenate greying locks or to produce manly whiskers on the smoothest of chins, hair-related products appear in numerous Victorian and Edwardian adverts. There was a huge choice of potions, lotions, devices and even pills for bringing …

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Dr W. S. Rice’s Rupture Method

I had this post all specially planned for 21 May 2011 and now you tell me today has nothing to do with ruptures? Honestly, I don’t know why I bother. Well, I might as well post it anyway – I get the feeling not many Quack Doctor readers will be …

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