The Century Thermal Bath Cabinet

ADvent Calendar Day 10 The Century Thermal Bath Cabinet Company was a leading player in the vogue for portable Turkish baths for home use at the turn of the 20th century. The luxury was not without its dangers; newspapers occasionally reported cases of the alcohol stove setting light to the …

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Claxton’s Patent Ear Cap

ADvent Calendar Day 4 ‘It has often been observed by experienced elders, that since it became the fashion for babies to discard caps, protruding ears are but too common. They are very ugly, and the ear-cap just invented is a safe preventive, without the heat that made the cap objectionable.’ …

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Figuroids

.ADvent Calendar Day 3 .The three female figures in Figuroids’ publicity were designed to illustrate the product’s promise: ‘If you are like the STOUT girl—you will become like the MEDIUM girl—and finally like the DAINTY girl—by taking Figuroids.’ . Launched in the UK in 1907 by Canadian doctor George Dixon, …

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The devil in disguise

Hall's Coca Wine - 1897 ad from Country Life

John Michael Smith is one of those fleeting figures who cross history’s pages when they get into trouble and then disappear, leaving only a hint of a life where destitution is more prominent than criminality. At the age of 11 he lived in Lodge Lane, Derby, with his mother and …

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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 human version of the liniment is still …

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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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Capsuloids Hair Restorer

Source: Black & White, 19 March 1904 Chief among the ills to which flesh is heir in the springtime is the provoking habit of our ‘crowning glory’ to come off in handfuls, leaving us with the parlous prospect of a denuded poll. So says a 1904 advertorial recommending Capsuloids as …

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Derk P. Yonkerman's Tuberculozyne

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

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