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Friday, April 29, 2016

Medical Quackery and Snake Oil

    In the age of quick fixes and assembly line cosmetic surgeries, Bob McCoy urged folks to beware of the quack: the doctor who may not be a doctor and who purports to have a cure for just about anything.  Their advertisements are all over the place today, more sophisticated, but still plentiful – just swallow a pill and lose weight while you sleep; eat this stuff and flush your arteries clean, etc. 
     McCoy was the founder of the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices in St. Anthony Main in Minneapolis. The museum was the nation's largest display of quack medical devices and was founded in 1987. McCoy retired and closed the museum in 2002, donating his devices to the Science Museum of Minnesota, which still displays a number of items in their Collections Gallery. 
     This fun site features all of the items McCoy had on display, many of which are also featured in his book: Quack!: Tales of Medical Fraud from the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices
     A few things: Vibratory Chair, Bloodletting Devices, Electropathy, Foot Operated Breast Enlarger, McGregor Rejuvenator, Natural Eye Sight System, Prostate Cures, Phrenology, Radium Ore Revigator, the1904 Price List for electrical devices with NO electricity, Dr. Bell's Electro Appliance...especially for men, Crazy Crystals - horse salts eliminate the need for crutches, Electrovita - water to revitalize, LaMercey relieves "periodic" distress...and lots more!   Visit the site

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