Friday, September 11, 2009

1902 & 2009; Plus Ca Change, Plus C'est La Meme Chose

Dusty D is not above schnorking at the quackery of the past, much of which frightens me: calomel, violent purges, "heroic" medicine.

But imagine my amusement when in the current "America Profile" magazine (a doodad stuffed into this Thursday's Courier [WHICH HAS SOME EXCEPTIONAL STORIES THIS WEEK, DID YOU GET YOUR COPY?]) I found this ad for a useless magnetic knee thingie.

It immediately reminded me of the Men's Electric Belt in my old 1902 Sears, Roebuck catalog. Note the special, um, southward extension.

Dusty D told her ever-practical husband the Frenchified title of this post and he said, "That sounds nicer than 'People are still stupid.'"

Indeed it does.

Quackery lives on...


Skeptic said...

A few years ago, my wife and I were inveigeled into enjoying a free dinner at the Earle in Ann Arbor, sponsored by an outfit that wished to show us a preview of a new medical wonder. We thought we might eat and run, but it turned out that, before we dined, we had to listen to a thirty-minute spiel for a mattress (or mattress cover -- I forget which) that was studded with little magnets, embedded in the thick fabric. Supposedly the magnets, which affected the iron in one's blood, promised health benefits, and were an aid to sound sleep.

So okay, the dinner was a good one, and worth the wait. On the way out, we noticed that several of our fellow diners (mostly old farts like ourselves) actually were buying the costly, bogus bedding.

Dusty D said...

Skeptic: you did it the smart way, and got a nice dinner. But that's the biggest placebo I've ever heard of.

If someone wants more iron, mebbe just get a cast iron pan and cook some yummy chopped mixed chard and kale and collard in it! With bacon! Yum.