A couple weeks ago I read a book by Harold Schechter titled The Devil's Gentleman: Privilege, Poison, and the Trial That Ushered in the Twentieth Century.
This was the first OJ type trial of the new century, that being 1900, that riveted the entire nation. Back in what were known as the Gay 90s, when the word 'gay' had a different meaning than it did during the Gay 1990s, America was booming, after recovering from the Panic of 1893. Good times would continue til the next Panic, which I think was in 1907. Both these Panics were in many ways worse than our current Panic. America always seems to recover from her Panics.
Anyway, during the Gay 90s there was no such thing as the FDA. No one regulated food production or drugs or medicines. The type murder people feared, during this period, was being poisoned. There was one sensational poisoning after another.
And then William Randolph Hearst bought a New York City newspaper and set out to take on Joseph Pulitzer by out yellow journalisming him. Hearst needed a sensational poisoning story. And then Roland Molineux obliged. The son of a revered Civil War general, Roland was accused of some nasty poisoning murders. Two trials later he was set free.
Now, that story was very interesting, but what I want to share with you now is part of the book that dealt with the thriving industry of curative elixirs. Roland bought a lot of these elixirs, attempting to cure some of his "manhood" issues.
What struck me as bizarre is way back then there was already an industry that I thought was born only in our modern era, that being the industry that produces those annoying spams that are directed to fixing some of our current, supposed, "manhood" issues.
A Dr. Vincent G. Hamill, president of the Marston Remedy Company had a thriving business selling his curatives. Below is the info on one of his widely distributed advertising circulars...
AND HOW TO ATTAIN IT
A BOOK FOR MEN MARRIED AND SINGLE
A full explanation of a wonderful method for the quick restoration of
PERFECT MANHOOD, in all that term implies.
A method that overcome EVERY EVIL CONDITION of the sexual system. Gives to the weakest organs and parts their
NATURAL VIGOR AND TONE.
And to those shrunken and stunted their
NORMAL AND PROPER SIZE.
IT EXPLAINS how to build up all sexual vigor.
IT EXPLAINS how to avoid all the physical evils of married life.
IT EXPLAINS how to cure sexual weakness in any stage for all time.
IT EXPLAINS how to cure unnatural losses from dreams, in urine, etc.
IT EXPLAINS how to cure nervousness, trepidation, lack of self-confidence.
IT EXPLAINS how the entire sexual system of the male may be brought to that condition so essential to general good health and peace of mind.
IT EXPLAINS how to develop, strengthen, enlarge all weak, stunted, undeveloped, feeble organs and parts of the body which have lost or never attained a proper an natural condition, whether through early errors, ill-health, or other causes.
IT EXPLAINS how to be free from degrading thought,
superior to debasing conditions, to feel
A VERY KING AMONG MEN!