The Science Museum of Minnesota, in St Paul, features an exhibit titled “Museum of Quackery and Medical Frauds” that presents examples of unsafe, ineffective and dishonest medical devices. In the early 1900s, the medical industry was completely unregulated, and manufacturers or fake doctors were free to use any and all untested ingredients and to make all sorts of outrageous and false claims about what their “treatments” could do. Some were based on mistakes or misunderstandings of science, and many were intentionally dishonest and fraudulent. Most quack devices were based on electricity, magnetism or radioactivity, which were then only recent scientific discoveries and were viewed as ultra-modern sources of energy and vitality.
The signage explains how to use critical thinking skills to detect fraudulent claims, and demonstrates the history of medical quackery that eventually led to the modern FDA which was specifically formed to regulate drugs and treatments.
Here are photos of some of the items on display, and a brief description.
Most people believe that the United States entered the First World War because of the sinking of the Lusitania. But in reality, several other passenger ships were also sunk by German U-boats, killing American passengers and eventually prompting the US to enter the war. And one of these was the Arabic.
The “muscle car” is uniquely American. No other country is so much in love with “car culture”, and no one else is as obsessed as Americans are with big powerful gas-guzzlers. And of these, no muscle car is as famous as the Chevy Corvette.