Medical Quackery in the Early 20th Century

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.

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Icons of Aviation History: Douglas SBD Dauntless

The “dive bomber” was still a relatively new development in air warfare during World War Two, but it quickly demonstrated its usefulness in the Pacific War.

SBD Dauntless on display at the US Naval Aviation Museum
Continue reading Icons of Aviation History: Douglas SBD Dauntless