Quack, Quack, Quack: The Sellers of Nostrums in Prints, Posters, Ephemera, and Books / Edition 1

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interhouse Editions 2002 Hardcover 256 pages. Hardcover with dustjacket. Brand new book. EXHIBITION CATALOGS. This catalog traces medical quackery from itinerant sellers of ... nostrums four centuries ago to unsolicited spam on the Internet today. Posters by Maxwell Parrish and others illustrate the artistry with which proprietary medicines advertised, and works by H. G, Wells and others offer a look at the elaborate language used to promote the quack's wares. (Key Words: Medical Quackery, William H. Helfand, Exhibition Catalogs, Grolier Club, Prints, Posters, Ephemera, Maxwell Parish, H.G. Wells). Read more Show Less

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Falls Village, Connecticut, U.S.A. 2002 Hardcover New 0910672407. Flawless.

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2002 Hardcover New 0910672407. Flawless copy, brand new, pristine, never opened--256 pp. With 203 ills. (19 col. ). 27 x 22 cm.

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Overview

This authoritative and entertaining exhibition catalog explores the long visual history of a rich and neglected topic: medical quackery, from the itinerant seller of nostrums four centuries ago to the unsolicited spam of today's internet. Presenting a broad variety of material—prints by William Hogarth and Honoré Daumier, posters by Jules Chéret and Maxfield Parrish, and books by H. G. Wells and S. Weir Mitchell—Quack, Quack, Quack offers a delightful look at the remarkable artistry and elaborate language quacks used to peddle their wares: lavish pronouncements, excessive postures, and imaginatively exalted therapeutic promises.

The earliest quacks, we see, dressed elaborately, inflated their credentials, and embraced an extravagant vocabulary to market their panaceas, at times claiming their pills and salves would cure all disease. They were succeeded in short order by the makers of proprietary medicines, many of whom adopted quack-style promotional methods while introducing new ones of their own. These vendors advertised widely—often with celebrity testimonials—publishing broadsides, posters, pamphlets, and manifestos to amplify their claims.

And though recent strides in medicine mean that most people avoid quacks, and efforts have been made to rid society of patent-medicine makers, the quack survives to the present day, promising to make us all thinner, better-looking, healthier, or more sexually potent. This catalogue—and the 2002 New York City Grolier Club exhibition it originally accompanied—are fascinating reminders of how long such promises have been with us, and in how many unique and scintillating ways they've been made.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780910672405
  • Publisher: Grolier Club of New York, The
  • Publication date: 12/12/2003
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 10.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

William H. Helfand is the author of five books, including Pharmacy: An Illustrated History and The Picture of Health.

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Table of Contents

Preface 7
Introduction
On Quackery 11
The Quack 13
Identifying Quacks 16
Common Traits 21
Regulars vs. Irregulars 25
Drugs on the Market 31
Advertising 35
Growth & Decline 40
The Persistence of Quackery 48
Catalogue
The Itinerant Quack 55
The Ways of the Quack 71
Systems 93
Morison's Pills 113
Vin Mariani 129
Anatomical Museums & Medicine Shows 147
Selling Sex Cures 165
Addiction & Electricity Cures 185
Quacks in the Arts 203
The Evils of Quackery 221
Footnotes 239
Bibliography 242
Index 245
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