National Geographic : 1919 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE suiting from calcining egg shells and garden snails. An alkaline vegetable de coction and some pills made from cal cined snails and some burned vegetable drugs comprised the "cure." Horace Walpole is said to have taken this awful mess in the belief that it helped him. Lime water would have been just as efficacious. THE QUACKS WHO TREATED BEASTS AND BISHOPS ALIKE The Taylors, known as the Whitworth Doctors, inventors of the Whitworth Red Bottle and the Whitworth Drops, flour ished at Whitworth during the same pe riod. The original Taylor was a farrier, who was also an unqualified veterinarian. He died in 1802. His young brother, his sons, and their descendants all prac ticed surgery, mostly irregularly, although some of them were qualified. The older brothers applied horse remedies to hu man beings, treating man and beast alike. People came to these ignorant men from every quarter of England, crowding the small village near Rochdale. Duchesses and princesses and bishops-all came to the Whitworths; rarely the "Doctors" went to London. The fame of the Whitworths still lin gers in rural England and the sale of the "remedies "continues. Nostrum makers have not confined their attention to the humble citizen. Some of the most notorious quacks have been favored by royalty. John Ward, who manufactured Ward's Pills and Ward's Drops and many other remedies in Paris and London, had no medical training, but included among his patients Lord Chesterfield, Gibbon the historian, Fielding the novelist, and was so well thought of by George II that the King opened a dispensary at Whitehall and paid Ward to treat poor patients there. When, in 1748, a bill was introduced in Parliament to restrict the practice of medicine, the act contained a clause spe cifically exempting Ward from its penal ties. Queen Charlotte on one occasion asked General Churchill if it was true that Ward's medicines once made a man mad. "Yes, Madam," said Churchill; "his name A DRAWING WHICH DEPICTS THE ADMIN ISTRATION OP A BEZOAR TO CURE A VICTIM OP POISONING An illustration from "Hortus Sanitatis," published in 1491. "Mad-stones," which only a few years ago were applied to "draw out the poison" from mad-dog bites, were direct tradi tional descendants of these Bezoar stones of the ancients. is Mead." Richard Mead was the regu lar physician to the King. The history of nostrum making in America, of the fortunes builded on it, and the frauds practiced on the credu lous public,' has been well told by other writers-so well told that as a nation we are ceasing to be the greatest nostrum users in the world. The alcohol medicines, the cocaine medicines, the opium medicines, and their less actively harmful associates, the sar saparillas, etc., have had their day, and their use has declined in every section of the country. The Council on Pharmacy of the American Medical Association holds the members of that influential body to a strict code of requirements in the matter of the kind of drug com pounds they prescribe, and even com pounds not advertised to the public must nowadays toe the ethical mark.