The ‘Goat-Gland Doctor’: J.R. Brinkley and Medical Quackery in the Early 20th Century

Even though the medical community thoroughly discredited his methods, he was able to continue his activities for almost two decades. Introduction John Romulus Brinkley (later John Richard Brinkley; July 8, 1885 – May 26, 1942) was an American quack who fraudulently claimed to be a medical doctor. He had no legitimate medical education and bought his medical degree from a[…]

A History of Medical Quackery and Pseudoscience since the 17th Century

These widely marketed “cures” first came to prominence during the 17th and 18th centuries in Britain and the British colonies. Introduction Quackery, often synonymous with health fraud, is the promotion[1] of fraudulent or ignorant medical practices. A quack is a “fraudulent or ignorant pretender to medical skill” or “a person who pretends, professionally or publicly, to have skill, knowledge, qualification or credentials they do not possess;[…]

The 17th-Century Cloth Merchant Who Discovered the Vast Realm of Tiny Microbes

Van Leeuwenhoek, who discovered bacteria, is one of the most important figures in the history of medicine. Introduction Imagine trying to cope with a pandemic like COVID-19 in a world where microscopic life was unknown. Prior to the 17th century, people were limited by what they could see with their own two eyes. But then[…]

The Vienna Dioscurides: A Medical and Scientific Text in Ancient Byzantium

The manuscript was produced around 512 C.E. for the imperial princess Anicia Juliana in Constantinople. By Dr. Courtney Ann TomaselliProfessor of Art HistoryElon University Introduction For many, the term “Byzantine art” conjures otherworldly images of holy figures in golden icons and mosaics. But opening the pages of the large, sumptuously illustrated Byzantine manuscript known as the Vienna Dioscurides (the colloquial[…]

What Is the Difference Between A Motorcycle Club and A Riding Club?

Though motorcycle clubs and riding clubs may seem similar, they are vastly different in many ways. In this post, we intend to explore their differences in the following key areas. Definition A motorcycle club is a group of people whose predominant interests and activities involve motorcycles. Motorcycle clubs are very different in their organizations and[…]