An Unabashed Quack who Gets our Goat

As lovers of all things “Quack Medicine” we never tire of stories about unabashed quacks in medical history. One of our favorites would have to be the tale about a fellow named John R Brinkley, aka the “Gland Doctor” (1885-1942). History has it that Brinkley performed hundreds if not thousands of surgeries on men who suffered, or at least feared that their virile days were a thing of the past. The operation entailed an opening up of the scrotal sac and depositing goat testicles along side the existing set of twins. By hanging out together in the same sac (goat gland and human testicles) Brinkley claimed that testosterone would flow more abundantly thereby revitalizing the subject’s appetite for sexual encounters. Research implies that Brinkley himself was a true believer in the procedure, as he was his own first patient. The inspiration came from his tenure at a meat packing company where he could not help but notice the sexual voracity of the goats at the plant. For sometime, Brinkley was a radio celebrity as he was one of the first to establish a talk show addressing the issue of performance between the bed sheets. It is believed he performed as many as 16000 procedures before he came to be known as an irrepressible lunatic.

For all the dirt on this tale of medical quackery and the self-styled “Doctor” Brinkley , who by the way had no formal medical training and purchased his degrees, check out the link.

Also be sure to check out the wide assortment of quack medicine items in our Cabinet of Curiosities shop. To mention a few: incredible, 19c museum-quality, quack medicine bottles (complete with labels), bleeders, fleams and a host of other apothecary and quack devices that might best be described as very curious if not absurd.

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