In the late 1920s and early 1930s, there was a Reverend L. Heumann who made his money peddling healing ointments, elixirs and various cure-alls through widely distributed pamphlets. This week’s Friday Find is one such pamphlet:
The copy in the pamphlet tends towards panic-inducing sensationalism, and it’s quite hilarious when read with the benefit of 80 years of hindsight and medical progress. A few examples:
“Pain and disturbances warn us of imminent danger…Do not pass these warnings- heed them before costly disease overtakes you. No one knows when he will be struck down by pain and disease.”
On a page called “Information For Nervous People”, Mr. Denver Bloom wrote a testimonial about Rev. Heumann’s “wonderful nerve medicine”:
“It is actually the best medicine I ever took. I now feel like a new person. I doctored with three different doctors but neither of them seemed to hit the spot. Yes, my nerves are 100% better.”
There’s also a page about eczema, titled “Don’t Lose Your Charm” with a photo of a young lad whose pocked face indicates that he has clearly lost his charm.
“When the skin is diseased or hurt, the germs have a broken-down gate through which they pour into the helpless system…Eczema makes its victim truly unfortunate.”
On the last page, Rev. Heumann claimed that he’d received over 7,000,000 requests for pamphlets- if this claim is to be believed (read: this claim should NOT be believed), one out of every 17 people in the United States requested one of his pamphlets.