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Weird Nebraska "Shocking" Medical Breakthroughs

From the snake oil salesmen of the past to the infomercial pitchmen of today, the public has been bombarded with devices, diets, and medicines promising relief from mental or physical maladies. Electric "medical" devices that generated ozone were sold to cure any number of ills, as were numerous concoctions. The examples here date from the early 1900s, but are they really much different from some of the products being touted today?

This Blud Rub Machine, an electric scalp massager from about 1920, was used in the Butler family barbershop in University Place, Nebraska.
Source: Duane Butler, Lincoln. 34-34

Davis and Kidders Magneto electric machine.
Source: University of Nebraska Medical Center Library. 10600-6

This electrical therapy machine, from the turn of the twentieth century, was used by W. A. Anderson, Ord, Nebraska.
Source: Ray T. Abernethy, Lincoln. 7838-1

This Cosmo Ray machine was sold in Lincoln during the 1940s. The instructional pamphlet included testimonials from people who had been cured of such varied ailments as warts, ingrown toenails, jaundice, high or low blood pressure, and even "psychiatric problems" by the ozone generated from the Cosmo Ray.

Cosmo Ray Machine

Cosmoray letterhead
and pamphlet

Source: F. C. Radke Collection, Courtesy of Joanna R. Cook, Evanston, Illinois,
and Mark F. Radke, Columbus, Georgia,
8699-50- 52


Lincoln X-Ray Infirmary sign advertising Ozonoline and Electrical Therapy Treatments.
Source: Elmer Carlson, Allen.


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Last updated 26 February 2007  

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