The Menace, an Exposition of Quackery Nostrum Exploitation and Reminiscences of a Country Doctor Page: 12
This book is part of the collection entitled: Rescuing Texas History, 2010 and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries .
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No enterprising scavenger and exploiter of nostrums and
advertiser of wonderful ability need experience any diffi-
culty in obtaining testimonials. As has been repeatedly
shown that testimonials are the least expensive part of the
stock in trade of these reprobates.
I have made the statement before the Bexar County
Medical Society, that I could get a testimonial or a certifi-
cate for anything, I stated that I could take twenty-five
dollars and get a death certificate with very little difficulty,
reciting the cause, etc., of my own death. A free bottle or
two of the preparation, or an order on a local photographer,
a refund of a portion of the blood money collected by the
exploiter, the not uncommon weakness of the unintelligent,
who desire to see their names and pictures set forth in all
the glory of printers' ink, or even in some few cases an
honest belief in the efficasy of the fraud, all furnish easy
and not costly means of obtaining favorable comment on
"low down fraud," however worthless.
Their national quality of commercial shrewdness fails
them when they go into the open market to purchase relief
from suffering. The average American citizen when he
sets out to buy a horse, or an automobile, is a model of
caution. Show him testimonials from any number of prom-
inent people, and he will scoff at you. Now observe the
same citizen seeking to buy the most precious of all pos-
sessions, good health, and anybody's word is good enough
He will drop into a barber shop to get a shave, and while
he is getting the shave, the barber is, as he usually does,
telling him all he knows and then some, recommends some
great doctor that he knew could cure him in three days. The
barber recommends him because he is a good patron of his
place of business. Or he will get into an elevator and ask
the elevator boy to take him to some good "Lung Specialist"
and the elevator boy, who very often is a negro, will take him
to this wonderful doctor, because as in the case of the barber,
the doctor will always tip him, and give him part of the
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Dixon, Chas. D. (Charles D.). The Menace, an Exposition of Quackery Nostrum Exploitation and Reminiscences of a Country Doctor, book, 1914; San Antonio, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143569/m1/20/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.