Diseases of Women: Their Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment and the Home Medical Guide. Bertha C. Day.
Diseases of Women: Their Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment and the Home Medical Guide.
Diseases of Women: Their Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment and the Home Medical Guide.

Diseases of Women: Their Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment and the Home Medical Guide.

Fort Wayne, Indiana: Published by the Author, [1909]. First edition. OCLC locates two copies (Harvard and University of Rochester). Somewhat chipped and creased. Minor occasional foxing. A very good copy of this scarce promotional material for the mail-order business of a woman quack doctor. Original gray-blue printed paper wrappers. 5 in. x 7 in. 121 pp. Item #17049

Bertha C. Day was one of the faces of a mail-order medicine business that targeted women’s health concerns. The enterprise, founded by a William M. Griffin, employed several other woman physicians to advertise to women. Day and her associates were considered by the American Medical Association to be quacks who sold ineffective patent medicines at inflated prices.

A lengthy chapter in the book Nostrums and Quackery, printed by the AMA in 1911, pointed out grandiose claims Day made about her education and experience in the introduction to the present work: though she claimed to have accrued “vast experience” during “several years of active life as a general practitioner,” she had only graduated from a homeopathic college in 1907 and had been licensed to practice medicine in 1908 (p. 213). She also claimed to have studied at an elite medical school, been on staff at a major hospital, and to have studied at twenty different hospitals. The AMA also accused Day of prescribing the same expensive course of medicine to nearly all the women who contacted her, sending incomplete packages of medications, and using manipulative pricing techniques that were the signature of mail-order quacks (pp. 217-218). A note in the second edition of Nostrums and Quackery points out that Day was no longer attached to Griffin’s mail-order scheme after the scrutiny directed at her when the first edition was published. Future editions of the present work were published under the name Dr. Julia D. Godfrey, presumably to divert suspicion (p. 224).

Price: $175.00

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