Photo of barrage balloon from America from the Great Depression to World War II, at the Library of Congress.
Today in Odd History
John Harvey Kellogg Serves Corn Flakes at the San (March 7, 1897)
If the enemas and the yogurt and the corn flakes and the surgeries failed to improve the patient's condition, Dr. Kellogg had another explanation for what ailed them. He accused them of being masturbators. He abhorred sex, and particularly masturbation, nearly as much as he abhorred clogged colons. Masturbation, he believed, caused sleeplessness, eating disorders and acne. He devoted 97 pages of his 664-page treatise on sex, Plain Facts for Old and Young, to what he called "The Secret Vice." (He also suggested a cure for masturbation. "A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys," he wrote, "is circumcision... The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind... In females, the author has found the application of pure carbolic acid to the clitoris an excellent means of allaying the abnormal excitement.") It is perhaps telling that the good doctor composed a good deal of this book while on his honeymoon. Although he was married, the marriage was never consummated. He and his wife kept separate apartments throughout their lives. (Dr. Kellogg maintained that this was due to the deleterious effect of sexual activity upon physical health. Some commentators, though, have speculated that Dr. Kellogg was either impotent, as a result of mumps, or that he suffered from klismaphilia, a sexual disorder in which enemas replace intercourse.)
Icy baths in radium-infused water and bone-jarring rides on the vibratory chair aside, most of the patients who came to the San did improve. This was due, in large part, to Dr. Kellogg's careful selection of his patients. The seriously ill were almost never admitted. If they were, he released them before their conditions proved fatal. (Sojourner Truth, for instance, died at home several months after her stay at the San.) His patients suffered from the diseases of the richobesity, overwork, and boredom. It may be a testament to the efficacy of Dr. Kellogg's "biological living" that he himself lived to be 91. On the other hand, it may be only a testament to his genetic makeup. His brother Will lived to be 91, as well.
More corn flakes and yogurt enemas:
All content is © 2002-2003 Chia Evers, unless otherwise noted, but may be freely copied and redistributed, so long as proper credit is given and all links to this site are left intact. News of the Odd and Today in Odd History are Chia Evers. All other logos, trademarks and news photos are the property of their respective owners. Permission to reproduce articles posted on this site may be obtained here. News of the Odd will never sell, rent or otherwise reveal your email address.