The Cosmopolitan August 1903 Both No. 2 AND the Original. somehow.
Both No. 2 AND the Original. somehow.
This is a continuation of the events recounted in A Product of its Time: Electropoise, and it’s recommended (though not imperative) that you read it first.
After the Electropoise was exposed as little more than a hollow tube with a cord attached, Dr. Hercules Sanche found himself in serious financial trouble, and facing numerous fraud charges.
I’m kidding, of course.
In fact, other than perhaps inspiring the Electrolibration Company to change the product’s name, this discovery apparently had little impact. Whether intended to distance the product from this revelation, or to make the title more evocative of its claims, or for some other unknown reason, the fact is that the Electropoise was rebranded as the Oxydonor.
The Cosmopolitan – October 1897 The bigger scandal may have been showing that much ankle in an ad.
The bigger scandal may have been showing that much ankle in an ad.
The successor received a bit of a makeover, with the “polizer” being renamed the “vocor,” and having a carbon rod within it (rather than being a hollow tube). They also subtly changed the language used in describing what the device ostensibly did. Rather than stating that it generated oxygen (through the mysteries of “Diaduction”) and forced it into the system (something which could be easily debunked), it instead claimed that the device would cause the body to absorb large quantities of oxygen (through the mysteries of “Diaduction”). Additionally, they abandoned all allusions to any electrical process, likely because that would also have been far too easy to verify.
Nostrums and Quackery – Page 247 They may be useless, but they certainly look impressive.
They may be useless, but they certainly look impressive.
While the Oxydonor Victory was the flagship model, there were numerous different flavors, a few of which are illustrated above. The Oxydonors Novora and Binora (upper right and lower left, respectively) each had a pair of cords, and were designed to be used by two people simultaneously. The Vocorbis (lower right) was supposed to be used in conjunction with the Victory, with the hoop being attached to the latter’s “vocor.”
Nostruma and Quackery – Pg. 252 A new contender emerges.
A new contender emerges.
The marketplace success of these “diaductive devices” lead to numerous copycats, such as the Oxygenor King shown above. To differentiate itself, it had three cords which merged together, the third billed as a “force controlling cord.” The far end divided into two cords, ending in a copper and a zinc disc which were to be worn on the ankle and wrist respectively in order to “complete the circuit.” The cylinder was supposedly “charged with a delicately adjusted but permanent combination of rare and costly” materials which made it function.
When investigated, of course, it was determined to be filled with mostly sand with some sulphur, charcoal and traces of iron, brass and lead… and a whole lot of hot air.
Herald Democrat – January 16, 1912 The Oxypathor: Another new contender arises.
The Oxypathor: Another new contender arises.
Dr. Sanche was highly protective of his creations and, perhaps not surprisingly, took the Oxygenor Company to court in a move to prevent its sale.
Though clearly a blatant (if slightly more elaborate), rip-off of the Oxydonor, the court determined that Sanche would have to prove his device actually did something before he could rely on legal protections. One judge stated diaduction, “.is merely a pretense, that is to say, a theory not entertained by the inventor in good faith, but put forward as an imaginary hypothesis merely for the purpose of obtaining a patent.”
Scanned from Oxypathor instruction manual circa ~1905 The Electropoise. er. Oxypathor in “action.”
The Electropoise. er. Oxypathor in “action.”
Whether this was a fair assessment, or Dr. Hercules Sanche actually believed his own hype, is something to be debated next time, when we finally follow Alice to the bottom of this ever curiouser rabbit hole.
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