The 'Extraordinary Effects of Morrison's Vegetable Pills!', 1834.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Coloured lithograph satirising quack medicine, published by J Kendrick of Leicester Square, London on 10 January 1834, showing two men, one with two wooden legs, the other smiling and holding his crutches under his arm. The caption below explains how the man on the left had taken all his pills at night and awoke the next morning to find he had grown a brand new pair of real legs, and his old wooden stumps were at the end of the bed! The 19th century saw a profusion of quack doctors who travelled around selling a wide range of remedies which they claimed could cure all sorts of diseases and ailments. In practice, the majority of the preparations, which were often made up by the 'doctors' themselves, were completely ineffective and in some cases actually dangerous.