Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"A New Practice of Medicine" - New York Medical University - Part II - 1869 Almanac

In Part II of my three-part series on Dr. J. Walter Scott's "New York Medical University" and "University Medicines," I share the institution's almanac.  Expert collector Dan Cowman, M.D., has a "full run" of the University Medicine almanacs and indicates that they were printed from 1868-76.   It also appears that Dr. Scott penned an 1861 booklet - The Soldiers' Health Companion - for Civil War soldiers.  I have found it listed in various collections on WorldCat but have not been able to find a copy to share.

University Medicines 1869 Almanac - James M. Schmidt Collection

The 1869 almanac in my collection (cover above) is in pretty good condition but still not very suitable for photographing or scanning given its age and thickness.  Fortunately, Google Books has a copy of the very similar 1868 almanac in its online collection and readers can view the entire almanac below (embedded below or link here)!

The almanac actually includes a good deal of useful information for the household in its front matter..and then the fun starts with Dr. Scott's criticism of traditional medicine, an explanation of his "New Pratcice of Medicine," and the usual testimonials in any quack medicine almanac.  This almanac is distinguished by its many surgical and anatomical illustrations.  Another interesting section details the disadvantages of many different schools of medicine - from the traditional Allopaths to Homeopaths to "Clairvoyants" (more on that in future posts!) to "Laying on of Hands" to a criticism of "Eye and Ear" doctors to the denial that "University Medicines" are "patent medicines."

Another section details the various ailments for which they have demonstarted a cure and a questionnaire so that patients can consult the doctor by mail (see Part I of this series here - it is an 1868 letter in my collection from the "University" to an existing or prospective patient.)

Part III of this series will include some great material shared by other collectors, including packaged medicines, labeled bottles, and revenue stamps, all from University Medicines!

No comments: