Monday, May 17, 2010

"Real Men of Genius" - Civil War Medicine Edition #1

In keeping with the brilliant Bud Light commercials that have featured "Real Men of Genius" for almost a decade now, I am pleased to offer the "Civil War Medicine" versions, featuring some of my favorite Civil War medical inventions (sometimes using the term quite loosely and sometimes not) beginning with:

Name: Anson Dart
Location: Dartford, WI

"It is as sure a prevention to taking the venereal diseases
as that water will quench fire."

Full text of patent:

Be it known that I, Anson Dart, of Dartford, Green Lake county, State of Wisconsin, have discovered a prevention and a protection against taking the diseases known as "syphilis" and "gonorrhea," known also as "venereal diseases; and I do hereby declare that the following is a full description of the articles composing this prevention or protection.
(My favorite part:)

The nature of my discovery consists in lubricating the generative organ with an oil of the dwarf olive, combined with an oil extracted from the seeds of a species of the musk-melon not known to grow anywhere except in Hindostan, it having a slight smell of musk. These two oils, when combined and applied to the cuticle, (the skin,) act both mechanically and chemically. They instantly close the pores of the skin, and also neutralize the virus, if any there be.

This compound is as harmless as water if applied to any part of the system. It has the taste of very pure sweet-oil, with a slight smell of musk. It is as sure a prevention to taking the venereal diseases as that water will quench fire.

It is intended to put this compound into vials of about one ounce each, with directions for using pasted to each vial, with a printed paper wrapped around it.

What I claim as my invention or discovery, and desire to secure by Letters Patent, is—

The use of an oily substance composed of oils extracted from the olive and the seeds of the India musk-melon, (to be used as above,) as a prevention or protection against taking the diseases herein described.

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