Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Doctor's Darrin

 Drs. Darrin

Fun Stuff!

Sometimes ya just gotta roll your eyes at the gimmicks that folks came up with to fleece an ignorant and unsuspecting public.

Here's a fun, oddball, pair of quack items focusing on the "Electric Cure Craze" of the later 19th century.

Drs. Darrin first appears in 1884, listing his / their address as 113 Stockton St. (between Geary and O'Farrel) in S.F., and specializing in curing maladies with the power of Magnetism. 


Later, he / they became itinerant "doctors" (showmen - snake oil peddlers) who appeared in Oregon ca. turn of the century, setting up shop in local small town hotels as he traveled from town to town, "curing" folks with the wonders of Electricity. "Infomercials" promoting his cure appear in numerous Oregon newspapers of the era.

The bottle is just under 6" tall x 2 7/16" wide. It has a small chip on the front of the lip. There is no base mark. The reverse has an odd design as pictured. The label has margin loss as seen. A prescription is present on the lower part of the label but I'm unable to read it. However, I can make out just enough to hazard a guess that it was for "external use" as it states in part, "For Electric cure, apply...".



The accompanying Electric "Flesh Brush" brush appears to be made of a vulcanized hard rubber, similar to gutta percha. It measures 5 3/16" x 2 1/2" and retains approximately 99% + of the horse hair bristles.



Quick PS; The brush was patented in the eighties. I guess it lent credence to their fantastic claims if another "Dr. so and so's" name was involved... Patent states that there are actually "iron rods" embedded in the handle. 

The Darrins were quite the pair to draw to. Once they wore out their welcome in SF, they migrated to Sac, then LA. After (probably) getting tarred and feathered there, they flew the coop to Washington Territory, and eventually ended up in Oregon, running their scam from small town to small town. Last records I could find were just post TOC.


1 comment:

  1. What fantastic scammers! And, I am sure that not in a million years that technology would eventually amass a whole bunch of old newspapers that could allow one to follow their scam chronologically and geographically. Busted big-time, just a little late to serve up their sentence. But, of course, prior to the Pure Food & Drug Act the world functioned more on a 'buyer beware' attitude. Thanks for posting.