Dr Kellog’s Most Absurd Medical Contraptions
Dr John Harvey Kellogg, though most famous for his invention of the corn flake, also ran a very successful holistic sanitarium where the ill and infirmed would subject themselves to his unique medical practices. Here is a selection of the strangest restorative devices to ever come out of Battle Creek, Michigan.
Window Tent for Fresh Air Sleeping.
Arc Lamp Treatment to Ear.
Mechanical slapping massage device at BC sanitarium.
The Vibro Mechanical Department at Battle Creek Sanitarium.
Man in diapers on Kellogs mechanical horse.
Arc Lamp Treatment to Scalp.
Dr Kellogg patented electrotherapy exercise bed.
Hydrotherapy at the Battle Creek Sanitarium.
Electrotherapy Coils at the Battle Creek Sanitorium.
He warned that many types of sexual activity, including many “excesses” that couples could be guilty of within marriage, were against nature, and therefore, extremely unhealthy. He drew on the warnings of William Acton and expressed support for the work of Anthony Comstock. He appears to have followed his own advice; it has been suggested he worked on Plain Facts during his honeymoon.
He was an especially zealous campaigner against masturbation; this was an orthodox view during his lifetime, especially the earlier part. Kellogg was able to draw upon many medical sources’ claims such as “neither the plague, nor war, nor small-pox, nor similar diseases, have produced results so disastrous to humanity as the pernicious habit of onanism,” credited to one Dr. Adam Clarke. Kellogg strongly warned against the habit in his own words, claiming of masturbation-related deaths “such a victim literally dies by his own hand,” among other condemnations. He felt that masturbation destroyed not only physical and mental health, but the moral health of individuals as well. Kellogg also believed the practice of this “solitary-vice” caused cancer of the womb, urinary diseases, nocturnal emissions, impotence, epilepsy, insanity, and mental and physical debility; “dimness of vision” was only briefly mentioned.