Medicine in 1860s Victoria

Baths! Baths!

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Bathing was not necessarily a common activity in the 19th century. These ads extoll its virtues.

Both ads are for the same bath house; Dr. Goss, "who being about to retire from business is willing to dispose of it at one third of the original cost" sold it sometime in the spring of 1862.

Dr. Goss also offers his services as a physician, using the "reform principle of medicine"; the reference to "minerals never being used" possibly indicates that he was an herbalist. He does not claim any specific medical benefit to those using his baths.

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March 11, 1862 Click for a larger image Click for reference data
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June 15, 1862


The new owner of the bath house, who may have been Dr. De Wolfe himself, made more explicit claims to the medical benefits of bathing.

Though himself a lecturer on Phrenology (a 19th century diagnostic method that found great meaning in the lumps of the head, which even in the 19th century was considered quackery by some) he warns against "paracelcian quacks" and their "medical taxation." His appeal to the "people of an intelligent community" to patronize his business and his reference to being a "lecturer" from Philadelphia is clever advertising.

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