From belief in the touted curative effects of spring water and mineral baths to the purchase of quack nostrums and various popular forms of "alternative medicine," people continue the ancient quest for healing. Why do pseudoscientific treatments and "snake-oil" cure-alls seem to work? First of all, healing occurs naturally in the body, and some serious conditions, including multiple sclerosis and certain types of cancer, may undergo what is termed "spontaneous remission," whereby the disease gets better on its own, with or without treatment.
Here in this hall you will find an investigation into the history of the bizarre lengths to which people have previously gone to achieve relief from a multitude of maladies, in a variety of (sometimes amusing, sometimes dangerous, and sometimes just plain strange) ways. Highlighted here is the Snake Oil Collection, which is currently featured on the New York Heritage website. An item in the Snake Oil Collection, a rare Clark Stanley Snake Oil Liniment bottle with its original box, was featured last year (2013) on the Travel Channel's "Mysteries at the Museum" television program, and we are very proud to have it here on display.
So please, enjoy your look around, and critical inquiry into, the Hall of Alternative Medicine!
digitized 2014 by Amanda Shepp, MLS