What about Brinkley?

After writing previous item about the quack ‘hearing restorer’ who was peddling real medicine without knowing it, I got thinking about JR Brinkley. Doc Brinkley is a far more familiar figure for radio history fans and Kansans. I’m both, so I grew up hearing about him.

Edwards had a brief encounter with Brinkley. Around 1933 when Brinkley’s radio and medical empire was expanding fast, the doc was visiting Louisville to set up a new franchise clinic. He heard Frank’s news broadcast and offered him a job at the biggest radio station in the country. Frank took advantage of the free trip to Mexico, examined the outfit, and quickly decided it wasn’t for him. He already knew how quacks work, and immediately saw the fakeness and the exploitation.

Recent research has proved that cottonseed oil is actually good for hearing. Was Brinkley’s goat gland transplant good for virility? Is there a modern ‘rediscovery’ of the technique?

First question: Definitely not, at least physically.  Brinkley did restore confidence, which is more important for virility than the physical function of the testicles.   In the same era, medical researchers were trying various kinds of transplants between animals. Ovary transplants consistently worked, even when the new organ wasn’t attached. Toss an ovary into the abdomen, and it would swim over to the fallopian canal, attach itself, and start producing eggs!!!  (LIFE IS PURPOSE.) But testicles consistently failed, even between siblings.

Second question: Obviously not. Nobody is….


Gonad transplantation happens all the time now, but NOT to improve virility of males. It’s solely intended to do the opposite.

I wonder if Doc Brinkley would thrive in the new environment? Hard to guess. He was a remarkably generous and open-minded charlatan, pouring a large part of his profits into equipping and beautifying his home town of Milford. He genuinely wanted to improve the world. He ran for governor in 1930 on the modern version of “socialism”, offering free goodies for everyone. Sounds familiar.

Edwards mentions that Brinkley won the votes but lost the “election”.  After Doc died in ’42, officials admitted that they had fudged the numbers to achieve the Correct result. Who’s the quack?  Who’s the faker?  Who’s the charlatan?

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