FROM THE GREAT AMERICAN FRAUD

BY SAMUEL HOPKINS ADAMS

REPRINTED FROM COLLIER'S WEEKLY

 

LIQUOZONE.

Twenty Years ago the microbe was making a great stir in the land. The public mind ever prone to exaggerate the importance and extent of any new scientific discovery, ascribed all known diseases to microbes. The infinitesimal creature with the mysterious and unpleasant attributes became the leading topic of the time. Shrewdly appreciating this golden opportunity, a quack genius named Radam invented a drug to slay the new enemy of mankind and gave it his name. Radam's Microbe Killer filled the public prints with blazonry of its lethal virtues. As it consisted of a mixture of muriatic and sulphuric acid, with red wine any microbe which took it was like to fare hard; but the ingenious Mr. Radam's method of administering it to its intended prey via the human stomach failed to commend itself to science, though enormously successful in a financial sense through flamboyant advertising.

Liquozone "Cures" Thirty-seven Varieties.

In time some predaceous bacillus, having eluded the "killer," carried off it, inventor. His nostrum soon languished. Today it is little heard of, but from the ashes of its glories has risen a mightier successor, Liquozone. Where twenty years ago the microbe reveled in publicity, today we talk of germs and bacteria; consequently Liquozone exploits itself as a germicide and bactericide, It dispenses with the red wine of the Radam concoction and relies on a weak solution of sulphuric and sulphurous acids, with an occasional trace of hydrochloric or hydrobromic acid. Mostly it is water, and this is what it "cures":

 "Asthma, Gallstones,
  Abscess‑Anemia,
Goiter‑Gout,  
Bronchitis, Hay
FeverInfluenza,  
Blood Poison -La Grippe,  
Bowel Troubles- Leucorrhoea,  Coughs- Colds, 
Malaria- Neuralgia,  
Consumption, Piles- Quinsy,  Contagious Diseases Rheumatism,  Cancer- Catarrh, Scrofula,  Dysentery- Diarrhea, Skin Diseases,  Dyspepsia- Dandruff, Tuberculosis,  Eczema - Erysipelas,
 Tumors‑Ulcers,  Fevers, 'Throat Troubles

Liquozone bottle circa 1890-1910

‑all diseases that begin with fever all inflammations  all catarrh all contagious diseases‑all the results of impure or poisoned blood. In nervous diseases Liquozone acts as a vitalizer, accomplishing what no drugs can do." These diseases it conquers by destroying, in the human body, the germs which cause (or are alleged to cause) them. Such is Liquozone's claim.

Yet the Liquozone Company is not a patent medicine concern. We have their word for it:

"We wish to state at the start that we are not patent medicine men, and their methods will not be employed by us. . . . Liquozone is too important a product for quackery."

The head and center of this non‑patent medicine cure‑all is Douglas Smith. Mr. Smith is by profession a promoter. He is credited with a, keen vision for profits. Several years ago he ran on a worthy ex‑piano dealer, a Canadian by the name of Powley (we shall meet him again, trailing clouds of glory in a splendid metamorphosis), who was selling with some success a mixture known as Powley's Liquefied Ozone. This was guaranteed to kill any disease germ known to science, Mr. Smith examined into the possibilities of the product, bought out Powley , moved the business to Chicago, and organized it as the Liquid Ozone Company. Liquid air was then much in the public prints. Mr. Smith, with the intuition of genius, and something more than genius' contempt for limitations, proceeded to catch tile public eye with this frank assertion: "Liquozone is liquid oxygen‑that is all." It is enough. That. is, it would be enough if it were but true. Liquid oxygen. doesn't exist above a temperature of 229 degrees below zero. One spoonful would freeze a man's tongue, teeth and throat to equal solidity before be ever bad time to swallow. If he could, by any miracle, manage to get it down, the undertaker would have to put him on the stove to thaw him out sufficiently for a respectable burial. Unquestionably Liquozone, if it were liquid oxygen. would kill germs, but that wouldn't do the owner of the germs much good, because he'd be dead before they had time to realize that the temperature was falling. That it would cost a good many dollars an ounce to make is, perhaps, beside the question. The object of the company was not to make money, but to, succor the sick and suffering. They say so themselves in their advertising. For some reason, however, the business did not prosper as its new owner had expected. A wider appeal to the sick and suffering was needed. Claude C. Hopkins, formerly advertising manager for Dr. Shoop's Restorative (also a cure‑all) and perhaps the ablest exponent of his specialty in the country, was brought into the concern and a record‑breaking campaign was planned. This cost no little money, but the event proved it a good investment. President Smith's next move showed him to be the master of a silver tongue, for he persuaded the members of a very prominent law firm who were acting as the company's attorneys to take stock in the concern, and two of them to become directors ' These gentlemen represent, in Chicago, something more than the high professional standing of their firm; they are prominent socially and forward in civic activities; in short, just the sort of people needed by President Smith to bulwark his dubious enterprise with assured respectability.

The Men Who Back the Fake.

In the Equitable scandal there has been plenty of evidence to show that directors often lend their names to enterprises of which they know practically nothing. This seems to have been the case with the lawyers. One point they brought up: was Liquozone harmful? Positively not, Douglas Smith assured them. On the contrary, it was the greatest boon to the sick in the world's history, and he produced an impressive bulk of testimonials. This apparently satisfied them; they did not investigate the testimonials, but accepted them at their face value. They did not look into the advertising methods of the company; as nearly as I can find out, they never saw an advertisement of Liquozone in the papers until long afterward. They just became stockholders and directors, that is all. They did as hundreds of other upright and well‑meaning men had done in lending themselves to a business of which they knew practically nothing. While the lawyers continued to practice law, ‑Messrs. Smith and Hopkins were running the Liquozone Company. An enormous advertising campaign was begun. Pamphlets were issued containing testimonials and claiming, the soundest professional backing. Indeed, this matter of expert testimony, chemical, medical, and bacteriologic, is a specialty of Liquozone. Today, despite its reforms, it is supported by an ingenious system of pseudoscientific charlatanry. In justice to Mr. Hopkins it is but fair to say that he is not responsible for the basic fraud; that the general scheme was devised and most of the bogus or distorted medical letters arranged before his advent. But when I came to investigate the product a few months ago I found that the principal defense against attacks consisted of scientific that would not bear analysis and medical letters not worth the paper they were written on. In the first place the Liquozone people have letters from chemists asseverating  that the compound is chemically scientific.

 

 

ANALYSIS OF LIQUOZONE.

SULPHURIC ACID ......................About ninetenths of one per cent.

SULPHUROUS ACID ..................About three tenths of one per cent.

WATER ........................................ Nearly ninety‑nine per cent.

Faked and Garbled Indorsements.

Messrs. Dickman, Mackenzie & Potter, of Chicago, furnish a statement to this effect  that the product is made up on scientific   principles, contains no substance deleterious to health and is an antiseptic and germicide of the highest order." As chemists the Dickman firm stands high, but if Sulphuric acid is oil of vitriol. Sulphurous acid is also a corrosive poison. Liquozone is the combination of these two heavily diluted and sulphurous acids are not deleterious to their health there must be something peculiar about them as human beings. Mr. Deavitt of Chicago makes affidavit that the preparation is not made by compounding drugs. A St. Louis bacteriologist testifies that it will kill germs (in culture tubes), and that it has apparently brought favorable results in diarrhea, rheumatism, and a finger which a guinea‑pig had gnawed. These and other technical endorsements are set forth with great pomp and circumstance, but when analyzed they fail to bear out the claims of Liquozone as a medicine. Any past investigation into the nature of Liquozone has brought a flood of "indorsements" down on the investigator, many of them medical My inquiries have been largely along medical lines, because the makers of the drug the private support of many physicians and medical institutions, an,, such testimony is the most convincing. "Liquozone has the indorsement of an overwhelming number of medical authorities," says one of the pamphlets.

 

One of the enclosures sent to me was a letter from a, young physician on the staff of the Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, who was paid $25 to make bacteriologic tests in pure cultures. He reported: "This is to certify that the fluid Liquozone handed to me for bacteriologic examination has shown bacteriologic and germicidal properties." At the same time lie informed the Liquozone agent that the mixture would be worthless medicinally. He writes me a‑, follows: "I have never used or indorsed Liquozone; furthermore, its action would be harmful when taken internally. Can report a case of gastric ulcer due probably to its use."

 

Later in my investigations I came ‑on this certificate again. It was quoted, in a report on Liquozone, made by the bead of a prominent Chicago laboratory for a medical journal, and it was designated, "Report made by the Michael Reese Hospital," without comment or investigation. This surprising garbling of the facts may have been due to carelessness, or it may have some connection with the fact that the laboratory investigator was about that time employed to do work for Mr. Douglas Smith, Liquozone's president.

 

Another document is an enthusiastic "puff" of Liquozone, quoted as being contributed by Dr, H. W. Myers in The New York Journal of Health There is not nor ever has been any such magazine as The New York Journal of Health Dr. H.W.. Myers, or ,some person masquerading under that name got out a bogus "dummy" (fix publication only, and not as a guarantee of good faith). at a small charge to the Liquozone people.

 For convenience. I list several letters quoted or seat to me, with the result of investigations.

 The Suffolk Hospital and Dispensary of Boston, through its president, Albert C. Smith, writes: "Our test show., it (Liquozone) to possess great remedial value." The letter I have found to be genuine. But the hospital medical authorities say they know nothing of Liquozone and never prescribe it, If President Smith is prescribing it be is liable to arrest, as lie is not an M.D.

 A favoring letter, from "Dr." Fred W. Porter of Tampa, Fla., is quoted. The Liquozone recipients of the letter forgot to mention that "Dr." Porter is not an M.D., but a veterinary surgeon, as is shown by his letter head,

 Dr George E. Bliss of Maple Rapids, Mich., has used Liquozone for cancer patients. Dr. Bliss writes me, under the flaming headline of his "cancer cure," that his letter is genuine, and "not solicttated”

 Dr. A. A. Bell of Madison, Ga., is quoted as saving: "I found Liquozone to invigorate digestion." He is not quoted (although he wrote it) as saying that his own personal experience with it bad shown it to be ineffective. I have seen the original letter, and the unfavorable part of it was blue penciled.

For a local indorsement of any medicine, perhaps as strong a name as could be secured in Chicago is that of Dr. Frank Billings. In the offices of Collier's and elsewhere Dr. Billings has been cited by the Liquozone people as one of those medical men who were prevented, only by ethical considerations from publicly indorsing their nostrum, but who nevertheless, privately avowed confidence in it. Here is what Dr. Billings has to say of this:

CHICAGO, ILL., July 31, 1905.

To the Editor of Collier's Weekly:

Dear Sir.I have never recommended Liquozone in any way to any one, nor

have I expressed to any representative of the Liquozone Company, or to any

other person, an opinion favorable to Liquozone.  (Signed).

FRANK BILLINGS, M.D.

 

Under the heading, "Some Chicago Institutions which Constantly Employ Liquozone," are cited Hull House, the Chicago Orphan Asylum, the Home for Incurables, the Evanston Hospital, and the Old People's Home.

Letters to the institutions elicited the information that Hull House had never used the nostrum. and had protested against the statement; that the Orphan Asylum had experimented with it only for external applications, and with such dubious results that it was soon dropped; that it had been shut out of the Home for Incurables that a few private patients in the Old People's Home had purchased it, but on no recommendation from the physicians; and that the Evanston Hospital knew nothing of a Liquozone and hadnever used it.

Having a professional interest in the "overwhelming number of medical indorsements" claimed by Liquozone, a Chicago physician. Dr. W. If. Felton. went to the company's offices and asked to see the medical evidence. None was forthcoming; the lists, lie was informed were ill the press and could not be shown. He then asked for the official book for physicians advertised by the firm containing "a great deal of evidence from authorities whom all physicians respect."' This also, they said, was "in the press." As a matter of fact, it has never come out of the press and never will; the special book project has been dropped.

One more claim and I am done with the "scientific evidence" In a. pamphlet issued by the company and since withdrawn, occurs this sprightly sketch:

"Liquozone is the discovery of Professor Pauli, the great German chemist, who worked for twenty years to learn bow to liquefy oxygen. When Pauli first mentioned his purpose me laughed at him The idea of liquefying gas ‑ of circulating a liquid oxygen in the blood‑seemed impossible. Ili‑it Pauli was one of those men who set their whole hearts on a problem and follow it out either to success or to the grave. So Pauli followed out this problem though it took twenty years. lie clung to it through discouragements which would have led any lesser man to abandon it. He worked on it despite poverty and ridicule," etc.

Liquozone Kills a Great German Scientist.

Alas for romance! The scathing blight of the legal mind descended on this touching story. The lawyer‑di rectors would have none of "Professor Pauli, the great German chemist," and Liquozone destroyed him, as it had created him. Not totally destroyed, however, for from those rainbow wrapping,;, now dissipated, emerges the humble but genuine figure of our old acquaintance, Mr: Rowley, the ex‑piano man of Toronto. He is the prototype of the Teutonic ‑,Event. So much the Liquozone people now admit, with the defense that the change, of Rowley to Pauli was, at most a harmless flight of fancy, "so long as we were not attempting to use it name famous in medicine or bacteriology in order to add prestige to the product." A plea which commends itself by its ingeniousness it least.

Gone is '*Professor Pauli," and with him much of his kingdom lies. lit fact, I believe there is no single definite intentional misstatement in the new Liquozone propaganda. For some months there has been a cessation of ill advertising, and an overhauling of material,; under the censorship of the lawyer directors, who were suddenly aroused to The real situation by a storm of protest and criticism, and, rather late in the day, began to "sit tip and take notice." The company has recently sent me a copy of the new booklet on which all their future advertising is to be based. The most important of their fundamental misstatements to go by the board is "Liquozone is liquid oxygen." "Liquozone contains no free oxygen," declares the revision frankly. No testimonials are to he printed. The faked and garbled letters are to be dropped from the files. There is no clam Of overwhelming medical endorsement.'' Nor is the statement anywhere made, that Liquozone will cure any of the diseases in which it is recommended Yet such is the ingenuity with which the advertising manager his presented his case that the new newspaper exploitation appeals to the same hopes and fears, with the some implied promises, as the old. "I'm well because of Liquozone," in huge, type is followed by the list of diseases "where it applies." And the new list is more comprehensive than the old.

 

All Ills Look Alike to, Liquozone.

Just as to Peruna .111 ills are catarrh, so to Liquozone every disease is a germ disease. Every statement in the new prospectus of cure "has Advertisements of a "remedy" which has been fighting Liquozone as an "Imitator," and which here makes a claim as extreme as any ever put forth by the Chicago sulphuric‑acid mixture.

been submitted to competent authorities, and is exactly true and correct," declares the recently issued pamphlet, "Liquozone and Tonic Germicide;" and the pamphlet goes on to ascribe, among other ills, asthma, gout, neuralgia dyspepsia, goiter. and "most forms of kidney, liver and heart troubles" to germs. I don't know just which of the eminent authorities who have been working for the Liqnozone Company fathers this remarkable and epoch making discovery. It might be Professor Pauli, or perhaps the sulphuric acid‑proof firm of Dickman & Mackenzie. Whoever it is ought to make the definite facts public, in the interests of humanity as well as their own. Monuments of discarded pill boxes will celebrate the Liquozone savant who has determined that dyspepsia is a germ trouble. The discovery that gout is caused by the bite of a bacillus and not by uric acid is almost as important an addition to the sum of human knowledge as the determination of a definite organism that produces the twinges of neuralgia, while the germ of heart disease will be acclaimed with whoops of welcome from the entire medical profession.

Unfortunately, the writer of the Liquozone pamphlet and the experts who edited it, got a little mixed on their ger in file matter of malaria. "Liquozone is deadly to vegetable matter, lint helpful to animals," declares the pamphlet . . . . .. Germs are vegetables"‑and that is the reason that Liquozone kills them. But malaria, which Liquozone is supposed to cure, is positively known to be due to animal organisms in the blood, not vegetable. Therefore, if the claims are genuine, Liquozone, being "helpful to animals," will aid and abet the malaria organism in his nefarious work, and the Liquozone Company, as well‑intentioned men, working in the interests of health, ought to warn all sufferers of this class from use of their animal ‑stimulator.

The old claim is repeated that nothing enters into the production of Liquozone but gases, water and a little harmless coloring matter, and that the process requires large apparatus and from eight to fourteen days' time. I have seen the apparatus, consisting of huge wooden vats, and call testify to their impressive size. And I have the assurance of several gentlemen whose word (except in print) I am willing to take, that fourteen days' time is employed in impregnating every output of liquid with a.,;. The result, so far as can be determined chemically or medicinally is precisely the same as could be achieved in fourteen seconds by mixing the acids with the water. The product is still sulphurous and sulphuric acid heavily diluted, that is all.

Will the compound destroy germs in the body? This is, after all, the one overwhelmingly important point for determination; for if it will, all the petty fakers and forgery, the liquid oxygen and Professor Pauli and the mythical medical journalism may be forgiven. For more than four months now Collier's has been patiently awaiting some proof of the internal germicidal qualities of Liquozone. None has been forthcoming except specious generalities from scientific employees of the company‑and testimonials The value of testimonials as evidence is considered in a later article. Liquozone's are not more convincing than others. Of the chemists and bacteriologists employed by the Liquozone Company there is not one who will risk his professional reputation oil the simple and essential statement that Liquozone taken internally kills germs in the human system. One experiment has been made by Mr. Schoen of Chicago, which I am asked to regard as indicating in some degree a deterrent action of Liquozone on the disease of the anthrax. Of two guinea‑pigs inoculated with anthrax oil', which was dosed with Liquozone survived the other, not thus treated, by several hours. Bacteriologists employed by us to make a similar test failed because of the surprising fact that the dose as prescribed by Mr. Schoen promptly killed the first guinea‑pig to which it was administered. A series of guinea‑pig tests was then arranged (the guinea‑pig is the animal which responds to germ infection most nearly as the human organism responds), at which Dr. Gradwohl representing the Liquozone Company, was present, and in which he took part. The report follows;

30

LEDERLE LABORATORIES.

Sanitary, Chemical and Bacteriologic Investigations.

518 FIFTH AVENUE.

NEW YORK CITY.

October 21, 1905

Anthrax Test, Twenty‑four guinea‑pigs were inoculated with anthrax bacilli, tinder the same conditions, the same amount being given to each. The representative of the Liquozone people selected the twelve pigs for treatment. These animals were given Liquozone in 5 c.c. doses for three hours. In twenty‑four hours all Pigs were dead‑the treated and the untreated ones.

Second Anthrax Test. Eight guinea‑pigs were inoculated under the same conditions with a culture of anthrax sent by the Liquozone people. Four of these animals were treated for three hours with Liquozone as in the last experiments. These died also In from thirty‑six to forty‑eight hours, as did the remaining four.

Diphtheria Test. Six guinea‑pigs were inoculate(] with diphtheria bacilli and treated with Liquozone. The ' y all died in from forty‑eight to seventy‑two hours, Two out of three controls (I. e., untreated guinea‑pigs) remained alive after receiving the same amount of culture.

Tuberculosis Test. Eight guinea‑pigs were inoculated with tubercle bacilli. Four of these animals were treated for eight hours with 5 c.c. of a 20 per cent solution of Liquozone Four received Do Liquozone. At the end of twentyfour days all the animals were killed.

Fairly developed tuberculosis was present in all.

To summarize, we would say that the Liquozone had absolute],%‑ no curative effect, but did. when given in pure form, lower the resistance of the animals, so that they died a little earlier than those not treated.

Lederle Laboratories

By Ernst J. Lederle,

 

 Dr. Gradwohl representing the Liquozone Company, stated that lie was satisfied of the fairness of the tests. He further declared That in his opinion the tests had proved satisfactorily the total ineffectiveness of Liquozone as an internal germicide, but these experiments show more than that. They show that in so far as Liquozone has any effect.. it tends to lower the resistance of the body to an invading disease. That is, in the very germ diseases for which it is advocated, Liquozone may decrease the chances of the patient's   recovery ‑c'y

is  I ,with every dose that is swallowed, but certainly would not increase them.

III its own field Liquozone is sui generis. On the ethical side, however, there are a few "internal germicides," and one of these comes in for mention here, not that it is the least like Liquozone in its composition, but because by it‑, monstrous claim‑, it challenges comparison.

Since the all announcement lice]  of this article, and before, Collier*8 has. been in receipt of much virtuous indignation from a manufacturer of remedies which, lie claims, Liquozone copies. Charles Marchand has been the most active enemy of the Douglas Smith product, He has attacked the makers in print, organized a society, and established a publication mainly devoted to their destruction, and circulated far and wide injurious literature (most of it true) about their product. Of the relative merits of Hydrozone, Glycozone Marchand's products), and Liquozone, I know nothing; but I know that the Liquozone Company has never in its history put forth so shameful an advertisement as the one produced on page 28, signed by Marchand, and printed in the New Orleans States when the vellow fever scare was at its height.

And Hydrozone is an "ethical" remedy; its advertisements are to be found in reputable medical journals.

 

The Same Old Fake.

Partly by reason of Marchand's energy, no nostrum in the country has been so widely attacked as the Chicago product, Occasional deaths, attributed (in some cases unjustly) to its use, have been made the most of, and scores of analyses have been printed, so that in all parts of the country the true nature of the nostrum is beginning to be understood. The prominence of its advertising and the reckless breadth of its claims have made it a shining mark. North Dakota has forbidden its sale. San Francisco has decreed against it; so has Lexington, Ky., and there are signs that it will have a fight for its life soon in other cities. It is this looming danger that impelled Liquozone to an attempted reform last summer. Yet, in spite of the censorship of its legal lights, in spite of the revision of its literature by its scientific experts, in spite of its ingenious avoidance of specifically false claims in the advertising which is being scattered broadcast today,, Liquozone is now what it was before its rehabilitation. a fraud which owes its continued existence to the laxity of our public health methods and tile cynical tolerance of the national conscience.