Excerpt from The Great American Fraud
By Samuel Hopkins Adams 1905 & 1906
Absolutely False Claims.
mixture of the cautious, semi-ethical method and the blatant claim‑all
patent medicine is offered in the Ozomulsion Company. Ozomulsion does not, like
the "cures" mentioned above, contain active poisons. It is one of the
numerous cod liver oil preparations, and its advertising, in the medical
journals at first and now in the lay press, is that of a cure for consumption. I
visited the offices of the Ozomulsion Company recently and found them duly
furnished with a regular physician, who was employed, so he informed me in a
purely ethical capacity. There was also present during the interviewer the
president of the Ozomulsion Company, Mr. A. Frank Richardson, former advertising
agent, former deviser of the advertising of Swamp Root, former proprietor of
Kranitonic, and present proprietor of Slocum's Consumption Cure, which is the
"wicked partner" of Ozomulsion. For convenience, I will put the
conversation in court report form, and, indeed, it partook somewhat of the
nature of a cross examination:
Q. Dr. Smith, will Ozomulsion
builds up the tissues, imparts vigor, aids the natural resistance of the body,
etc. (Goes into a long exploitation in the manner and style made familiar by
patent medicine pamphlets.)
Q. But will it cure consumption?
without saying that it is a specific, etc. (Passes to an instructive,
entertaining, and valuable disquisition on the symptoms and nature of
Q. Yes, but will Ozomulsion cure
A. We don't claim that it will
Q. Does not
this advertisement state that Ozomulsion will cure consumption? (Showing
A. It seems so.
Q. Will Ozomulsion'cure
A. In the
early stages of the disease‑
Does the advertisement make any qualifications as to the stage of the
A. Not that I find.
Q. Have you ever seen that
A. Not to my knowledge.
Q. Who wrote it?
A. (by President Richardson) I
done that ad. myself.
Q. Mr. Richardson, will
Ozomulsion cure consumption?
A. Sure; we got testimonials to
Q. Have you ever investigated any
of these testimonials?
Q. (to Dr.
Smith) Dr. Smith, in view of the direct statement of your advertising, do you
believe that Ozomulsion will cure consumption?
A. Well, I believe in a great
many cases it will.
His blanket plan, for $5, and guarantees the cure (or more medicine) for
$10, His scheme is so noble and broad-minded that I can not refrain from
detailing it. For $5 you get
1 large bottle of Psychine,
I large bottle of
I large bottle of Coltsfoote
Expectorant, I large tube of Ozojell,
3 boxes of Lazy Liver
3 Hot X Ray Porous
says the certificate, "will, in a majority of cases, effect a permanent
cure of the malady from which the invalid is now suffering." Whatever ails
you that's what Dr. T. A. Slocum cures. For $10 you get almost twice the amount,
plus the guarantee. Surely there is little left on earth, unless Dr. Slocum
should issue *a $15 offer, to include funeral expenses and a tombstone.
The Slocum Consumption Cure
proper consists of a gay-hued substance known as "Psychine." Psychine
is about 16 per cent. alcohol, and has a dash of strychnin to give the patient
his money's worth, Its alluring color is derived from cochineal. It is "an
infallible and unfailing remedy for consumption." Ozomulsion is also a sure
cure, if the literature is to be believed. To cure one's self twice of the same
disease savors of reckless extravagance, but as "a perfect and permanent
cure will be the inevitable consequence," perhaps it's Worth the money. It
would not do to charge Dr. T. A. Slocum with fraud, because he is, I suppose, as
dead as Lydia E. Pinkham; but Mr. A. Frank Richardson is very much alive, and I
trust it will be no surprise to him to see here stated that his Ozomulsion makes
claims that it can not support, that his Psychine is considerably worse, that
his special cure offer is a bit of shameful quackery, and that his whole Slocum
Consumption Cure is a fake and a fraud so ludicrous that its continued existence
is a brilliant commentary on human credulousness.”