San Francisco: Dr. L.J. Jordan, (1865). Hardcover. Duodecimo size, 107 pp. Good +. Item #19090602
Sadly, the world has ever had more than its share of those who take advantage of their fellow human beings. Such a one, apparently, was "Dr. L[ouis] J. Jordan", as adrioitly pointed out in an article published on the web site of SF Gate on May 28, 2018, written by Alyssa Pereira. Ms. Pereira researched "Dr. Jordan" and his "Museum of Anatomy" and sets forth convincing proof that the good doctor was actually using his "museum" to scare the unsuspecting into believing that horrific diseases were running rampant, that they in fact (after a "free" consultation") suffered from such diseases, and that his medical care was their only hope. It was later discovered that he had bilked many out of large sums of money, including a miner from Nevada who paid $10,000 (approximately $217,000 today) for a treatment that was totally unnecessary.
This slim volume, which purports to give advice on "Marriage", was part of the scam, along with the Doctor's "Pacific Museum of Anatomy & Natural Science", an ad for which is at the rear of the volume. Thus, while the book opens with the statement "[t]he very rapid sale of the Forty-seventh Edition of this little work, and the demands upon my time by the growing increase of my professional practice, precludes me from mkaing any very important additions to the present issue" - we are guessing that there were not prior forty-six editions, and that the good doctor merely was making out that his medical advice had both been around for a while and was followed by many. OCLC does locate four copies with a printing date of 1862 with a New York imprint, but whether that publication had forty-six printings is anybody's guess.
An interesting artifact of how badly medicine can be practiced upon those who are unsuspecting, and a caution to us today.
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in full brown pebbled cloth, blind-embossed ruled border encompassing decorations at the corners on both boards, gold lettering on the front, bright yellow coated endpapers; duodecimo size (7 1/8" by 4 3/8"), pagination: [i-v] vi,  2-99 [100, blank] [101, ad for the Pacific Museum of Anatomy & Natural Science].
___CONDITION: A bit better than good, with a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean, and entirely free of prior owner markings; the binding is fairly worn with the cloth worn through in several areas, rubbing to the corners, head and tail of the spine with the cloth fraying particularly at the tail of the spine, the gold lettering on the front badly faded, and one cracked gutter between pp. 40-41.
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