Creepy Ad of the Month ~ 1895 Plastic Surgery

So here’s our latest creepy vintage ad. Dated 1895, this one is sort of a mini-article/ad for the John H. Woodbury Dermatological Institute. The same John H. Woodbury who invented Woodbury Facial Soap, as seen here in this great old 1929 Woodbury Soap Ad.

Here we are told, “Dr, Woodbury does make over faces.” And there are photographs to prove it. For here we see a before and after picture. The first one shows a young woman with “an abnormal Roman nose, and a large wart on her cheek.” The caption for this one reads “Matrimonial prospects very weak.” Ah! This poor woman will most likely not marry because of her big nose and her wart! And then we see the vastly new and improved woman. “Now both disfigurements are gone, and she looks so much like another person that it is almost difficult to believe that both pictures are of the same lady.” And the caption here reads: “Matrimonial prospects above par.” Hooray! Perhaps she shall marry after all! We also learn that ear operations are a specialty and a picture is shown of a gentleman with “projecting ears.” “But for his ears,” we are told, he would have been good looking. Finally we see a photo of boxer Bob Fitzsimmons who sits in the static electric machine getting his semi-weekly treatments. bob fitzsimmons getting electric treatment“The electricity passes through his system and increases the circulation, makes the muscles supple, pliable, and hard, and tones up the entire system.” You might think that’s all somewhat creepy. But the creepiest part is this: In 1908, the John H. Woodbury Dermatalogical Institute was brought to court for practicing medicine without a license. In 1911, they filed for bankruptcy protection. The four page John Woodbury ad: A Few Cases in Facial Surgery, is available in our store.


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