From the Strenva Co., Seattle WA and circa 1903 is… Well, for lack of more delicate language, a penis pump, complete with original box and instructions. And judging by those rather detailed instructions to do this “morning and night daily”, I have to assume the intended purpose was to gradually enlarge the organ. The confusing bit in the pamphlet is the edict to “…rub fine table salt over the scrotum, letting it remain for a minute or so…”. Hilarious foolishness that continues to this day with pills and ointments and pumps all designed to add inches to what is thought by some to be the measure of man.
Of interest is the included card touting that this device was awarded a patent by the United States Government. This perfectly illustrates what has been referred to as quackery or “Patent medicine”. These companies played to the ignorance of the buying public and stated that if it was good enough for the government to give it a seal of approval with a patent, then it must be a damn fine and necessary product. At the time it was not common knowledge that a patent can and often will be issued for any useless thing under the sun. In 1905 Samuel Hopkins Adams wrote a scathing exposé on the subject of snake oils and in 1906 the pure food and drug act was put in place thanks to the tireless work of men like Adams and like Morris Fishbein of the AMA who made it his work to put quacks out of business. So brought the end of the era of over the counter heroin and cocaine and their abuse by quacks. As to the masculine preoccupation with size and inadequacy… The foolishness my never end. On with the mad parade!