Death Takes A Holiday (XI)

to wit, a middle-aged peripatetic shrink undertakes the Great American Cross-Country Road Trip with help from little leaguers, German bikers, the King of Rock ‘n Roll, porn stars and an abandoned brothel, a flock of domesticated ducks, the Department of Homeland Security and the West Memphis police, a decommissioned atomic warhead, some dodgy motels… and a strange rider in the back of a 2013 Ford Fusion.

There’s a story, perhaps apocryphal, that the great showman P.T. Barnum, in order to keep crowds flowing through his well-attended carnival exhibits, put large signs with arrows on the walls that read, “THIS WAY TO THE EGRESS!” The masses, ignorant of that word, surged forward to see the Egress! And soon they found themselves on the far side of the turnstiles, keeping the flow moving just as Barnum had wished.

The point? People can start to act like lemmings with the strategic application of ads and signs. Anyone who has been on I-95 at South of the Border, I-75 at Rock City, or I-90 at Wall Drug knows this well.

Thus, in the spirit of the Egress, I give you… The Thing.

After leaving Tombstone, Boney and I headed up route 80 until we intersected I-40 at Benson AZ. Heading east, it wasn’t long before we encountered signs for The Thing: “What is The Thing?” “Dare you to see The Thing?” “The Thing – Mystery of the Desert?” &c.

you know you'll stop

you know you’ll stop

Unlike other stretches of American highway schlock (e.g., SOB signs start a good 90 miles before one hits Dillon SC), we didn’t have far to go before reaching the unincorporated wide-spot of Dragoon AZ, home of The Thing. That said, fear not! The Thing’s handlers make the most of concentrated signage carpet-bombing before you do reach it.

Guide books tell you that The Thing lives in nearby Cochise AZ, but I think that’s merely for GPS purposes. In actuality, The Thing can be found at exit 322, where it resides somewhere behind the pumps at the Johnson Road Shell/ Quickee-Mart, the only structure, it seems, in all of Dragoon.

the anticipation builds

the anticipation builds

There is dispute as to who brought The Thing to its current domicile. The state historical society and the Pioneer Museum in Flagstaff maintain that it was the brainchild of one Homer Tate, an erstwhile carnival worker. Not so fast, said syndicated columnist Stan Delaplane, who claimed in a published 1956 interview that it was instead a local (bored?) attorney, one Thomas Binkley Prince. Either way, where to send thanks may never be entirely settled, since both of the principals have gone to that Great Sideshow In The Sky. This pearl of American culture is now owned and operated from afar by an Albuquerque-based company, Bowlins, Inc. Let’s just hope that they appreciate the magnitude of the caretaking responsibility they’ve assumed for this and future generations.

Regardless, you stop, you enter the Quickee-Mart, and you are immediately assaulted by the usual assortment of male enhancement dietary supplements, beer displays, postcards, cigarettes, bobbleheads, silk flowers, beltbuckles, t-shirts, and packaged snack foods.

don't forget souvenir Thing water

don’t forget souvenir Thing water

You find yourself looking around, expectantly. Something is different, but what? Then you look down and see that there are large yellow footprints on the floor, starting near the cash registers. They lead to the back of the store. There is a door which looks dungeon-esque along with a faux stone wall. Nearby there is an arrow-and-sign that rhetorically asks once again, “Dare You See The Thing?!?” For only $1, payable to the cashier in front, how can you say no?

I backtracked to the cashier and handed over my dollar. “I’d like to see The Thing,” I told him, as if it were the first time, and not the 546th, that he had heard that statement this day. He nodded without even looking up. The yellow footprints beckoned with more urgency now that I had been granted entry to the sanctum sanctorum.

I guess I expected to open the door and see The Thing standing in front of me, glaring. That is not the case. Instead, one finds a passageway that leads out back. It seems that The Thing lives in an extensive compound of half a dozen buildings – all single-story corrugated steel or cinderblock – arranged in a very large oval such that there is a central courtyard. There are stretches of high fence in between the buildings. There’s nothing of note in the courtyard itself, just some broken picnic tables and benches, dirt, scrub grass, and those yellow footprints on the cement. The buildings and fences, it appears, are arranged that way to form a defensive perimeter to keep prying eyes and non-paying guests out. Or perhaps to keep The Thing in?

I was the only person back there. I followed the footsteps across the courtyard and entered the first building. No Thing in sight.

Instead I was greeted by the oddest assortment of detritus that I’ve seen since I was last in my freshman dormitory’s basement.

Imagine that you have been tasked with creating a museum. That with which you have to work includes the contents of the local Salvation Army thrift shop, a number of mismatched glass display cases, cardboard and paint for signs, cars and appliances in any condition from the local junk yard, all items from the ‘free’ section of Craigslist, and mannequins seized when the recently bankrupted department store downtown was liquidated. This was the apparent scenario faced by Tate/ Prince at the Dawn of The Thing.

Inside The Thing’s compound, one finds a series of displays with no common theme except that they coalesced from the raw materials just noted. Old tractors that are falling apart. A few 1930s vintage cars, including one beat-up Rolls purported to have been owned by Hitler (complete with mannequin in back seat). A wax figure that looks like Charlie Chaplin if you squint. A display of steering wheels. A broken Edison phonograph. Zuni kachinas. An ancient Chinese stool. Excavated soda bottles. Odd wooden carvings of people being tortured in various historical settings. Framed reproduction Currier & Ives lithographs. Some dusty broken rifles. A large covered wagon with wax Indians creeping toward unsuspecting wax passengers and taxidermied oxen. A huge jumble of mason jars. Victorian furniture cast-offs with springs protruding from the frayed upholstery. Several saddles. A weird collection of painted driftwood.

inside a grand exhibit hall

inside a grand exhibit hall

The kitsch here knows no bounds. There are signs next to all of the displays reading, “The Thing Is, This Is A ______.” But no Thing.

Soon I began to think that The Thing didn’t actually exist, but that the dumb signs, worded thusly, are the only connection to the semantics of the roadside ads.

Oh ye of little faith.

Still wandering, alone with my thoughts in the last building and its impressive assortment of obsolete typewriters, I found in the corner ahead a cinderblock bunker perhaps a yard in height. It had a glass top, and over it hung a banner proclaiming, “Here Lies The Thing?” (not sure why the question mark).

the Crypt

the Crypt

Approaching cautiously, peering inside, I found myself face to face with a tableau of two desiccated human mummies, apparently a mother and child. Their sunken eyeless sockets stared back at me, pleading, “this ain’t the Smithsonian… get us out of here!” The pair looked like Slim Jims that had seen better days. I suppose they were real, but it was hard to tell through the dirty glass and dust.

star of the show

star of the show

Remembering the published 1956 interview, when Delaplane asked of the source of The Thing, a Prince family member said that “[a] man came through here… years ago. He had three of them he got somewhere. He was selling them for $50 [each].”

And now for all eternity. In Dragoon. Under dirty glass. Next to the mason jars and wax Hitler. A fate truly worse than death.

Boney-M, I thought, was so much better looking. I felt like heading out to the parking lot and dragging him back inside to charge viewers $1 myself!

But we still had a long way to go. I walked a few more steps and found that I was back in the Quickee-Mart gift shop. As I was leaving, more travelers were lined up at the cashier to hand over their dollars and see The Thing.

P.T. Barnum would be so proud.

[to be continued…]

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[Copyright 2013 @ The Alienist’s Compendium]

An Automotive Resurrection

There’s a satisfying feeling in bringing something back from the dead.

Since I’m not a trauma surgeon, though, I don’t get many opportunities to do that in my professional life. So instead I turn to automobiles.

I’ve owned a Ford Model T for a number of years, but recently I ‘upgraded’ to a different T, albeit one that didn’t run, had to be towed, and needed work.

The car, a 1911 Torpedo Roadster, has most of its original factory features, including a Kingston 5-ball carburetor and a 6-rivet rear end assembly, neither of which were used by Ford after 1911. Additionally, Fords made in early 1911 were still employing leftover 1910 bodies, which can be identified by the presence of exposed (non-metal covered) wooden lower outer body panels and square transmission covers, both of which this car possesses.

Accompanying documents show that the Torpedo was purchased new by Mr X in Afton NY. Mr X last registered the car on 26 May 1930, and it apparently wasn’t driven from 1931 until 1980! The grandson of the original owner then sold the car to Mr Y after almost 70 years in the original family!

Mr Y did some restoration work on the car, but before long he died. The next owner, Mr Z, toured in it a few times, and then also passed. I obtained the car – as only the fourth owner in more than a century – from Mr Z’s estate, knowing that while it had been stored in a climate controlled environment, it had not been driven in more than two decades.

I dutifully registered the car in North Carolina, but ran across a license plate issue. In this state, while all registered cars need to have plates, owners don’t need to display modern plates on antique cars (merely keeping them accessible to produce if asked). An antique car owner can instead affix a plate from the year of the vehicle’s manufacture.

That sounds easy, except that North Carolina didn’t issue plates until 1913.

leather NC plate

leather NC plate

So what did they use in 1911? Homemade leather plates with attached metal license numbers. And I actually found a fellow on the West Coast who custom fabricates such things in the 21st century!

Duly registered and licensed, leather plate in hand, the car was ready to go but still didn’t run, sitting forlornly in my garage until yesterday. I was relieved that the Torpedo had been saved for posterity, especially as with all such old cars, for years it had run the risk of scrapping as an inoperable hulk just taking up space. Posterity or not, what I didn’t know was how much effort would be necessary to get it running again.

Enter my good friend Brian. A accomplished car collector and mechanical wizard in his own right, he sacrificed his day to teach me some basics and get the car back to life. After having seen it, he felt it wasn’t too far ‘gone.’ I wasn’t so sure, but happily agreed to his kind offer.

Towed to Brian’s garage, the detailed inspection began. The radiator didn’t appear to have any leaks, and while it contained antifreeze, there wasn’t any discernible rust. The 103 year old carburetor appeared clean enough. The engine had decent compression when hand-cranked (starters weren’t used in Fords in 1911). The tires, probably from Mr Z’s tenure, held air; the fan belt, from the same era, appeared intact. And the tank only had trace gasoline inside, meaning that we probably didn’t have to perform a major cleaning of the fuel line.

Brian and I drained old sludgy oil from the engine, along with the radiator and gas tank contents, once the car was up on the lift. He showed me where the chassis needed lubrication, and also where two stopcocks under the transmission housing needed fixing (which is extremely important on a T, since there is no dashboard oil gauge, and if one starts hemorrhaging oil due to a major underside leak while the car is operational, it can do serious damage by the time the problem is realized). We then addressed a mysterious wiring problem uncovered in the wooden coil box.

After hours of work, new fluids, and a battery, attempts to crank-start the car were still unsuccessful. We then took it outside and tried to start it by towing with an ATV. The engine sputtered and backfired, sounding pretty sick indeed.

“Valve job time,” opined Brian.

Back in the garage, we removed bolts from the head and exposed the aluminum pistons and the valves, leaving the engine block in situ. I compared this to an autopsy, the analogy seeming to tickle my colleague.

the autopsy begins

the autopsy begins

To my eye, the now-exposed valves didn’t look particularly bad. Brian, however, said they were not ‘seating’ correctly, even if only by a millimeter or so, causing the engine to sound so sick. The valves therefore needed to be grinded and cleaned with abrasives. Each of the eight cast iron valves was accordingly done, but afterward, except for appearing a bit shinier, they didn’t look much differently than when we had begun. Brian, however, was confident that this would make the difference.

exposed valves and pistons

exposed valves and pistons

And as we were about to reassemble the engine, we installed a new head gasket – essentially two sheets of very thin copper sandwiching a layer of asbestos – as the old one was showing signs of cracking and leakage.

By now we had been doing car work for more than 10 hours. It was getting dark outside. Every muscle in my body was aching from all day spent using elbow grease and also climbing under the chassis to fetch tools and parts we dropped (more than once in the disgusting old oil collection pan). I was filthy dirty, and had not eaten since late morning.

But it was time to attempt to start the Torpedo again. I still had my doubts. Brian laughed at my lack of faith.

The engine compression – thanks to the valve job – was now very high, and to me made the effort to turn the crank Herculean.

Brian is far more experience at this. After several of my futile attempts, he stepped to the front of the car, gave two powerful rotations, and the engine roared. After quickly adjusting the spark advance and carburetor, the idle changed to the purr of a well-fed kitten despite its years of suspended animation!

all done!

all done!

Though only old metal machinery, it were as if the car had indeed come back to life last night!

Thank you Dr Brian!

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[Copyright 2013 @ The Alienist’s Compendium]

The Alleged Lunatics’ Friends Society

[Today’s post is sponsored by our very own Audrey E. Alford – welcome back to state government!]

Georgina Weldon (1837 – 1914) was an accomplished British soprano of the 19th century. Classically trained in Florence, she ran afoul of her rich father by going against his wishes regarding marriage. Unfortunately, her new husband was no more supportive of his bride than was her father, and the former then forbade Georgina to appear professionally on stage. Disinherited from wealth and prohibited from earning by her own skills, Georgina was relegated to the occasional performance, gratis, for local charities.

Georgina Weldon

Georgina Weldon

Before long, Georgina and her husband divorced so that he could cohabit with his mistress. Harry Weldon then reneged on his alimony agreement, and Georgina promptly sued – a rarity for a woman in 19th century Britain. Harry immediately tried to have Georgina declared insane and committed to an asylum (freeing him from alimony). On flimsy testimony the court agreed with Harry, and the order was signed. Georgina caught wind of this and hid until the warrant for her commitment had expired. She then immediately filed suit against Harry and his confederates for attempted assault on her person.

Thus started Georgina’s second career as a repeat and oft-annoying litigant. Sometimes she was successful, but many times she was not – once even spending time in jail when convicted in countersuit of libel. There was a time in the 1870s when she had 17 concurrent lawsuits pending against a series of defendants for a variety of slights, real and perceived. However, by then unshackled of her husband, she started singing professionally to finance her legal ‘habit.’ She also found time, in 1882, to publish The Outpourings of an Alleged Lunatic, or How I Escaped the Mad Doctors.

While not an official member, Georgina Weldon’s efforts coincided chronologically and conceptually with those of the interestingly-named Alleged Lunatics’ Friends Society. The ALFS had been founded in 1845 in London to address what its members saw as abuses in then-enforced British commitment laws. Miscarriages of justice were rampant, especially since doctors at the time relied on subjective hearsay from biased sources when testifying at commitment hearings. They often equated benign eccentricities and perceived immoralities as insanity per se – keep in mind that private for-profit madhouses then still existed, and there were profits to be made as well.

The commitment laws were used to muffle those who were odd at best and socially irritating at worst. “Uppity” women were often targets of the commitment laws, as in Georgina’s case; those foolishly contesting inheritances against powerful and well-placed relatives were often another targeted group.

In a particularly egregious case litigated (successfully) by the ALFS, one Jane Bright, a member of the wealthy Brights of Skeffington Hall in Leicestershire, had been seduced by her physician, who took most of her money and left her pregnant. Soon after the birth of her bastard child, Jane’s brothers had her committed to Northampton Asylum to get her out of the way. On her eventual release, she enlisted Gilbert Bolden, the ALFS’ solicitor, to help her recover the remains of her fortune from her family.

Sadly, Georgina Weldon’s operatic career flagged, and she became known more as an eccentric than as a crusader for women’s and patients’ rights. And the ALFS eventually went defunct, having failed to garner much public support. However, to the Society’s credit and Georgina’s legacy, both were successful in initially drawing attention to widespread abuses in the mental health system of the 19th century United Kingdom. They were amongst the first and most vocal advocates dedicated to greater protection against wrongful confinement in the Western world.

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[Copyright 2013 @ The Alienist’s Compendium]

Jefferson in Love

[Today’s post is sponsored by S.A. Stacy, RN, a dear friend, and the most insistent of those who suggest that I write “about love… and not gross macabre stuff all the time.” It took a while, but here it is, Ms Stacy, along with congratulations on your recent professional accomplishments]

For a man of unparalleled intellect and vision, Thomas Jefferson developed a knack for getting himself in sticky messes with members of the fair sex.

Yes, there was the whole Sally Hemings Affair, and the mounting evidence that he fathered children with his slave (in fairness to TJ, it could have been another male of the Jefferson clan). But that wasn’t the only time he found himself in a difficult moral situation.

Maria Cosway

Maria Cosway

When TJ served as U.S. Minister in Paris in 1786, he met one Maria Cosway, an Englishwoman who had studied extensively in Italy and had developed into an accomplished painter and musician. The recently widowed Jefferson, 43, was enraptured, and all evidence suggests that the attraction was mutual. The only problem was that Cosway, 27, was already married to someone else.

There is no proof that their relationship became physical, though there is strongly circumstantial evidence to that effect. Either way, the letters exchanged by the two were far from merely friendly notes. And TJ is recorded on more than one occasion behaving like a giddy schoolboy in Maria’s presence – once jumping over a stone wall in a fit of joy while out walking with her… and falling, breaking his right wrist in the process.

Jefferson wrote what later became known as his ‘Head and Heart’ letter to Cosway in October 1786 as she and her husband were preparing to leave for London. In it, he lamented his aching with the knowledge that he loved a woman he could not have. The dialogue reflected TJ’s struggle to balance his desires with his (and her) integrity. Even though he opted for the proper course – on paper – months later his letters to Cosway still expressed an undampened unrequited longing. For example, in late 1787, Jefferson wrote to Cosway and painted an idyllic if increasingly unlikely picture of the two of them together one day in the future. He wrote to her again in mid 1788 from Paris and expressed his affection, wishing for her presence though he knew he had no right to ask for it.

Once TJ returned to America in 1789, the ardor and frequency of his letters lessened, though his increasing responsibilities as President Washington’s Secretary of State likely played a role. Cosway, however, continued to write to him, regretting what she perceived as his growing emotional distance.

Interestingly, it wasn’t long before Cosway’s husband expired. She left England… but not for America. Instead, she went back to Italy and opened a convent school for girls.

In addition to directly corresponding, TJ continued to inquire of Cosway through mutual friends well into the 19th century. He and Cosway wrote to each other for the remainder of their lives; in one of his final letters, TJ spoke more of his scientific studies than matters of the heart, finally admitting that his love for her had been relegated to fond memories of when their relationship “had been pure” (?)

TJ died in 1826. Cosway died in 1838. After having parted in Paris in 1786, they never saw each other in person again.

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[Copyright 2013 @ The Alienist’s Compendium]

Kopi Luwak

[Today’s post is sponsored by Lisa Kamarchik, JD, an accomplished family lawyer in Raleigh, North Carolina. When asked about her own coffee preferences a while back, she said something to the effect of “I like good coffee, not that [expletive] you get from [insert local grocery chain here].” So, counselor, here’s your post…]

For my birthday recently, my family bought me some really pricey shit.

Okay, it wasn’t actually feces. But it had been plucked directly from feces, and that’s close enough.

Kopi Luwak, or ‘Civit Coffee,’ is made from berries that have been eaten and excreted by the Asian Palm Civit (Paradoxurus hermaphrodites), a small catlike mammal found along the Indonesian archipelago. No particular coffee species need be employed, since ‘Kopi Luwak’ refers to the, er, processing rather than the variety of bean.

the star of the show

the star of the show

Connoisseurs claims that the resulting Kopi Luwak brew is sublime for two reasons – selection and digestion.

Of the former, it’s because the civit intentionally seeks the juiciest and ripest coffee berries to consume, far more selectively than what is accomplished by (human) manual picking and mechanized sorting.

Of the latter, the fleshy pulp of chosen berries is fermented in a civit’s gut during digestion. This occurs as the animal’s proteolytic enzymes seep past the berries’ outer shells, resulting in a chemical malting reaction that is said to change the flavor of the end product.

The coffee, collected wild, is very expensive because it is labor-intensive (farmed/ caged civit coffee is considered inhumane and inferior, and responsible brokers avoid dealing with that product). After spending approx. 36 hours in a civet’s digestive tract, the beans are defecated in clumps, having retained their shape and intact layers of shell and pulp. Workers then go around picking up the clumps and extracting the undigested bean parts, washing them (!) and transporting them for further sorting and roasting.

However, not all critics are uniform in their praise. For example, Tim Carman, food writer for the Washington Post, reviewed Kopi Luwak and concluded that “it tasted just like Folgers. Stale. Lifeless. Petrified dinosaur droppings steeped in bathtub water. I couldn’t finish it.” Other equally vocal critics claim that Kopi Luwak is simply bad coffee, purchased for novelty rather than taste.

But in the United States, Kopi Luwak sells for approx $700 per kilogram. And with that kind of money involved, you can predict there will be ripple effects.

1. Researchers at the University of Guelph in Ontario, as well as the University of Florida, have tried to replicate the malting processes in the lab, developing a means by which Kopi Luwak can be made, minus the civits. No word on success yet.

2. There was recently a Craigslist ad in Portland OR from a man named Randy who said he’d eat and defecate the beans himself for a fraction of the price, $30 per kilogram. No word on takers yet.

3. Can’t find civits? Entrepreneurs in southeast Asia are marketing Elephant and Panda Coffee using those species’ respective droppings. No word on sales yet.

But back to my birthday present. How, you ask, did the joe taste? It was nothing special. It tasted like coffee. I think the hype is a crock of… well, you get the picture.

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[Copyright 2013 @ The Alienist’s Compendium]

the Biderman Flag

When one hears ‘Civil War’ and ‘captured Confederate flag,’ images of Little Round Top, the Devil’s Den, and the Bloody Angle immediately come to mind – heroic struggles against seemingly impossible odds to seize a war trophy in the face of near-certain death.

the Biderman Flag

the Biderman Flag

Behold the Biderman flag, the only Confederate flag captured during the Civil War in California. Its history is a bit more, er, prosaic.

Some background.

California did not secede from the Union in 1861, though there were areas of strong Confederate sympathies. California’s involvement in the struggle consisted mainly of shipping gold to the East, providing recruits to local militias, and sending volunteers to join established regiments fighting in the middle Atlantic and trans-Mississippi. California Unionists had their hands full manning federal forts in the area, controlling restless natives, keeping the Arizona and New Mexico territories from joining the South, and suppressing the attempts of southern California to secede from the rest of the state.

On 4 July 1861 – less than three months after the firing on Ft Sumter, and less than three weeks before the clash at Bull Run – Major J.P. Gillis of the California State Militia decided to celebrate not only America’s independence from Great Britain, but also that of the Southern U.S. of A from the Northern half.

At 10 p.m. that evening, after fireworks had ended in a park in Sacramento, Gillis unfurled his silk Confederate flag, which he had hidden until then by wrapping it around his walking stick. He marched along the boardwalk in front of the St George Hotel at the corner of 4th and J streets displaying the flag. Most in the crowd appeared pleased according to eyewitness accounts.

But not all. J.W. Biderman and Curtis Clark, two Unionist locals, were incensed. They followed Gillis, and then without warning, jumped him and proceeded to pummel and strangle him. Then, as he cries for help went unheeded, Biderman punched him in the face and tore the flag from the improvised flagpole/ walking stick.

Later, Biderman and Clark held court at the St George, ‘inviting’ any interested secessionists to come and take the flag back from them. No one attempted.

Somehow, unrecorded, the banner was acquired by the California State Capitol Museum, now bearing the stenciled legend, “Rebel Flag Captured 4 July 1861 by Jack Biderman.”

Confederate flags usually came in 7-, 11-, and 13-star variants. There were a few made with 15-stars, reflecting the wishful thinking of the creators regarding border states joining the struggle. The Biderman flag is sui generis in that it has 17-stars, apparently reflecting his unrealized desire for California and the western territories to cast their lots with the South as well.

And honestly, as a thief can never transfer legal title, the flag should probably be known as the Gillis flag.

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[Copyright 2013 @ The Alienist’s Compendium]

Hygiene is Overrated II

In follow-up to my earlier post on bathing from last month:

it is interesting that, despite personal misgivings held by many in times past regarding the need for regular hygiene, the medical community was not entirely opposed to bathing for certain therapeutic indications. In the 16th and 17th centuries, for example, much was written about the benefits of taking to the waters for those women who were unsuccessful at conceiving and carrying a child to term.

The mechanism by which the waters supposedly exerted this effect was not clearly outlined, merely the wondrous (if not miraculous) outcomes to be had by engaging in therapeutic baths at just the right time.

A barren woman helped thusly, according to a 17th century English treatise on the benefits of bathing while procreating, was the wife of one Thomas Horton, esq., who “after seven years’ interval from having a child [concluded that as she was 42 years old,] she had done breeding.” However, she then fell from a horse and injured her leg, deciding afterward to visit the town of Bath for recuperation. No sooner did she take to the curative waters than she “went home and quickly conceiv’d … and had a son, who lived to be a proper [and] hopeful young gentleman.”

The same text went on to claim that Lady Killmurry, Countess of Huntington, at middle age had miscarried at least three times, but having taken therapeutic baths but one season, and that for only five weeks, “conceiv’d quickly with child, went out her full time, and became a mother of a living and lively son.”

No word on whether Mrs Horton or Lady Killmurry were happy to have had fertility restored at their respective ages or not.

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[Copyright 2013 @ The Alienist’s Compendium]