00300:00:54Dialogue:“When he stood before the dean of Johns Hopkins”
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Timecode: 00:00:54

Dialogue: “When he stood before the dean of Johns Hopkins”

We can’t verify whether this scene at Johns Hopkins actually happened, but it was a constant feature of Brinkley’s origin story. The language being spoken by the narrator is taken almost verbatim from The Life of A Man, a biography commissioned and paid for by Brinkley (more on that book later). In 1902, Brinkley graduated …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

We can't verify whether this scene at Johns Hopkins actually happened, but it was a constant feature of Brinkley's origin story. The language being spoken by the narrator is taken almost verbatim from The Life of A Man, a biography commissioned and paid for by Brinkley (more on that book later). In 1902, Brinkley graduated from high school and he would have been 17 years old on July 8, so it's feasible that he could have decided to try to enroll in medical school at that time. However, the whole scene feels rather improbable to us, and the "I tried to get legitimate medicine to accept me and they cruelly declined" is also a standard quack cliché.
00700:01:26Dialogue:“He married a pretty young woman”
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Timecode: 00:01:26

Dialogue: “He married a pretty young woman”

All true (they married August 23, 1913), but actually this was his second marriage. His first marriage was to Sally Wike on January 27, 1907. According to Wood, Brinkley met Sally Wike at the funeral for his Aunt Sally. Since Aunt Sally died on December 25, 1906, that would make their courtship pretty brief: about …View Full Footnote All true (they married August 23, 1913), but actually this was his second marriage. His first marriage was to Sally Wike on January 27, 1907. According to Wood, Brinkley met Sally Wike at the funeral for his Aunt Sally. Since Aunt Sally died on December 25, 1906, that would make their courtship pretty brief: about one month. Again according to Wood, this marriage produced three daughters and ended when Sally left him. Incidentally, Minnie and John also married after an exceptionally brief courtship (four days).
01100:01:58Dialogue:“A farmer named Stittsworth”
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Timecode: 00:01:58

Dialogue: “A farmer named Stittsworth”

This is the origin story of the goat gland procedure, as told by Brinkley and repeated ever since. Portions of this story and photos of Stittsworth and his son Billy appeared in newspapers all over the country as early as 1920. The Stittsworths also “starred” in and often appeared in person with a promotional film …View Full Footnote This is the origin story of the goat gland procedure, as told by Brinkley and repeated ever since. Portions of this story and photos of Stittsworth and his son Billy appeared in newspapers all over the country as early as 1920. The Stittsworths also "starred" in and often appeared in person with a promotional film made in 1922 or 1923. However, there are many reasons to not believe this version of the story. Here are some of them: (1) Bill Stittsworth's son said that he and his father were on Brinkley's payroll until 1942. This is strange, because Brinkley stopped doing the goat gland surgeries in 1933 and thus had no reason to pay someone to promote it after that point. Logic suggests they were being paid not to tell everyone that this was all made up. Perhaps the younger Stittsworth lied, or remembered wrong; but the Stittsworths appeared in many photographs from 1919-on, and in person in 1923 with the promotional film, so it makes sense that they would have been paid for this. Interestingly, it doesn't seem that Stittsworth was mentioned by full name in the advertising or public relations efforts. We did find one article referring to him as "Uncle Billy, one of the village patriarchs." (2) This story, with photos of the world's first "goat gland baby" (Billy Stittsworth) only began appearing in newspapers after Brinkley hired H.R. Mosnat, an ad man. Mosnat's efforts (better classified as pioneering public relations than advertising) included placing this "news item" in papers all over the country. (3) The story was highly inconsistent; Brinkley sometimes claimed that he had been doing experiments with "xenotransplantation" for many years by this point and was eager to try it out on a human; sometimes it was Stittsworth's idea and he tried to say no, etc. (4) The story is ridiculous.
28601:04:53Dialogue:“You called this German Electric Medicine”
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Timecode: 01:04:53

Dialogue: “You called this German Electric Medicine”

We learned about the “German Electric Medicine” thing from Pope Brock (although we made up  the bit about Robert Bunsen). So, Verified, and also Invention. Maybe this should have been two different notes. But, really, at this point, does anyone think these footnotes are complete?????View Full Footnote

Truth Value:,

We learned about the "German Electric Medicine" thing from Pope Brock (although we made up  the bit about Robert Bunsen). So, Verified, and also Invention. Maybe this should have been two different notes. But, really, at this point, does anyone think these footnotes are complete?????
05300:07:49Dialogue:“Patient would select a goat”
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Timecode: 00:07:49

Dialogue: “Patient would select a goat”

“The patient would select a goat with which he had the most connection.” Really though???View Full Footnote

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"The patient would select a goat with which he had the most connection." Really though???
07400:10:09Dialogue:“Really the first guy to blast country music”
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Timecode: 00:10:09

Dialogue: “Really the first guy to blast country music”

It might be an exaggeration to say he was the “first guy,” but he was certainly a key figure in the popularization of country music.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

It might be an exaggeration to say he was the "first guy," but he was certainly a key figure in the popularization of country music.
15800:28:22Dialogue:“He bought a plane from Charles Lindbergh”
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Timecode: 00:28:22

Dialogue: “He bought a plane from Charles Lindbergh”

We found two references to the fact that Brinkley’s bought a plane from Charles Lindbergh, but one source calls it “The Romancer” (Reardon) and one called it “The Romance” (Lee). However, both cite Wood, and obviously Wood is not the most reliable source. In other words: maybe this is true and maybe it isn’t, but …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

We found two references to the fact that Brinkley's bought a plane from Charles Lindbergh, but one source calls it "The Romancer" (Reardon) and one called it "The Romance" (Lee). However, both cite Wood, and obviously Wood is not the most reliable source. In other words: maybe this is true and maybe it isn't, but Brinkley was rich enough to buy a plane from Lindbergh, so... sure, why not? We can't find anything about a plane named "The Romance" or "The Romancer" owned by Lindbergh, and have now spent way too long on this pretty trivial note.
18200:35:02Dialogue:“Somehow the idea came along”
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Timecode: 00:35:02

Dialogue: “Somehow the idea came along”

There was already one “border blaster” station (XED, which began broadcasting on November 9, 1930, with a regular schedule from 6:00 PM to midnight) when Brinkley “somehow” got the idea. Brinkley announced he would open his own in January 1931. We’re leaving that out because we’re continuing to feed the implication that he alone invented …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

There was already one "border blaster" station (XED, which began broadcasting on November 9, 1930, with a regular schedule from 6:00 PM to midnight) when Brinkley "somehow" got the idea. Brinkley announced he would open his own in January 1931. We're leaving that out because we're continuing to feed the implication that he alone invented all these wonderful ideas.
22900:45:38Image:Map of Arkansas
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Timecode: 00:45:38

Image: Map of Arkansas

It’s more likely that Brinkley moved to Arkansas because of competition in Del Rio. And then later, in March of 1938, Brinkley left Del Rio for good.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

It's more likely that Brinkley moved to Arkansas because of competition in Del Rio. And then later, in March of 1938, Brinkley left Del Rio for good.
24100:47:11Image:Fishbein
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Timecode: 00:47:11

Image: Fishbein

This is a true story, sort of. Fishbein really was aboard the Normandie at the same time as the Brinkleys, who departed Europe for home on August 11, 1937. As far as what actually happened when the two men crossed paths – if they crossed paths at all – there are conflicting accounts. None of …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:,

This is a true story, sort of. Fishbein really was aboard the Normandie at the same time as the Brinkleys, who departed Europe for home on August 11, 1937. As far as what actually happened when the two men crossed paths – if they crossed paths at all – there are conflicting accounts. None of the sources we consulted said Brinkley winked at Fishbein; we made that up. We based our encounter mostly on Brock's version of the story, but we invented the wink to make it more visual.  But that's a small detail we invented wholesale in a scene we largely lifted from Brock: "There was nothing left now but for the principals to meet. In all these years, the two great foes had never laid eyes on each other, and Fishbein wanted to keep it that way. Brinkley had other ideas. Scouring the deck he found Fishbein in a lounge chair and his face to the sun. Brinkley approached . . . Fishbein pretended he wasn't there. After a minute or so of this queer pantomime, Brinkley made a strangled noise, turned, and stalked off" (215-16). There is also come confusion in the historical record about whether Brinkley snubbed Fishbein, or Fishbein snubbed Brinkley – this "snub" inexplicably became an issue in the libel trial of 1939!
27200:56:11Dialogue:“Allow me to say a few words”
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Timecode: 00:56:11

Dialogue: “Allow me to say a few words”

Unsurprisingly, Fishbein’s testimony was considerably less dramatic than it is portrayed here (Brock describes Fishbein on the stand as a model of “serenity and reason”). But we needed to really lay out what a quack is and how he operates during this trial, and it seemed fitting to let Fishbein let loose about it. The …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

Unsurprisingly, Fishbein's testimony was considerably less dramatic than it is portrayed here (Brock describes Fishbein on the stand as a model of "serenity and reason"). But we needed to really lay out what a quack is and how he operates during this trial, and it seemed fitting to let Fishbein let loose about it. The very last line of this monologue ("he is a tumor on the body of science") was taken directed from his testimony, however.
28501:04:34Dialogue:“You were incarcerated in Greenville, SC”
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Timecode: 01:04:34

Dialogue: “You were incarcerated in Greenville, SC”

True: Brinkley had been arrested for the colored water scam in Greenville, SC. Not true: it was on the very same day he claimed to be graduating. So: a chronological distortion for effect.View Full Footnote True: Brinkley had been arrested for the colored water scam in Greenville, SC. Not true: it was on the very same day he claimed to be graduating. So: a chronological distortion for effect.
29501:09:30Dialogue:“At this time I must”
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Timecode: 01:09:30

Dialogue: “At this time I must”

Clement Wood was a well-known hack said to “churn out manuscripts nearly on demand” and to write “at the pace of 80,000 words in 30 days” (not the best pace for careful research and fact-checking). Clement Wood wrote some other biographies-for-hire. Wood’s list of published works is astonishingly diverse and poor in quality. One of …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:,

Clement Wood was a well-known hack said to "churn out manuscripts nearly on demand" and to write "at the pace of 80,000 words in 30 days" (not the best pace for careful research and fact-checking). Clement Wood wrote some other biographies-for-hire. Wood's list of published works is astonishingly diverse and poor in quality. One of his books, Flesh And Other Stories, published in 1929, was the subject of an important obscenity trial. Wood was a one-time lawyer turned teacher turned Greenwich Village hipster who supposedly hosted orgies as a means of satisfying the sexual needs of his beautiful wife Gloria Goddard; he himself was said to be impotent. He is a fascinating person that we did a lot of unnecessary research on, and his Wikipedia page deserves much more attention.
29601:10:32Dialogue:“The trial lasted 3, perhaps into the 4th”
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Timecode: 01:10:32

Dialogue: “The trial lasted 3, perhaps into the 4th”

Brock seems to be incorrect about the number of days; sources we checked (including his own book) indicate this trial went on for about 10 days.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

Brock seems to be incorrect about the number of days; sources we checked (including his own book) indicate this trial went on for about 10 days.
00100:00:37Dialogue:“John Romulus Brinkley”
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Timecode: 00:00:37

Dialogue: “John Romulus Brinkley”

The name of the protagonist is not John Romulus Brinkley. Brinkley’s middle name was Richard.  He claimed to have been born John Romulus and said it was later changed to John Richard, either because a preacher said it was a heathen name or because his schoolmates made fun of him (he told different versions of …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

The name of the protagonist is not John Romulus Brinkley. Brinkley's middle name was Richard.  He claimed to have been born John Romulus and said it was later changed to John Richard, either because a preacher said it was a heathen name or because his schoolmates made fun of him (he told different versions of this story).  Logic suggests he invented the Romulus story - given that he's named after his father, whose name was John Richard - but we decided to use Romulus exclusively in this film because (1) it's way more awesome, and (2) it underscores the fact that for whatever reason, Brinkley liked to identify himself with the mythical founder of Rome.
00200:00:51Image:Johns Hopkins University exterior
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Timecode: 00:00:51

Image: Johns Hopkins University exterior

Photograph of Johns Hopkins taken by Harvey Cushing circa 1900.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

Photograph of Johns Hopkins taken by Harvey Cushing circa 1900.
00400:01:08Dialogue:“Like his daddy was”
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Timecode: 00:01:08

Dialogue: “Like his daddy was”

We can’t verify that Brinkley’s daddy was a doctor, but he always said he was. Brinkley cited his father’s profession as inspiration for his own. If he was a doctor at all, Brinkey’s daddy would have almost certainly been the sort of poor “country doctor” common in the 1800s.  At that time, being a doctor …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

We can't verify that Brinkley's daddy was a doctor, but he always said he was. Brinkley cited his father's profession as inspiration for his own. If he was a doctor at all, Brinkey's daddy would have almost certainly been the sort of poor "country doctor" common in the 1800s.  At that time, being a doctor wasn't the distinguished profession it later became (largely due to the efforts of the American Medical Association).  On the other hand, sometimes Brinkley claimed his daddy had a medical degree from Davidson College in Charlotte.  As Lee wrote, "(t)his is highly unlikely, however, as attending college in the antebellum South was expensive and confined largely to the plantation and urban aristocracy who could afford it, not poor mountain folk."
00500:01:21Dialogue:“Brinkley had a diploma”
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Timecode: 00:01:21

Dialogue: “Brinkley had a diploma”

“On May 7, 1915, the Eclectic Medical University of Kansas City presented him with a certificate signed by its president, Dr. Date R. Alexander. To become an alumnus of E.M.U. (later described in court proceedings as ‘vague, obliging and long defunct’) cost Brinkley one hundred dollars and got him licensed in eight states” (Brock, 25). …View Full Footnote "On May 7, 1915, the Eclectic Medical University of Kansas City presented him with a certificate signed by its president, Dr. Date R. Alexander. To become an alumnus of E.M.U. (later described in court proceedings as 'vague, obliging and long defunct') cost Brinkley one hundred dollars and got him licensed in eight states" (Brock, 25). So: yes, he had this diploma (and a number of other diplomas and accreditations), but it doesn't mean what you might think it means. On a separate note, the narrator claims here that he received this diploma in 1917, and then married Minnie, and then moved to Milford all in the same year. This is not chronologically accurate; we're compressing these events (and leaving a lot out) for flow and clarity.
00600:01:23Image:Eclectic Medical University exterior (drawing)
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Timecode: 00:01:23

Image: Eclectic Medical University exterior (drawing)

This drawing is based on a photo of the Homeopathic Medical College of St. Louis taken in the early 1900s. We couldn’t find an image reference for the Eclectic Medical College of Kansas City, so we substituted this one instead. Same time period, different kind of quackery, and anyway this is clearly a “reenactment” scene, …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

This drawing is based on a photo of the Homeopathic Medical College of St. Louis taken in the early 1900s. We couldn't find an image reference for the Eclectic Medical College of Kansas City, so we substituted this one instead. Same time period, different kind of quackery, and anyway this is clearly a "reenactment" scene, so all of this explanation is probably unnecessary? (From here on out, we are not going to comment on every act of "imagination" used in a reenactment scene; this one seemed kind of funny to us because of the inside joke comparing homeopathy to eclectic medicine.)
00800:01:37Image:Wide shot of Milford
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Timecode: 00:01:37

Image: Wide shot of Milford

This drawing is based on a real photo, but it’s not a photo of Milford. It’s actually a photo of Lawrence, Kansas, in 1856. We could not locate any photos of Milford from the right period that had the right quality of desolation. (See also: note 23.)View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

This drawing is based on a real photo, but it's not a photo of Milford. It's actually a photo of Lawrence, Kansas, in 1856. We could not locate any photos of Milford from the right period that had the right quality of desolation. (See also: note 23.)
00900:1:44Dialogue:“An old soda fountain”
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Timecode: 00:1:44

Dialogue: “An old soda fountain”

Apparently, they came to Milford because of an ad saying that the town needed a new doctor. It would make sense that Brinkley’s “office” would be a kind of soda fountain / drugstore stocked with patent medicines. They rented it from the former doctor (now retired) for $7/month.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

Apparently, they came to Milford because of an ad saying that the town needed a new doctor. It would make sense that Brinkley's "office" would be a kind of soda fountain / drugstore stocked with patent medicines. They rented it from the former doctor (now retired) for $7/month.
01000:01:51Image:[interjection at this point in the story]
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Timecode: 00:01:51

Image: [interjection at this point in the story]

Funny story. Before they came to Milford, the Brinkleys settled in Fulton, Kansas, where Brinkley was mayor (!?). This tidbit is often dropped into the story by sources as it’s no big deal and requires no further detail or explanation. We don’t know if it’s true.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:,

Funny story. Before they came to Milford, the Brinkleys settled in Fulton, Kansas, where Brinkley was mayor (!?). This tidbit is often dropped into the story by sources as it's no big deal and requires no further detail or explanation. We don't know if it's true.
01200:03:18Dialogue:[interjection at this point in the story]
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Timecode: 00:03:18

Dialogue: [interjection at this point in the story]

A reasonable person might think that we should include the following background information somewhere in the course of this film, probably pretty close to the front… Since the late 1800s, good scientists, bad scientists and charlatans had been experimenting with and/or selling the transplantation of testicles as a means to “rejuvenate” old, sick or impotent …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

A reasonable person might think that we should include the following background information somewhere in the course of this film, probably pretty close to the front... Since the late 1800s, good scientists, bad scientists and charlatans had been experimenting with and/or selling the transplantation of testicles as a means to "rejuvenate" old, sick or impotent people. They were trying all kinds of stuff that would take too long to get into here. Suffice it to say that people like Charles-Édouard Brown-Séquard, Eugene Steinach, Harry Lydston, and Serge Voronoff were certainly important influences on Brinkley. Brinkley himself cited the work of these "pioneers" in his own writing, especially Lydston who he admired greatly. Brinkley and Voronoff specifically had quite a rivalry going. It is unclear from newspaper records which of them was the first to successfully transplant the testicles of animals into humans (or say they had). Voronoff used monkey glands, and Brinkley goat glands. Voronoff was at least as famous as Brinkley, at least in Europe. Brinkley denigated him at every opportunity. Glands and hormones were hot stuff back then. For example, Dr. Frederick Banting discovered insulin in 1921; two years later, he was awarded the Nobel Prize. So while our film essentially makes it seems as if Brinkley all alone had this brilliant idea, he was really riding a wave. Like all good quacks, Brinkley took something real from the scientific zeitgeist, distorted it, and sold it to a public primed to believe him in part because they had been hearing about some of the same ideas in the papers. A lot of the things we say or imply Brinkley "invented" he didn't exactly invent, is our point. Which isn't to say he wasn't a genius, or an early pioneer of many things. It's just that the "Great Man" theory of history really falls apart when you've done enough research.
01300:03:24Image:Goat
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Timecode: 00:03:24

Image: Goat

Images taken from a real science film from 1940 about endocrine glands, edited to seem as if they are related to the surrounding images referring to Brinkley’s procedure.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

Images taken from a real science film from 1940 about endocrine glands, edited to seem as if they are related to the surrounding images referring to Brinkley's procedure.
01400:03:30Image:Cross section of scrotum & following
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Timecode: 00:03:30

Image: Cross section of scrotum & following

Images taken from a fake science film called “Rejuvenation Through Gland Transplanting” which Brinkley almost certainly paid for and then distributed to movie theaters all over the U.S. Stittsworth and son toured with the film in person as “proof” of the operation’s efficacy.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

Images taken from a fake science film called "Rejuvenation Through Gland Transplanting" which Brinkley almost certainly paid for and then distributed to movie theaters all over the U.S. Stittsworth and son toured with the film in person as "proof" of the operation's efficacy.
01500:03:29Image:Goat butt & following
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Timecode: 00:03:29

Image: Goat butt & following

Images taken from a real science film from 1940 about endocrine glands, edited to seem related to the surrounding images that refer to Brinkley’s procedure.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

Images taken from a real science film from 1940 about endocrine glands, edited to seem related to the surrounding images that refer to Brinkley's procedure.
01600:03:31Image:Cross section of goat testicle & following
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Timecode: 00:03:31

Image: Cross section of goat testicle & following

Images taken from a fake science film called “Rejuvenation Through Gland Transplanting” which Brinkley almost certainly paid for and then distributed to movie theaters all over the U.S. Stittsworth and son toured with the film in person as “proof” of the operation’s efficacy.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

Images taken from a fake science film called "Rejuvenation Through Gland Transplanting" which Brinkley almost certainly paid for and then distributed to movie theaters all over the U.S. Stittsworth and son toured with the film in person as "proof" of the operation's efficacy.
01700:03:33Text:“Baby Billy”
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Timecode: 00:03:33

Text: “Baby Billy”

It seems more likely that Billy was named after his father, whose name (Bill) isn’t mentioned in this promotional film. Images taken from a fake science film called “Rejuvenation Through Gland Transplanting” which Brinkley almost certainly paid for and then distributed to movie theaters all over the U.S. Stittsworth and son toured with the film …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

It seems more likely that Billy was named after his father, whose name (Bill) isn't mentioned in this promotional film. Images taken from a fake science film called “Rejuvenation Through Gland Transplanting” which Brinkley almost certainly paid for and then distributed to movie theaters all over the U.S. Stittsworth and son toured with the film in person as “proof” of the operation’s efficacy.
01800:03:42Image:Stittsworth and son in newspaper
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Timecode: 00:03:42

Image: Stittsworth and son in newspaper

We put a halftone pattern on this photo to make it look like it was reproduced in papers. It might have been, but we never saw it. Headline is borrowed from some other news item in 1920.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

We put a halftone pattern on this photo to make it look like it was reproduced in papers. It might have been, but we never saw it. Headline is borrowed from some other news item in 1920.
01900:04:01Image:Brinkley and baby, 3 times
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Timecode: 00:04:01

Image: Brinkley and baby, 3 times

This photo of the world’s first “goat gland baby” (Billy Stittsworth) only began appearing in newspapers after Brinkley hired H.R. Mosnat, an ad man. Mosnat’s efforts (better classified as pioneering public relations than advertising) included placing this “news item” in papers all over the country. (See also: note 11.)View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

This photo of the world's first "goat gland baby" (Billy Stittsworth) only began appearing in newspapers after Brinkley hired H.R. Mosnat, an ad man. Mosnat's efforts (better classified as pioneering public relations than advertising) included placing this "news item" in papers all over the country. (See also: note 11.)
02000:04:24Image:The Life of a Man book
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Timecode: 00:04:24

Image: The Life of a Man book

This is a real book, and sure, it’s a biography. However, there are many reasons to doubt its veracity. It was a work-for-hire: Brinkley paid the author, Clement Wood to write it. It appears that Brinkley basically dictated its contents. Wood was a well-known hack said to “churn out manuscripts nearly on demand” and to …View Full Footnote This is a real book, and sure, it's a biography. However, there are many reasons to doubt its veracity. It was a work-for-hire: Brinkley paid the author, Clement Wood to write it. It appears that Brinkley basically dictated its contents. Wood was a well-known hack said to "churn out manuscripts nearly on demand" and to write "at the pace of 80,000 words in 30 days" (not the best pace for careful research and fact-checking). Brinkley used it as a promotional tool, giving it away for free to fans and supporters. Finally, it contains many verifiably false statements. Is NUTS! really "based on" this book? Not exactly. Some of it is taken directly from its pages, but it's perhaps more honest to say that we are using The Life of a Man like Brinkley himself used it: as a source of apparent authority. Like Brinkley, we will also use other sources of apparent authority (patient testimonials, "expert interviews", newspaper articles, etc.) not found in the pages of The Life of A Man. Clement Wood wrote some other biographies-for-hire, including one for Brinkley's contemporary in quackery and questionable practices in radio broadcasting Norman Baker with the awesome title Throttle: A Fact Story About Norman Baker (how did Brinkley get stuck with The Life of a Man?). Wood's list of published works is astonishingly diverse and poor in quality. One of his books, Flesh And Other Stories, published in 1929, was the subject of an important obscenity trial. Wood was a one-time lawyer turned teacher turned Greenwich Village hipster who supposedly hosted orgies as a means of satisfying the sexual needs of his beautiful wife Gloria Goddard; he himself was said to be impotent. He is a fascinating person that we did a lot of unnecessary research on, and his Wikipedia page deserves much more attention.
02100:04:35Image:Chapter I title page
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Timecode: 00:04:35

Image: Chapter I title page

The book is real, but we hand-copied the fonts from Wood’s book, designed the chapter titles in Photoshop, printed them on vintage book paper, and glued them into its pages to film these chapter breaks. We went to all this trouble because it’s important that we establish this book as a real, physical book that …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

The book is real, but we hand-copied the fonts from Wood's book, designed the chapter titles in Photoshop, printed them on vintage book paper, and glued them into its pages to film these chapter breaks. We went to all this trouble because it's important that we establish this book as a real, physical book that carries with it an apparent credibility, and because we are establishing that we are "adapting" this book and using large portions of its text as our own narration (which is only partly true). Some of the chapter titles are repurposed from Wood's book. "Something New Under the Sun" is Wood's title for his Chapter V, which covers the same period I'm covering in the next few scenes.
02200:04:41Image:Chapter I text page
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Timecode: 00:04:41

Image: Chapter I text page

The text here is reproduced from The Life of a Man‘s preface (with minor edits).View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

The text here is reproduced from The Life of a Man's preface (with minor edits).
02300:04:48Image:Town photo
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Timecode: 00:04:48

Image: Town photo

This is a real photo, but it’s not a photo of Milford. It’s actually a photo of Lawrence, Kansas, in 1856. We could not locate any photos of Milford from the right period that had the right amount of desolation. (See also: note 8.)View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

This is a real photo, but it's not a photo of Milford. It's actually a photo of Lawrence, Kansas, in 1856. We could not locate any photos of Milford from the right period that had the right amount of desolation. (See also: note 8.)
02400:04:57Text:“Population 300”
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Timecode: 00:04:57

Text: “Population 300”

Several sources report the 1917 population of Milford in 1917 as being even lower than what we depicted here: less than 200. On the other hand, all those sources cite The Life of A Man for their information. We haven’t done any additional work to confirm this, but the point is: it was a very …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

Several sources report the 1917 population of Milford in 1917 as being even lower than what we depicted here: less than 200. On the other hand, all those sources cite The Life of A Man for their information. We haven't done any additional work to confirm this, but the point is: it was a very small town. We're not sure where we came up with the number 300; we must have seen it somewhere, or misremembered. (See also: notes 38 and 62 on Milford's population.)
02500:05:01Text:“Kansas Historian”
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Timecode: 00:05:01

Text: “Kansas Historian”

James Reardon is not a historian by profession or training, but he did spend many years producing a manuscript about Brinkley, for which he did a lot of research and amassed a big archive which he was kind enough to share with us. We gave him this “lower third” ID for two reasons: (1) we …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

James Reardon is not a historian by profession or training, but he did spend many years producing a manuscript about Brinkley, for which he did a lot of research and amassed a big archive which he was kind enough to share with us. We gave him this "lower third" ID for two reasons: (1) we didn't know what else to say; (2) "Kansas Historian" makes him sound more legit than "guy who wrote an unpublished manuscript thirty years ago." In other words: for expert interviews to work, you have to buy that the person speaking is an "expert" (which, in our opinion, Reardon is).
02600:05:16Image:Baby Lenora
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Timecode: 00:05:16

Image: Baby Lenora

Images taken from a fake science film called “Rejuvenation Through Gland Transplanting” which Brinkley almost certainly paid for and then distributed to movie theaters all over the U.S. Stittsworth and son toured with the film in person as “proof” of the operation’s efficacy.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

Images taken from a fake science film called "Rejuvenation Through Gland Transplanting" which Brinkley almost certainly paid for and then distributed to movie theaters all over the U.S. Stittsworth and son toured with the film in person as "proof" of the operation's efficacy.
02700:05:18Dialogue:“The gland transplants worked every time.”
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Timecode: 00:05:18

Dialogue: “The gland transplants worked every time.”

The things the Narrator says here are insane! Not even Brinkley said it “worked every time.” We’re engaging in some puffery and exaggeration for effect.View Full Footnote

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The things the Narrator says here are insane! Not even Brinkley said it "worked every time." We're engaging in some puffery and exaggeration for effect.
02800:05:27Image:Goat testicle
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Timecode: 00:05:27

Image: Goat testicle

Images taken from a fake science film called “Rejuvenation Through Gland Transplanting,” which Brinkley almost certainly paid for and then distributed to movie theaters all over the U.S. Stittsworth and son toured with the film in person as “proof” of the operation’s efficacy. However, we have no reason to believe that’s not a goat testicle, …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

Images taken from a fake science film called "Rejuvenation Through Gland Transplanting," which Brinkley almost certainly paid for and then distributed to movie theaters all over the U.S. Stittsworth and son toured with the film in person as "proof" of the operation's efficacy. However, we have no reason to believe that's not a goat testicle, so... seems legit.
02900:05:32Image:Newborn baby
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Timecode: 00:05:32

Image: Newborn baby

A real science film which has nothing to do with Brinkley and is probably also from the wrong time period: “Dialogue With Life,” year unknown.View Full Footnote

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A real science film which has nothing to do with Brinkley and is probably also from the wrong time period: "Dialogue With Life," year unknown.
03000:05:33Image:Brinkely patting man on back
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Timecode: 00:05:33

Image: Brinkely patting man on back

This image is not of Brinkley and a patient; it is from a film made in 1934 about Brinkley’s fishing exploits titled “Making A World’s Record.”View Full Footnote

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This image is not of Brinkley and a patient; it is from a film made in 1934 about Brinkley's fishing exploits titled "Making A World's Record."
03100:05:36Image:Patients inside hospital
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Timecode: 00:05:36

Image: Patients inside hospital

These home movies were taken in the 1940s by John William Worrall at the Children Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Obviously, they are used here in a way that strongly implies what we are seeing here are images, probably taken by Brinkley himself given the home movie quality, of the hospital in Milford. It’s a sneaky …View Full Footnote

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These home movies were taken in the 1940s by John William Worrall at the Children Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Obviously, they are used here in a way that strongly implies what we are seeing here are images, probably taken by Brinkley himself given the home movie quality, of the hospital in Milford. It's a sneaky substitution, and one which we did to give a more human feeling to the story we are telling. After all, Brinkley did have real patients and supporters who loved him. We wanted to give them faces.
03200:05:41Image:Huey Long
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Timecode: 00:05:41

Image: Huey Long

We read rumors that Huey Long made an appointment to get goat glands but was assassinated in 1935 before he got them, so we didn’t invent the idea of Long being associated with Brinkley in some way. However, we’ve never seen any reference to his actually having done so, so we’re stretching here to make …View Full Footnote

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We read rumors that Huey Long made an appointment to get goat glands but was assassinated in 1935 before he got them, so we didn't invent the idea of Long being associated with Brinkley in some way. However, we've never seen any reference to his actually having done so, so we're stretching here to make it seem like Brinkley had some famous patients vouching for him. Why? Because the "celebrity endorsement" is a key trick used by quacks; Brinkley did it, and we're doing it too. (See also: note 161 on another Huey Long connection.)
03300:05:42Image:William Jennings Bryan
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Timecode: 00:05:42

Image: William Jennings Bryan

Rumors exist that Brinkley was William Jennings Bryan’s wife’s doctor for a time. So, this is another intentional distortion to create a “celebrity endorsement.”View Full Footnote

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Rumors exist that Brinkley was William Jennings Bryan's wife's doctor for a time. So, this is another intentional distortion to create a "celebrity endorsement."
03400:05:45Image:Rudolph Valentino
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Timecode: 00:05:45

Image: Rudolph Valentino

We wanted the name of a famous movie star here, because we heard rumors that Brinkley had operated on some “movie stars” in 1922. We picked Valentino because he was a sex symbol and we thought a contemporary audience might have heard of him.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

We wanted the name of a famous movie star here, because we heard rumors that Brinkley had operated on some "movie stars" in 1922. We picked Valentino because he was a sex symbol and we thought a contemporary audience might have heard of him.
03500:05:48Image:Woodrow Wilson
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Timecode: 00:05:48

Image: Woodrow Wilson

Brinkley himself said that he “could” cure President Wilson. He never said he did.View Full Footnote

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Brinkley himself said that he "could" cure President Wilson. He never said he did.
03600:05:53Image:Buster Keaton’s COPS
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Timecode: 00:05:53

Image: Buster Keaton’s COPS

To claim that “everyone knew that Buster Keaton was no stranger to the power of goat glands” is pretty sneaky in the context of this sequence of celebrity endorsements. We’ve never read anywhere that Buster Keaton had the procedure or had anything at all to say about it. However, the fact that Keaton included this …View Full Footnote

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To claim that "everyone knew that Buster Keaton was no stranger to the power of goat glands" is pretty sneaky in the context of this sequence of celebrity endorsements. We've never read anywhere that Buster Keaton had the procedure or had anything at all to say about it. However, the fact that Keaton included this gag shows how well-known the goat gland cure was by 1922!
03700:06:16Image:[interjection at this point in the story]
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Timecode: 00:06:16

Image: [interjection at this point in the story]

At least one other popular comedy of the time referenced the goat gland cure: a 1924 Sunshine comedy called “Sad But True.” This film, directed by Slim Summerville and starring Chester Conklin, is apparently lost; we consider this a tragedy of epic proportions. And the Serge Voronoff’s monkey gland cure was referenced by the Marx …View Full Footnote

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At least one other popular comedy of the time referenced the goat gland cure: a 1924 Sunshine comedy called "Sad But True." This film, directed by Slim Summerville and starring Chester Conklin, is apparently lost; we consider this a tragedy of epic proportions. And the Serge Voronoff's monkey gland cure was referenced by the Marx Brothers in their first feature film, "The Cocoanuts" (1929). The song, written by Irving Berlin, is called "Monkey Doodle Doo" and is super creepy. The "Monkey Gland" was a popular cocktail of the era, featuring absinthe! We've had it and it is delicious. Another Hollywood aside: when studios starting injecting "talkie scenes" into otherwise silent films during the period of transition from silent to sound films (1927-1929), these films were called "goat gland films."
03800:06:25Text:Population sign
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Timecode: 00:06:25

Text: Population sign

We invented these numbers and they are probably highly overstated. Surprisingly, the 1930 census lists Milford’s population as only 300. Our sources suggest uniformly that Milford grew a lot during the 1920s because of Brinkley’s fame and that 1930 should have been close to the height of Milford’s size and prosperity. Perhaps Milford “grew” from …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

We invented these numbers and they are probably highly overstated. Surprisingly, the 1930 census lists Milford's population as only 300. Our sources suggest uniformly that Milford grew a lot during the 1920s because of Brinkley's fame and that 1930 should have been close to the height of Milford's size and prosperity. Perhaps Milford "grew" from just under 200 to about 300? We don't know, and we spent way too long trying to get Census data for Milford in 1920 before deciding that this was a great example of getting way too picky about a minor detail. (See also: notes 24 and 62 on Milford's population.)
03900:06:33Image:Hospital
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Timecode: 00:06:33

Image: Hospital

This drawing is based on photos of Brinkley’s second hospital in Milford, which he built sometime in the 1920s. The first one, which would be more accurate to this moment in time, looks too much like a house and not enough like a hospital. Also, that first hospital was called the Brinkley-Jones Hospital (Jones being …View Full Footnote This drawing is based on photos of Brinkley's second hospital in Milford, which he built sometime in the 1920s. The first one, which would be more accurate to this moment in time, looks too much like a house and not enough like a hospital. Also, that first hospital was called the Brinkley-Jones Hospital (Jones being the name of one of Minnie's relatives, who apparently co-invested in the place), and we didn't want to confuse things with that title.