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Details about  1900 RALSTON HEALTH CLUB Quack Medicine ILLUSTRATED Medical Book Lot RALSTONISM

1900 RALSTON HEALTH CLUB Quack Medicine ILLUSTRATED Medical Book Lot RALSTONISM See original listing
1900-RALSTON-HEALTH-CLUB-Quack-Medicine-ILLUSTRATED-Medical-Book-Lot-RALSTONISM
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Ended:
11 Feb, 2014 01:41:01 GMT
Winning bid:
US $22.01
Approximately £13.16
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US $29.40 (approx. £17.57) USPS First Class Mail Intl / First Class Package Intl Service | See details
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Item location:
Staten Island, New York, United States

Description

eBay item number:
380830724611
Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing.

McMillen Books or The Bookbaker

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Offered for your consideration are two books related to the late 19th and early 20th century quack medicine health regime of Ralstonism.  The first is BOOK OF STAR RALSTONISM... Book of General Membership of the RALSTON HEALTH CLUB, published by the Ralston Publishing Company in Washington, D.C., in 1900.  224 pages.  Several illustrations.  Bound in elaborately decorated stiff and flexible handbook wraps.  In VERY GOOD condition.

The second is LIFE BUILDING METHOD of the RALSTON HEALTH CLUB "All Nature" Course, interpreted by Edmund Shaftesbury, and Issued by the Ralston Health Club in 1920.  240 pages.  Hardcover.  In VERY GOOD PLUS condition.

Shaftesbury was the pseudonym of Webster Edgerly, a late 19th century social reform activist who combined strict eating and behavioral regimens, with a wide variety of bizarre ideas, to form “Ralstonism,” a supposed path to wellness and eventually immortality. Edgerly wrote over 100 books, most of them only available through subscription to the Ralston Natural College series, and some of Edgerly’s ideas were quite conventional regarding health and wellness. For one thing, he advocated the consumption of whole grain cereal, and since his program was somewhat popular at the time, the Purina Company approached him for an endorsement, which he gave on the condition that the company be half-named after his “Ralston” technique. This resulted in the formation of the famous “Ralston-Purina” company.

However, Edgerly also propagated a wide variety of virulently racist and white supremacist ideas including the castration of all non-Caucasians, claimed that watermelons were poisonous to Caucasians, that the ideal form of walking was on the balls of the feet, that humans should move in a series of graceful curves, and that nearly every activity of the day should be modified to adhere to some Ralstonite method so as to give birth to a future utopian society populated by enlightened Ralstonite Caucasians.

Although largely forgotten today, Edgerly’s writings were somewhat influential at the time, and he is an understudied American utopian and charlatan. A nice lot of vintage Ralston works, filled mostly with theories about health and wellness.  Good luck!

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