Now, you may think, given my past history as a less-than-honest old dodger, that I may be immune to such lowly tricks as what I have played upon others. But let me tell you, Ladies and Gents, none of us are immune against such advances, especially when those tricks play on our pride and personal insecurities. And that goes doubly so when those tricks are played by his Royal Slyness, Iky Mo.

This little skit from my personal history portrays the time when Moses went into the quackery business with his hair restorer, which he named The Balm of Barcelona. Why he called it thusly I can only guess, but I imagine it contained that wonder cure/deadly poison that they call Spanish Fly.


1870-06-01 iky mo's cure for baldness - ally sloper - judy

And it may be strange to think that Judy published this brief satire in her London Serio-Comic Journal when she was only too happy to advertise such things in that very publication. Here we have two pages of advertisements from a single issue of Judy in which, amongst the other quackery, we can count four advertisements for hair restorers.

victorian medical adverts - judy or the london serio comic journal - ally sloper

victorian medical adverts - judy or the london serio comic journal - ally sloper

But if we look in close-up at just one of those adverts we will see that it is very convincing. Those illustrations surely prove the efficacy of Saville’s Capillary Germinator, do they not? Hmmm, excuse me while I scrape a few shillings together and get myself down to Earl’s Court Road.

savilles capillary germinator hair restorer - victorian medical advert - quackery