Calhoun, Mary: Medicine Show
Conning People and Making Them Like It
©1976 by Mary H. Wilkins
Published by Harper & Row
Hardcover, 5.5x8.5", 136 pages
ISBN 0060209291
Medicine Show
Image courtesy e-Bay seller KochMagic
Mary Calhoun: Medicine Show

Comments: From the flyleaf: "Conning people – cheating them and making them like it – that was the skill of the medicine showman. Almost like magician, he convinced people to buy his medicine – the world's greatest cure all – although might be nothing but rainwater and Epsom salts. The people spent hard-earned quarters and dollars to buy that cure-all year after year. How did the medicine man do it? Why did he do it? Why did people love it? All of this and more are covered in this entertaining and informative book."


1 Chapter 1 The Ballyhoo
3 Chapter 2 The Warmup: McDonald's Indian Medicine Show
22 Chapter 3 The Show: History of Medicine Shows
43 Chapter 4 The Pitch: How Did they Do it?
63 Chapter 5 The Ailments and the Medicine: "Now I Bring You This Miraculous Cure!"
88 Chapter 6 The Entertainment: "They Loved Us in Greenville"
104 Chapter 7 Counting Up the Receipts: Why Did They Do It?
114 Afterword
122 Bibliography
126 Glossary
131 Index
136 Picture Credits