glandated iron patent medicine ad in back of magazine

After yesterday’s post I went looking for other issues of 10 Story Book that might be scanned and available on the internet. I found half a dozen — in addition to the one linked yesterday — uploaded at the Internet Archive. 10 Story Book really is an odd and fascinating little magazine. In its earlier numbers it was not so risque as later, but there are still gems of interest to ErosBlog readers, at least those of you with a tolerance for archaic humor. Here’s a jokey piece from February of 1922 called “An Alienist Tests The Blue Law Reformer” (“alienist” being an old word for psychiatrist):

a shrink tests a prude


Having been commissioned by this publication to test a subject known as a Blue Law Reformer for insanity, I append the following report:

First Symptom — When the subject was brought before me and I asked him to account for his actions against the liberties of the common people, he repeated such gibberish as “restraining the public from its immoral tendencies” … “prevent the people from becoming the victims of their own follies” … “divorce them from their vices” — and the like.

Second Symptom — The subject’s appearance was that of a person below normal in intelligence. The severity and morbidness of his facial expression suggested the last stages of chronic melancholia.

When a joke from this magazine was read to him in an effort to make him smile, he grimaced and threw up his hands in horror.

Third Symptom — Upon being asked if he was familiar with the Volstead Act and the eighteenth amendment, he beamed happily instead of frothing at the mouth, raving, tearing his hair as any sane man should.

Fourth Symptom — When a jazz record was placed upon the phonograph, the subject showed not the slightest responsiveness to the melody. Instead of swaying, snapping his fingers or patting his feet in time to the music, he sat through the piece, stolid and expressionless.

When asked his opinion of it, his only comment was, “immoral.”

Fifth Symptom — Asked to define the words, “laughter” and “humor,” his reply was “instruments of the devil.”

Sixth Symptom — He insisted that the world’s best work of light fiction was “Pilgrim’s Progress.”

Seventh Symptom — When the subject’s wearing apparel was examined, it was found that he had no hip pocket.

Eighth Symptom — When requested to give his opinion of movie censorship, he replied “Too limited.”

Ninth Symptom — It was discovered that “merciful heavens” was this man’s most lurid oath.

Tenth Symptom — In reply to our request that he give synonyms for the following words, “Tobacco — dance — cards — powder — rouge — short skirts — low necks,” he gave the collective answer, “the devil’s wiles.”

Diagnosis — Insanity.

Prognosis — Absolutely no chance for recovery.

Remarks — The subject is a menace to the liberties of the public and should be confined.

What’s more, some things never change. The illustration at the top of this post is from an advertisement for “glandated iron” — “the only double strength gland tonic in America.” With minor linguistic freshening, it could stand in for any of the fake nostrums still being sold today for similar purposes to the similarly gullible.