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September 26, 1908


JAMA. 1908;LI(13):1086. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.02540130042008

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The "Great American Fraud" articles in Collier's Weekly exposed the value to be attached to testimonials in favor of nostrums from prominent or locally wellknown people, by disclosing some methods by which such testimonials are frequently obtained. Mr. Meriwether Smith, in the Kentucky Medical Journal, for August, gives an account of a fraudulent testimonial, published by the Foster-Milburn Company, of Buffalo, N. Y., in reference to Doan's Kidney Pills. It seems that Col. Jack P. Chinn, of Harrodsburg, Ky., is a man well known to almost every one in the neighborhood. It was with considerable chagrin, therefore, that he found a letter endorsing Doan's Kidney Pills, purporting to have been signed by himself and accompanied by his portrait, circulated in the neighborhood in a "patent-medicine" circular called Doan's Directory. Naturally this subjected him to considerable chaff and ridicule from his acquaintances, and even to a sinister suspicion that he must

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