Monday, October 6, 2008

Clark Stanley

Clark Stanley , the self-styled "Rattlesnake King," was known for popularizing snake oil as a patent medicine.

In 1879, after 11 years as a cowboy, Stanley studied for more than two years with a Moki medicine man at Walpi, Arizona. This included learning the secrets of snake oil. With the help of a Boston druggist he began marketing his product at Western medicine shows. In 1893 he and his rattlesnakes became a hit attraction at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. His act included the killing of rattlesnakes to begin the production of his medicine. Later he went on to establish production facilities in Beverly, Massachusetts and Providence, Rhode Island.

In 1915, subsequent to the passage of the ''Pure Food and Drug Act'' in 1906, Stanley's concoction was examined and found to be of no value . For this he was fined $20.00.

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