BEST PLACE TO SEE A FOOT-OPERATED BREAST ENLARGER (1999)
How can anyone resist a place that bills itself as "the world's largest display of what the mind has devised without the benefit of science or common sense"--and is free, to boot? The museum is a modern-day testimonial to greed, desperation, and quackery--all the virtues that describe the AMA to this day. Among the "medical devices" on display are a foot-operated breast enlarger (ouch), soap that "sudses" off pounds, weight-reduction glasses, and the 1932 "MacGregor Rejuvenator" that purports to reverse the aging process through the use of magnetism, radio waves, and infra-red rays. The pièce de résistance, however, is the phrenology machine, a contraption that looks like a souped-up kitchen strainer. The "machine" measures the size of the bumps on the head, which are then "mapped," thus revealing how the person rates on personality traits such as intelligence, spirituality, chastity, and charm. The scariest thing: It makes as much sense as the DSM-IV.