Professor Modevi’s beard generator – grooming quackery

In the second half of the 1800’s a beard was considered not only considered masculine, but actually considered good for your health.
This was the age of heroic exploration; and as rugged adventurers began to tackle the terra incognita of far-flung continents, they would immerse themselves in wild nature, letting their beards grow thick. The beard became a symbol of rugged manliness and men began to emulate their bewhiskered heroes.
At the same time doctors were beginning to encourage men to wear beards as a means of warding off illness. The Victorian obsession with air quality saw the beard as a sort of filter. A thick beard, it was reasoned, would capture the impurities before they could get inside the body. Others saw it as a means of relaxing the throat, especially for those whose work involved public speaking. Some doctors were even recommending that men grew beards to avoid sore throats – better to prevent than to cure later I guess.

Off course, this meant that if you couldn’t grow a proper beard, you looked for solutions both to improve your masculinity and your health. Enter from the left; the quacks!
Patent medicine was big in the late 1800’s… some harmless, some deadly, all useless for what they were supposed to cure.
The beard crazy died for good during the Great War; given a choice between a smooth shave and a horrendous death, it was no real choice.

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