An American Newton
Spiritualism, Mesmerism, Photography, Representation, Charlatanry, Magnetism, Medical Treatment, Quackery
Begins by introducing F L Newton as an American 'medical thaumaturge and spiritualistic mesmeriser' and 'healing medium'. Notes from an advertisement in the Medium and Daybreak that Newton sells 'magnetised' portraits of himself, the proceeds from which go towards promoting spiritualism in England rather than to Newton himself. Believes Newton's portraits are 'just as efficacious in the cure of any disease as his mesmeric passes are' and that it is better for 'any sufferer' to purchase a portrait than 'universal pills, or any other description of quack medicine' because even 'the sceptic must admit that he would rather look at a photograph than swallow a pill'. Speculates whether Newton magnetizes his portraits, pointing out that according to his followers 'he heals the sick like winking'. Suggests that it is sufficient for Newton to think of his patients 'and at the same time outstretching the fingers of one hand, whilst the thumb is applied to the tip of his nose'.
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