The Home Doctor: A Guide to Health, by Dr. Bourne, of San Francisco. Bourne, George Melksham.
The Home Doctor: A Guide to Health, by Dr. Bourne, of San Francisco.

The Home Doctor: A Guide to Health, by Dr. Bourne, of San Francisco.

[San Francisco]: San Francisco News Company, 1878. First edition. Small 8vo (6.75 x 5 inches), original purple cloth, gilt lettering, xx, 505, [1] pages. Frontis portrait, vignette illustrations in the text. A fine copy. Item #20312

The self-described Thermal-Sudatorist and Pioneer Water-Cure Physician here publishes a comprehensive hydropathic guide to health for the family, including treatment for sexual disorders (with a warning against the perils of self-abuse), with digressions on the misguided attempts of the California legislature to license medical practice, or the obvious dangers of indoor plumbing: "In cities where water closets are place in the houses connecting with the sewers or a vault, they are but ventilators to fill the house with poisonous gas, for no trap or hindrance to the admission of foul gas has been, or probably can be invented, as long as it is impossible to empty the basins without opening their escape. . . . Earth closets are the only salvation for cities. The seweage system is a deception, only tending to breed disease, by corrupting both air and water. The earth closet is a mine of wealth to the enterprising operator or contractor, gardener and farmer." Bourne had a long career in Gold Rush Era San Francisco; per Weiss and Kemble, The Great American Water Cure Craze (1967), "Dr. G. M. Bourne, assisted by Mrs. E. J. Hall, was practicing water-cure in San Francisco in 1853. At that time he was also giving free lectures. By April 1855 he had a new fireproof building on Commerican Street. And in 1856 he took two pages in a California magazine to advertise his place at the southeast corner of Sansome and Commercial Streets . . . as the pioneeer Water-Cure Institute of San Francisco" (109). Printed and bound by Bosqui. The final page advertises Bourne's lectures on "Men, Women, and Children in their Sexual Relations," seemingly not separately published. Atwater 382.1.

Price: $500.00

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