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Getting 'Steinached' was all the rage in Roaring ’20s (2017) (mcgill.ca)
87 points by Vigier 6 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 50 comments

> Steinach described how his patients “changed from feeble, parched, dribbling drones, to men of vigorous bloom who threw away their glasses, shaved twice a day, dragged loads up to 220 pounds, and even indulged in such youthful follies as buying land in Florida.”

Was this the origin back story for Florida Man?

No, the popular real estate scam of the 1920s was selling "oceanfront" property in florida that was really just swampland.

The origin story for Florida Man is that Florida's sunshine laws make police records public by default, so on a slow news day the local paper just trawls whatever wacky arrest records are open to the public and publishes that shit. Dumb crazy people are everywhere in the USA (and anywhere else) -- although more Florida stories involve alligators than average.

pssst, look up. waaay up. that thing that just flew over your head. that was a joke.

Why go for minced testes when you can just ram whole goat balls in? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_R._Brinkley


do it right, and you'll wind up building the highest power pirate radio station in the west!

> Unsurprisingly, in light of his questionable medical training (75 percent completion at a less-than-reputable medical school), frequency of operating while intoxicated and less-than-sterile operating environments, some patients suffered from infection, and an undetermined number died. Brinkley would be sued more than a dozen times for wrongful death between 1930 and 1941.

Let's be fair: see how well you do implanting goat testicles in people when you're drunk and don't know what you're doing anyway.

Modern medical ethics obviously forbids anyone from being intoxicated or working in a less than spotless surgical environment. The price of caprine xenotransplantation has gone up 4000% even after accounting for inflation though.

Now we just let them operate sleep deprieved.

Don't forget deny medical degrees from other places the right to practice, and collusion between hospitals to keep prices high.

The Dollop also covered him in episode 62! In addition to his freaky surgical quackery he was a pioneer in border blaster radio stations (operating in Mexico at higher power than the US's FCC would allow). He even got a law named after him to ban the practice: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brinkley_Act

Wall of Voodoo's song Mexican Radio is about listening to border blasters.

As is ZZ Top’s “Heard it on the X”.

We can all thank Doctor B / Who stepped across the line / With lots of Watts he took control / The first one of it's kind.

For those interested, I strongly recommend the Brinkley documentary "Nuts!" http://www.nutsthefilm.com/

It was both funny and informative. And the early-days-of-radio experience is surprisingly parallel to the early days of social media.

Haha I was going to post the same thing. I'm from Del Rio and Brinkley is still a very well known figure to everyone there.

If you visit some of the 'street food' markets in the urban cores of Rawalpindi or Lahore you can find food cart vendors with fried sheep and goat testicles for sale. It's fairly common.

This reminds me of the joke with the tourist in spain, who orders "cohones del toro", the testicles of combat-bulls and likes them so much, it becomes his daily food. One day he gets a much smaller portion. He calls the waiter to complain, pointing first at the arena, then at the plate :"What is this?" The waiter: "Today the bull won."

I've had them. We were butchering a lamb, and my sister-in-law noticed that he had a nice pair (I'm being serious, they were very large), so she looked up a recipe. They're incredibly delicious, especially when cooked in cream. It may have been psychological, but we all felt like thumping our chests after eating them.

Would recommend trying them if you get the chance. Worth it.

> and my sister-in-law noticed that he had a nice pair (I'm being serious, they were very large)

I think this qualifies as the sentence I have least expected to read on this site in my many years of enjoying Hacker News

I'm confident that I followed every rule when posting this, and I am very proud of it.

That’s what makes it perfect, and you should be

Even in the US some places eat "mountain oysters" - which are just bull testicles. Not exactly common, but not unheard of either.

Sheep testicles are actually more common. Bull testicles are a bit more rare, and generally come from old bulls. Lamb testes are pretty big, and absolutely delicious.

Here in Sao Paulo, theres a dinner that serves fried rooster testicles.

People will eat the strangest things if they believe it will make them more "manly".

Which is doubly weird where in Texas there's nary a mountain found.


"calf fries" is apparently the panhandle localism.

It may be more common in Appalachia.

West Texas is still in Texas.

Now I was under the impression "gurday" kapooray came with kidneys too?

> highest power pirate radio station in the west

While it's great to have lofty goals for the sake of advancing an art of craft, I'd consider anything over 13 inches to be a success.

This is what I was expecting the article to be about at first. Very interesting podcast episode lol

This may have led to the famous satirical book by Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov, 'Heart of a Dog', as well.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_of_a_Dog#Background seems like it may have been an inspiration for some of the characteristics of Professor Preobrazhensky, at least.

Stellar book! A short but lively read that I've come back to many times.

"the sooner the general public and especially septuagenarian readers of the latest sensation understand that for the physically used up and worn out there is no secret of rejuvenation, no elixir of youth, the better."

Wise words even today.

Nah, if/when reliable and safe treatment is available to retard/reverse general aging, I’ll jump on that. I’m hoping it’s in the next 5-20 years.

People were trying all kinds of things at this time to increase their labido. One such procedure was the implantation of goat testicles into the scrotum. A practice made popular by the fascinating and wrenched John Brinkley.


We still attach a lot of importance to the manipulation of sex hormones. We just do it in a better way now.

And in truth, being able to go through something like a "second puberty" could be good. We might today not like the exaggeration of sexual characteristics -- if anything we prefer childlike androgyny -- but some of the other things that happen during puberty -- brain development, increases to bone density -- could be useful.

It's funny how at the time pop science said "eunuchs seem sickly and age more quickly" and today's pop science says "eunuchs live an unusually long time."

strictly speaking both can be true

He believed in his procedure so strongly that he “thrice reactivated himself.” It isn’t clear what he meant by “thrice,” because once the duct is tied off, it’s tied off.

Maybe he had three of them...


There's a hilarious scene in Ned Beauman's "The Teleportation Accident" which revolves around Serge Voronoff’s monkey gland-grafting procedure. It's a wonderfully strange novel, set in the 1930's and richly marbled with the era's frenetic sexual, artistic, and scientific experimentation.

> Eventually more than a thousand men underwent the monkey gland treatment at the hands of doctors around the world, with the requisite material often being supplied by a monkey farm Voronoff set up on the Italian Riviera.

That's pretty wild... I had to go look it up and found this: https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castello_Voronoff

There is a “monkey park” in Alsatz part of France, near Colmar. Always looked bizarrely out of place to me. I wonder if it’s of the same origin...

Curious whether this was considered leading science or if most serious scientists questioned it at the time.

I'm guessing this sort of thing also happens today under the label of science and will be HN fodder in about 100 years.

Cryostasis still seems to be a thing:


"even indulged in such youthful follies as buying land in Florida." lol

It goes to show how far back the origins of anabolic steroids is.

No wonder the '20s were so roaring :)



Maybe we should.

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