Medicine: Lights Out

The gadget was as flashy as a jukebox, and paid off even better. It was called the "Spectro-Chrome." A 1,000-watt bulb was propped up in the back of it, shining through red, yellow, green, blue and violet panes of glass. The instructions that came with the box reflected sunny assurance: it would "measure and restore radioactive and radio-emitive equilibrium by attuned color waves." It would also cure all diseases that man is heir to.

Patients were told to give up drugs, forget about surgery, depend on diet and the colored lights. Diabetics should eat...

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