Dr Graham’s Celestial Bed

Today, doctors undergo a lot of training and study before they are even allowed near patients. And even then, they have further years of experience to acquire before they lose the term Junior Doctor. But that wasn’t always the case. If we go back to the eighteenth century, even those doctors who had been trained still had strange ideas on how to treat certain ailments. Some of these miracle cures included horse dung, ants’ eggs and powdered human skulls. Not exactly what the NHS would accept.

    You have probably guessed by now that a proportion of doctors at this time were easily attracted to charging large fees to desperate patients even though the treatment offered was useless. One of these doctors who believed he had come up with a sure-fire way of making lots of money was Dr James Graham. He came up with a novel treatment to cure infertility which at that time was not talked about a lot; secrets staying in the bedroom and all that.

I Am Lost for Words!

    His “cure” was to see a couple with this problem and ensure them that if they slept in his Celestial Bed for one night, the lady would not only become pregnant, but their children would be brainier and fitter than most. Now, that’s an offer I could refuse. However, in those days, there were a number of partakers. And it didn’t come cheap (there is a joke in there, I know). It was said that he rented his bed out at up to one hundred pounds per session. That was a very lot of money in the seventeen hundreds.

    However, there was more to it than just the bed. Whilst the couple were “treating” each other, Dr Graham would pump sweet smelling perfumes into the room. The bed itself, was stuffed full of the baked tails of stallions. This sounds like it’s getting dodgier by the minute. However, whether or not there were some successes, we do know that a few years later, the doctor suddenly disappeared from the London scene and we do not know what happened to him or his bed.


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