Augustus Pleasonton is best known for his theories about the colour blue.
read about the blue mouse here
He wrote the pseudo-scientific book The Influence Of The Blue Ray Of The Sunlight And Of The Blue Color Of The Sky, which was published in 1876. Pleasonton’s theory led to what was called the “Blue-glass Craze”, whereby people began growing crops under blue light. He also postulated that blue light was especially significant in the health of humans and helped eradicate disease.
blue glass by Chihuly found here
And then there were his speculations on electricity and its effect on humans:
“The sexes are oppositely electrified – hence their mutual attraction for each other. But give them the same electricities and mutual repulsion results. It has been shown that the negative masculine electricity of the man is reversed and becomes positive like that of a woman under excitement of alcoholic stimulants – in other words, for the time being, the man becomes the woman.
image of Christine Jorgensen found here
His attributes become feminine; he is irritable, irrational, excitable by trivialities, and when opposed in his opinions becomes outrageous. If, in this mood, he meets his wife, whose normal condition of electricity is like his present condition, (positive) they then repel each other.
magnetic men found here
The height of blue glass giddiness came with the publication of an entire book-length spoof by John Carboy:
“Blue glass isn’t a common quack nostrum like Jink’s Solidified Bug Juice or Doctor Scrap’s Extract of Hepisdam” Carboy assured readers. “Blue glass cures constipation of the Obituary Organs, as a table sauce it has no superior and for polishing furniture it cannot be surpassed. Square pieces of blue glass weighing six pounds each may be used for dispersing a cluster of tom cats.
TomKat found here
Carboy also spoofed the testimonial letters that Pleasonton printed in his book:
“I have been for years afflicted with an amanuensis in the verticle goitre of my left arm, followed by a paragraph of the liver, which left me in a comictoes condition, with a constant supparation of axminster over my manipulative organs. The doctor advised me to have my umbilical cord stuffed and to diet myself upon extract of solidified lightning but my sufferings were not abated.
capillary burns caused by lightning found here
Then I bought several sheets of Blue Glass. The first sheet reversed my crustacea and expanded my cheekbones so that I couldn’t close my mouth without lifting my shoulders with a rope and tackle. The second remedied this by bringing about a general pulverisation of my cardigan coagulations. I find I can now get drunk every day with no trouble. Please publish this for the benefit of all mankind.”
coagulated cardigan found here
The fad for blue glass as a cure all faded away, though in the 1940s Dinshan P Ghadiali made over $1,000,000 selling his Spectro-Chrome Cabinet to believers in his theory of the restoration of humans by ‘attuned colour waves’
cabinet found here
From this we learn that Green light is a pituitary stimulant, a germicide and a muscle tissue builder. Yellow light is a digestant. Red is a liver energizer and a haemoglobin builder. Violet is a cardiac depressant; Blue is a vitality builder; Turquoise, a tonic; Lemon, a bone builder; Orange, an emetic; Scarlet, a genital excitant and Purple an anti-malarial…
purple frog found here