JF Ptak Sceince Books LLC Post 400
This is 1889's mini-version of a gorgeous male, a man of purity, virility, and pimple-free skin. Also of scrofula-free skin, a condition description that seems to have faded from use after wide popularity for 500 years. The picture of this man was used by the Cuticura Soap Company (actually the Potter Chemical and Drug Company of Boston) to promote its product, a soap with a bit of prussian blue tincture and some other stuff whose manufacturers claimed would (not could) cure all manner skin aliments, including the loss of hair. The cure of scrofula--a form of tuberculosis, affecting the lymph nodes of the neck and appearing as large welt-like dry abscesses--was no minor claim. Aside from its quack connection, the claim was also an affront to royalty, as for hundreds of years the skin condition of scrofula ("the Royal Evil") was thought to be curable by a monarch's touch; Henry IV was said to have touched thousands of people in this way. There was also a religious connection to the sovereign touch cure, with a ceremony included in the Book of Common Prayer from the Anglican Church. It survived in England until George I found the practice offensive and "too Catholic".
An offshoot, Cuticura Resolvent, was offered to cure "every sort of blood disease", while yet another product, Cuticura Anti-Pain Plaster, would cure rheumatism and kidney "pains and weaknesses". That's quite a heap of expectation from soap, and the American Medical Association too it to task as early as 1912, calling the soap's effectiveness as a curative "remote"; somewhat earlier, in 1908, the British Medical Association found the use of Cuticura for its stated curative capacities for syphilis to be "without basis". Pretty benign and reserved, I'd say, compared to what the AMA and BMA had to say about similar products.
The Cuticura identity is still in use--and popular--today, 143 years old, though so far as I know the modern makers make no claims for its soap to cure the Royal Evil. Today its just soap.
I'll take this opportunity to reference this ideal of Manliness and Purity to a certain character from my younger daughter Tessie's cartoon program, The Fairly Oddparents--this old man bears some resemblance to one Mr. Crimson Chin from that show. (I just like referencing kids' shows.)