From Kook Science
|Purpose/focus||"Cartilage Treatment" to increase height through stretching exercises|
|Key people||K. Leo Minges, Thomas F. Adkin, Charles S. Clark|
The Cartilage Company was a Rochester, New York-based mail-order distributor of a proprietary method, the "Cartilage Treatment," a stretching exercise credited to one K. Leo Minges that promised to increase the height of its users. The company enjoyed world-wide success over a decade, using advertising methods following much the same model as other E. Virgil Neal-Thomas F. Adkin allied concerns, and ultimately met the same fate as those concerns, being prosecuted in the United States and denied postal access on fraud charges.
- Minges, K. Leo (1904), The Secrets of How to Grow Tall: A Scientific Treatise on the Cartilage Treatment, Rochester, N.Y.: The Cartilage Co.
- US762832, Physical Development Apparatus. 14 Jun. 1904, filed 23 Sep. 1903. "An appliance of this character is especially designed to assist physical exercises for the purpose of increasing the height or promoting growth in a person by acting upon the cartilage of the system by stretching or subjecting the body and limbs of the patient to a tension, and while I have illustrated the present embodiment as applied to such a purpose and including certain details in construction to obtain such an end it is to be understood that the same may be applied to the patient to indicate the amount of force exerted thereon by said devices, and means attached to said support for producing a stretching action upon the patients body." https://patents.google.com/patent/US762832A
- "TOOK IN MILLIONS IN FAKE MEDICAL CONCERNS. ROCHESTER MEN ARE ARRESTED BY THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.", Fort Wayne Daily News (Fort Wayne, MI): 2, 21 Jun. 1913, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/29000524/
- "INCREASE YOUR HEIGHT FROM TWO TO FIVE INCHES. Our Free Book Tells You How — This Startling Discovery Will Revolutionize the Physical Condition of Man and Woman — Every Man, Woman and Child Who Is Short Should Write To-day. Success Absolutely Guaranteed, Distance No Barrier. No Matter How Short You Are or What Your Age, We Can Increase Your Height. You Will Be Amazing at the Information Contained in Our Marvelous Book — A Postal Card Will Bring It.", Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, PA): 14, 1 Nov. 1903, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/168655071/
- "How I Grew Tall - A Startling Story Which Will Interest All Who Are Short. The Height of Either Sex Can Quickly be Increased From Two to Five Inches. These Marvelous Results Can Be Accomplished Without the Knowledge of Your Most Intimate Friends. The Free Book Tells You All About It.", New York Tribune (New York, NY): 18, 1 Jan. 1905, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030214/1905-01-01/ed-1/seq-42/
- "ROCHESTER SCIENTIST MAKES MEN AND WOMEN GROW TALL - Wonderful Discovery of Secret Law of Nature Which Enables Man to Increase His Height and Cheat Bertillon System. DETECTIVES THROWN INTO CONFUSION. United States Government Official Offers Himself as Proof That the Height Can Be Increased. Several Inches May Be Added by Mr. Minges' New System, Without the Knowledge of Your Most Intimate Friends or Associates — How It Is Done.", Salt Lake Herald (Salt Lake City, UT): 6, 12 Feb. 1905, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85058130/1905-02-12/ed-1/seq-6/
Rochester, N. Y., Feb. 2. — At last, after years of study and endless scientific experiments for increasing the height of those who are so unfortunate as to be short in stature, a Rochester scientist has solved the problem, and given to the world a greater gift than Edison's electric light, Marconi's wireless telegraphy, or the Bell telephone: for what can be more inconvenient, or productive of more discomfort, than to be short. The short man or woman is always at a disadvantage: in business, society, on the stage or rostrum. The great orators, statesmen, generals, presidents, have rarely been short men. Not that the short men are not just as brainy, but their stature is against them. The great society leaders are not short women. It seems there is no longer any excuse for any one's being short, if you will just follow out Mr. K. Leo Minges' discovery for increasing the height. Mr. Minges himself once knew the disadvantage, the trials and tribulations that beset the path of the short man. He determined to grow tall. He tried everything he could think of, and everything anybody could suggest. He delved deep into the study of anatomy and physiology. Finally when he was almost ready to give up in despair, he discovered one of Nature's marvellous secret laws — a law by which the human body can actually be made to grow. Mr. Minges tried his new discovery on himself; it worked like a charm, and today Mr. Minges is six feet two inches tall, and as straight as an arrow. He next solicited others to try his system, and behold, their height was also increased. He advertised far and wide to get persons extremely short in stature to try his system and put it to the most severe tests possible. The results were simply astounding. The following extract from the New York Herald shows what can be done:
"Postoffice Inspector Williams says the Bertillon system of identifying criminals is a failure; and he offers his own person as proof of his assertion. Mr. Williams was measured by the Bertillon system, and went to work to prove how little use it was in detecting felons. He was weighed at the time of his measurement and tipped the scaled at close to one hundred and ninety pounds; his height was recorded at five feet two inches in height. The change was brought about training he undertook. The ability to increase his height was the only thing that broke down the Bertillon system. It was known that a stooping thief might learn to walk erect; one with cross eyes have his optics made straight; or a man with birthmarks be freed from these signs of identity; but when it was discovered that several inches could be added to the height of a suspected man, the detectives who relied upon the Bertillon system were thrown into confusion."
Mr. Minges has written a remarkable book which fully explains the secrets and the science of increasing height. It tells how he himself grew tall; and how many of his friends have done so. He sold the copyright of his book to the Cartilage company of Rochester, and this company proposes to give away 5,000 copies simply for advertising purposes. But there is little doubt but that the returns which eventually come from this substantial kind of advertising will in the end prove very profitable, as nearly every short person who sees the book will want a copy, and there will be a perpetual demand for it. Until the 5,000 copies are exhausted, any person who wishes to increase his or her height, may get a copy absolutely free, simply by addressing the Cartilage company, 1127 Unity building, Rochester, N. Y. Please not write through mere idle curiosity, as the book is an expensive production, and is offered free only to those who wish to make practical application of the information contained therein.