Charles Alfred Tyrrell

From Kook Science

Charles Alfred Tyrrell
Chas Alfred Tyrrell - frontis - 1917.jpg

As pictured in "The Royal Road to Health"

Born 1846-1847 [1]
Maidstone, Kent, England, United Kingdom
Died 2 July 1918 (72) [2]
New York City, New York, USA
Nationality English
Alma mater Eclectic Medical College of New York (1900)
Field(s) Medicine
Known for Promoting enemas as a disease curative
Spouse(s) Emma May [Lynas] (m. 1890)

Charles Alfred Tyrrell (1846 - July 2, 1918) was an English seaman and itinerant worker turned eclectic physician and hygienic specialist, noted for his promotion of the J.B.L. (Joy Beauty Life) Cascade enema kit through his New York-based company, Tyrrell's Hygienic Institute.


By the Professor's own accounts, as published in the Who's Who in New York (1904),[R] he: "circumnavigated the earth three times, spent 12 years in Australia and New Zealand, three years in the South Sea Islands, two years in South Africa, and seven years in India, China, Japan and Philippine Islands. [He] was once shipwrecked on coast of Australia, and dangerously wounded in cutting out a nest of Chinese pirates on coast of Formosa, 1864. [The Professor] has eaten with nearly every specimen of human family, from Chinese Mandarin to the Australian aborigine, and has partaken of nearly every edible substance known."


The Internal Bath

Whereby colon cleansing, and particularly the J.B.L. Cascade, is promoted as a cure to all that may ail you.

  • C.G. Percival, "The Wonderful Mission of the Internal Bath" (1915) — advertisement from Technical World Magazine (Vol. 22, No. 5, pp. 777-8)
  • Tyrrell's Hygienic Institute, "Why We Should Bathe Internally: An Exposition of the Value of Intestinal Cleanliness through the use of the Famous J.B.L. Cascade." (1927) — $$, oop (
  • Tyrrell's Inst., "Ever Had Your Colon 'House Cleaned?'" (November 1934;
  • AMA's "Nostrums and Quackery" (Vol. 1, p. 311-14, 1912); and "Nostrums and Quackery" (Vols. 2 & 3, p. 697-705)

"The Ideal Sight Restorer"

A cure to poor vision from the cutting edge of ophthalmology, courtesy of Pr. Tyrrell's Ideal Company!

  • Richard Van Vleck, "Quack Eye Massagers" (American Artifacts, No. 41; — see "Feb 7, 1899, Benjamin Stephens, New York - Eye-cup"
  • A. P. Ferry, "'Professor' Charles Tyrrell and his ideal sight restorer", Ophthalmology (Volume 93, Issue 9, Pages 1246-1257, 1 September 1986) — abstract (; abstract (
  • Summary of the "Ideal Sight Restorer" display at the Museum of Vision (

Selected Bibliography

  • Tyrrell, Charles Alfred (1894), The Royal Road to Health, or The Secret of Health Without Drugs 
  • Tyrrell, Charles Alfred (1897), Greatest Discovery of the Age: Professor Chas. A. Tyrrell's Wonderful J.B.L. Cascade Treatment; A Marvelous Triumph Over Disease Without Medicine : Cures and Prevents Disease by Removing the Cause 
  • Tyrrell, Charles Alfred (1899), Internal Baths: The Principle and The Process 
  • Tyrrell, Charles Alfred (1910), The What, The Why, The Way of Internal Baths 
  • Tyrrell, Charles Alfred (1911), Why Man of Today is Only 50 Per Cent Efficient 

In addition to his books published through the Institute, Dr. Tyrrell served as president of the Health Publishing Company, and as editor-in-chief of its main periodical, Health: a Home Magazine Dedicated to Physical Culture and Hygiene.


  • Cauldwell, William, ed. (Jan. 1902), "Charles Alfred Tyrrell, M.D.: Outline Sketch of a Career Not Unlike Old Tales of Adventure.", Successful American (New York: Writers' Press Association): 102-103 

    IN 1847, at Maidstone, County of Kent, England, the subject of our sketch was born. His parents were Scotch. The groundwork for his subsequent intellectual development and fertility of resource was laid by his attendance at King’s College School, London, until the age of nearly 16. The occasion for his leaving school and the starting point of his adventurous career was the opportunity to go to sea with his uncle, who was master and owner of a brig engaged in the North Sea trade. From early childhood days he had a strong taste for versification (at which subsequently he made a living for a time), and an inordinate desire for travel. But short voyages grow wearisome to one with cravings such as his, and ere long he ran away from his uncle, shipping in the North German barque Prospero, bound for Singapore — the only English soul on board. Bad treatment, however, was in store for our young hero, and arriving at Singapore, he deserted the ship and sojourned for six months at the Sailors’ Home.

    Again he shipped, this time on the United States auxiliary screw frigate Wyoming, which put out in quest of the Alabama. While on board the Wyoming he was wounded during an attack on a nest of Chinese pirates on the coast of Formosa.

    At the end of fourteen months, his ship's commission having expired, he took his discharge at Singapore, and then shipped on an English barque bound for Rangoon, British Burmah. With two others, he ran away from her, but was arrested and sentenced to one month’s imprisonment. After seventeen days he was placed on board the ship again, which was ready for sea; but while weighing anchor all three escaped in a sampan. The three remained in Rangoon a week; then started to tramp to Ava, to enter the service of the King. When about three hundred miles from Rangoon he was taken with jungle fever, and was cared for in a native grass-cutters’ village. After two months’ illness, he was brought to Rangoon with an elephant convoy, and lived with the Sixtieth Rifles in barracks for two months; then shipped with an English brig for Sydney, Australia, via Whampoa, Hongkong and Manila. At short notice the vessel had to leave Manila on account of an impending typhoon. Ten hours out it was caught in the typhoon and partially dismasted and blown far out of her course. During the typhoon all of the water-casks on deck but two broke away, and had to be stove in; and it was not until a week later that it was found that three out of the four water-tanks in the hold were empty, having been strained during the bad weather. All hands were put on allowance at once, which was speedily reduced. During the last seventeen days each man had to be content with a cupful of water per diem. For twenty-two days the ship lay with light sails furled and topsails lowered on the caps, becalmed in the “horse latitudes,” about 6 degrees south. Finally she sighted a vessel and got some water. Eventually Sydney was reached after a passage of one hundred and thirty-seven days—the longest passage on record.

    Leaving the ship at Sydney, he joined H. M. S. Basilisk, Captain Moresby, engaged in settling the coast of Northern Queensland. While with this ship he explored the coast of New Guinea, Port Moresby being named after the commander.

    After leaving the Basilisk, he engaged in the South Sea Island trade, visiting every island of consequence in the South Seas; and became Mate, Chief Mate, and Master. With the savings of years, he bought a half-interest in a schooner of two hundred tons, trading on the Australian coast. Within eleven months the vessel was wrecked about fifty miles north of New Castle, on the New South Wales coast. Of the twenty-four souls on board, only nine escaped. Our hero got ashore with nothing on but a shirt and a pair of trunks, and, luckily, with a solitary half-sovereign, with which he started life afresh.

    This adventure led him to quit the sea; and he went to work on shore at what is known as “bush work,” taking contracts for clearing land, building houses and fences, splitting timber, blacksmithing, in fact anything and everything. Finally, drifting to Sydney, he opened a restaurant; made some money; and later secured the position of Steward of the principal club. Then, becoming interested in politics, he did considerable campaign work, speaking and organizing. Catching the gold fever, he spent years on most of the principal gold fields of the colonies. Though fairly successful at gold-mining, he gave it up and returned to city life, engaging in journalism. It was here that his talent for versification manifested itself in a practical manner, as he possessed the happy faculty of hitting off the salient points of an individual or an incident in a humorous manner, and was known for years as Punch's Poetical Reporter. But his muse had its serious side, also, and he wrote scores of fugitive pieces for different periodicals, besides a large number of short stories. For political services he was given a good position in the Government Railroad Department, at New Castle, New South Wales, and remained in the Government service for four years; but he tired of the monotony, and becoming interested in operatic matters and having a fair baritone voice, he turned his attention to opera, and played principal roles in upwards of ninety operas. From Australia he went to India, and was interested in an opera company playing through India, China and Japan. When the season closed, he came to America, arriving in September, 1886.

    But the New World proved unfriendly at first, for, embarking in a speculation, he was rendered penniless within six months. This disaster brought on a second stroke of paralysis — the first having occurred at Hongkong. By his somewhat remarkable cure through the water treatment, his attention was turned to therapeutics, and he invented the “J. B. L. Cascade” and started the Hygienic Institute at 1562 Broadway, New York, both of which bear his name. Wishing to be in a position to treat the sick scientifically, he began the study of medicine, matriculated at the Eclectic Medical College of New York, passed the preliminary examination triumphantly, and graduated at the end of the four years’ course with honor.

    The treatment established by the Doctor has been remarkably successful, so that Tyrrell’s “J. B. L. Cascade Treatment” is now known from Maine to California, and is being daily shipped to all parts of the world.

    Dr. Tyrrell has been a student all his life, and his varied experiences have broadened his mind; but his great hobby is hygiene, on which he is an undoubted authority. He has recently been offered the chair of Mental Diseases in his alma mater, but the demands of his business render it doubtful whether he can accept.

    A further indication of the Doctor’s success in his new enterprises is the great circulation of his book, “The Royal Road to Health,” which has just entered its nineteenth edition. For the past two and a half years the Doctor, in addition to his many other functions, has been the editor of that popular magazine, Health.

    In 1888 he married the only daughter of Dr. J. B. Lynas, of Logansport, Ind., and the couple spent the next five years in travelling through the length and breadth of the United States, eventually settling down in New York City. Mrs. Tyrrell has proved a true helpmate and co-partner in building up their beneficent and prosperous business.

    Dr. Tyrrell’s career is a striking proof of phrenology. Note how conspicuous is “locality,” a faculty that not only perceives and remembers the relative position of places and things, but also disposes one to travel that it may collocate the collected facts. But the key to his versatility is to be found in the full development of “eventuality,” the cognizance of and disposition for elaboration and detail; “comparison,” the perception of and enjoyment of analogies; “ideality,” the sense of beauty in things or thought; “tune,” “constructiveness,” and especially of the whole “perceptive” region. He could have been a successful artist, architect, or civil engineer. His fine sense of equity, combined with a most unusual amiability, constitutes him an exceptionally lovable character.

  • Mohr, W.N.F., ed (1904). Who's Who in New York (6th ed.). New York City, N.Y.: Lewis Historical Publ. Co.. p. 261. 

    TYRRELL, CHARLES A., Physician, hygienic specialist; b. Maidstone, Kent, England; s. James and Mary (Sutherland) Tyrrell; ed. Kings Coll. Sch., London, England; grad. Eclectic Med. Coll. of N. Y. City (with honor); m. Independence, Ia., 1888, Emma M., d. Dr. J. B. Lynas, of Logansport, Ind. Circumnavigated the earth three times. Spent 12 years in Australia and New Zealand, three years in the South Sea Islands, two years in South Africa, and seven years in India, China, Japan and Philippine Islands. Was once shipwrecked on coast of Australia, and once dangerously wounded in cutting out a nest of Chinese pirates on coast of Formosa, 1864. Has eaten with nearly every specimen of human family, from Chinese Mandarin to the Australian aborigine, and has partaken of nearly every edible substance known. Prop'r Tyrrell's Hygienic Inst. Inventor "J. B. L. Cascade;" pres. Ideal Co. Democrat. Ex-pres. Eclectic Med. Soc. City, and County of N. Y. Mem. Eclectic Med. Ass'n of U. S., Am. Health League, Nat. Geog. Soc. Recreations: All outdoor sports. Club: N. Y. Athletic. Address: 570 W. 150th St., N. Y. City.


  1. Birth year estimation based on Iowa marriage certificate for April 2, 1890, listing Tyrrell's age as 43, and NYT obit. notice, showing death as July 2, 1918 at age 72; using simple math, we can calculate a birthdate between April 3, 1846 - July 1, 1846. However, it should be noted that information as to the year of his birth varies, including a 1900 U.S. Census listing of November 1848; whether this was deliberate is unclear.
  2. "Obituary notice for Charles Alfred Tyrrell, physician", The New York Times (New York City, NY): 11, July 5, 1918,