Hosea W. Libbey

From Kook Science

Hosea W. Libbey
Hosea W. Libbey - portrait.jpg

Photo portrait from The Libby Family in America, 1602-1881 (B. Thurston & Co: Portland, ME, 1882).

Born Hosea Wait Libby [i]
28 June 1834(1834-06-28)
Chichester, New Hampshire
(or Lebanon, Maine)
Died 18 August 1900 (66)
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts
Burial Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Mass.

Hosea Wait(e) Libbey (June 28, 1834 - August 18, 1900) was an American patent medicine manufacturer and sanitaria operator, his "Hygienetariums" in Cleveland, Ohio and Boston, Massachusetts offering "medicated vapor baths" and treatment using "Indian herbal remedies," including cancer-cure plasters and assorted other restoratives and blood purifying panaceas. Though he referred to himself as a doctor, Libbey was never licensed by any medical authority, indeed being actively denied credentials in Ohio, and was not known to have graduated from any medical school.

In his later years, Libbey spent a great deal of his time designing and patenting various novel forms of transportation, including various automobile designs, an "automatic aerial railroad" system (also called a perpetual motion railroad in press reports), a "foot cycle" personal transportation vehicle, a steam-powered bicycle, and an electrical bicycle.

Libbey's Hygienetariums

Press Coverage

Unusual Patents


  1. Libbey appears to have added the "e" to his surname in his adult years, likewise adding an "e" to his middle name, becoming "Hosea Waite Libby"; as seen in Bacon, Edwin M., ed. (1896), "LIBBEY, Hosea Waite", Men of Progress: One Thousand Biographical Sketches and Portraits, Boston: New England Magazine, p. 583-584,