The Goat-Gland “Doctor”

In the first half of the twentieth century, John R. Brinkley was a celebrated and successful “doctor” renowned for his ability to use goat organs to help humans with infertility. In addition to his “medical” success, Brinkley was also an early adopter of radio technology, which he used to advertise his hospital and his other medicines.

In this first episode of season 3, which focuses loosely on the KC area, Fact or Fiction welcomes podcasters Cam and Jen of Our True Crime Podcast as guests who attempt to distinguish between fact and fiction. Listen carefully because it’s tricky to know if what you hear is Fact or Fiction. Ready to play?

Dr. John R. Brinkley. Wikimedia commons.
A young Dr. Brinkley is shown here with his signature goatee and round glasses
Dr. Brinkley and his wife Minnie pose in front of their home in Milford, Kansas
A man and woman stand on the front steps of their home.
The advertisement Dr. Brinkley posted in newspapers across the country announcing the successful "goat-gland" surgery.
A man wearing round glasses holds a smiling baby under the heading “He’s First Goat Gland Baby.”
Dr. Brinkley in surgery at his Milford Hospital.
Medical personal operate on a patient
The goats in a pen near the Brinkley Hospital
Goats graze in a pen
The home of Dr. and Mrs. Brinkley in Milford, Kansas
A multistory building with surrounded by trees.
Advertisement for Brinkley's station KFKB.
Advertisement for Brinkley’s station KFKB.

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