Several years ago I picked up parts of a "Cluthe truss" at a yard sale. The lady running the sale said that the parts had probably belonged to a relative who was a nurse in the 20's. Nobody was really sure what the parts were for, but when I brought them home I found the answer on the website featuring the 1912 book "Cluthe's Advice to the Ruptured". What a catchy title! Five Cluthe family members formed the "Cluthe Rupture Institute" in Bloomfield, NJ. In their book, they recommended against the patient having surgery to correct the rupture. Better for sales. Judging from the prosperous appearance of the Cluthe family and the picture of their impressive "institute" in the book, business was good. None of the family appear to have earned M.D.'s, but in those days many medical schools were not associated with universities anyway and generally the profession was not held in high esteem. I donated the pieces to the Kingston Museum of Health Care.
|The Cluthe Rupture Institute