Derby History Quiz

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Depending on your point of view, Dr. Isaac Jennings, who had a medical practice in Derby during the 1820's was either a visionary or maybe a bit of a fraud. After arriving in Derby, he became a well respected doctor noted for his "let-alone" practice that featured breadpills and colored water. He was well respected for his medical successes and even earned an honorary degree from Yale. However, when he disclosed the powerful effects of his use of placebos, his practice crumbled. Patients who fared well with Dr. Jennings "placebos" lost faith and abandoned him. He moved on to Oberlin, Ohio where he wrote books about his medical philosophy and even became mayor of Oberlin.

Jennings may have been years ahead of his time. He practiced a system of medicine which he termed orthopathy. Others referred tohis practices as "Natural Hygiene.' In any case, he came to be, "convinced that medicine was harmful instead of helpful...." His belief that symptoms of illness were nature's way of helping the body, prompted him to use breadpills and colored water in place of the medications being used by his peers in the medical community.  Whether or not it worked for his patients, it seemed to work for him as he lived to the ripe old age of 86!

Correct answers were received from: Wendy DiCarlo, Marsha Pettingill, Robert Loftus, Vinny Minardi, Joan Driscoll, Frank from St. Pete, Walt Mayhew, Gary Lungarini, Henry Wajdowicz, Millie from Ansonia, Gene Wajdowicz, Eileen Krugel, Jack Skelding, Markanthony Izzo, Cyndi Poppa, and Mayor Marc J. Garofalo.

To see our other earlier quizzes and learn more about Derby's unique history, click here.