1950’s “WHITES ONLY” HEALTH SPA

DSC08567 DSC08568 DSC08571DSC08569This large and thick booklet from the Ball Clinic in Excelsior Springs, MO shows that the clinic does “not have facilities for treating colored people“.  Based on the woodie (car) in one of the photos, the booklet appears to have been published in the 1950’s.

DSC08572The Ball Clinic, founded in 1901, was a fairly typical example of work done by the local clinics. Physiotherapy was used to aid relaxation and pain relief. The plan also used a special diet designed to correct acid imbalances in the body. Most of the clinics employed medical doctors, osteopaths and chiropractors on their staffs to treat patients. The clinics’ good fortune was not to last.  Two blows were struck against the clinics in the late 50’s and early 60’s that put them on the canvas for good. Relying on advertising to spread much of the word on their treatments and services, the clinics were stunned by a legal ruling forbidding them to advertise. Adding insult to injury, the August 24, 1963 edition of The Saturday Evening Post carried a story by Ralph Lee Smith entitled “The Hucksters of Pain.” In writing the article, Smith posed as a patient suffering from “lower back pain” and brought his complaint to the Ball Clinic. The article he wrote concerning his experiences helped close the doors of the clinic on December 31, 1963.

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