Smart drugs, 1948

There’s a copy of a wonderful 1948 article magazine available online entitled ‘Pills That Increase Your Intelligence’ from Modern Mechanix .

It discusses the possibilities of ‘smart drugs’ and is full of archaic language that makes it equally shocking and endearing.

Can you feed your brain some special food to make it smarter? Scientists have always laughed at the idea. Now they aren’t quite so cocksure. Maybe your brain does have faster speed and quicker getaway when it runs on certain fuels. New scientific discoveries indicate that brain power can be stepped up by swallowing tablets. These pills are not stimulating drugs but concentrates of a food element you eat every day.

Let’s look into the strange story of one particular brain. It wasn’t a very good brain. In fact, it belonged to a fourteen-year-old imbecile boy who had an intelligence quotient of 42 (the average I. Q. is 100). Every year the boy grew twelve months older, but his mental age increased only four and a half months. He kept running an intelligence deficit. Then he was fed little white pills, a dozen and a half daily. Within two months his mental age leaped ahead one year and five months. Sixty days on brain pills and his mental age increased as much as it had in the last five years!

It sounds much like the ‘miracle cure’ claims that conditions like autism attract to the present day.

Link to 1948 Modern Mechanix article (via Bad Science).

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