Monday, September 9, 2013

The American Woman is Becoming Ugly

Courtesy of the Special Collections Department, University of Iowa Libraries
Ugly is as ugly does -- and there were few characters on the lecture circuit in the 1920's and 1930's uglier than Dr. Albert Wiggan. Wiggan was a tireless lecturer and advocate for "eugenics" -- the word comes from the Greek for "good genes" -- the now long-since discredited pseudoscience which used spurious and vague notions of ability and "imbecility" to cook up evidence that immigration, "race mixing," and poor people having large families were a threat to the future of the human race. The image above comes from a pamphlet promoting his lectures on the Redpath Chautauqua Circuit, a popular, barnstorming tent full of lecturers that packed them in from coast to coast.

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