Wednesday, June 10, 2015

(LUKE) R. O. Luke and the Miracle Cure

Every generation has its snake oil cures.

Richard Osmer Luke, my great grandfather, was featured in a
testimonial in a 1930 newspaper. “‘Wonderful!’ Thousands Say of New Sargon,” it began.

According to the advertisement, after taking multiple bottles of Sargon Luke noticed incredible bodily improvements:

“The pains in my…leg have entirely disappeared! … my nerves have been strengthened. I enjoy sound, refreshing sleep, and my whole system is…built up and invigorated.”

“Sargon Pills straightened out my liver, cleansed my system of poison [and] regulated me perfectly.”

“I feel like a different man.”

“My wife is as happy as a child over my wonderful improvement!”

Most of these pronouncements are suspect, but perhaps Sargon did assist regularity: one of its primary ingredients was a laxative. The other was grain alcohol.

Despite its popularity, the medical cure-all was essentially a fraud.

Line of descent:
Richard Osmer Luke, 1870-1938
Russell Victor Luke, 1905-1996

- Newspaper article from The Salt Lake Tribune, May 18, 1930, page 11, available at
- Some of the Sargon information is from

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