William Helfand, 92, collector and authority on medical quacks

October 6, 2018

William H. Helfand in a 2015.

By Staff

William H. Helfand, 92, an authority on the history of medical quackery who donated a substantial portion of his collection of quackery art and ephemera to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, died from heart failure Tuesday, Oct. 2, at Connecticut Hospice in Branford, Conn.

“Quackery is not the oldest profession. We know what is the oldest profession. But it’s probably the second-oldest profession,” Mr. Helfand said in a 2014 interview that covered topics such as the snake-oil salesmen and traveling medicine shows of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

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