Press Coverage

Press Coverage of the Gland Doctorvoromonkey1

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From the New York Times Archives:

June 20, 1922 :EXPECTS TO REPLACE ALL VITAL ORGANS; Dr. Voronoff Announces Startling Discovery in Substitutions From Chimpanzees.FIRST TESTS SUCCESSFULSurgeon Has Operated on Americans and Has a LongWaiting List.

PARIS, June 19.–Dr. Serge Voronoff’s monkey gland experiments have led to the startling discovery that apparently it is possible to transplant all the vital organs of a chimpanzee to human beings.

TIME Magazine:

Voronoff and Steinach: 1923~Serge Voronoff, the Russian surgeon of Paris who leaped into notoriety about three years ago with his gland transplantation experiments, came into his own at the International Congress of Surgeons in London last week, when 700 of the world’s leading surgeons applauded the success of his work in the ” rejuvenation ” of old men. The sensational claims and misleading publicity which attend the work of seekers after the elixir of youth have obscured Voronoff’s careful experimental basis and have made him suspect with conservative scientific men. But professional opinion is growing more lenient as increasing numbers of surgeons in various countries are experimenting with these methods. In America, Dr. G. Frank Lydston, the eminent Chicago specialist who died last winter, was a pioneer in gland implantation. Voronoff’s book, Life, in which he set forth some of his theories, appeared in English in 1920, and his scientific papers in French journals have been well received.

Dr. Voronoff: 1924:The Monkey Gland Man~In The Forum for May appeared an interview from Dr. Serge Voronoff, Russian surgeon of Paris, so-called ” monkey-gland man” (TIME, July 30). One Armstrong Perry,—* agitated by “the doubts expressed by physicians before and after Voronoff’s demonstration at Columbia University” and by “the flippant comments of unthinking critics,” journeyed to Paris and to the gate of “the restful garden in which goldfish swim in transparent waters under rose bushes and leafy trees.” He found Dr. Voronoff to be “tall, slender, dark, magnetic.” Said the Doctor: “You should understand that every physician attends school for many years. His professors teach him that such and such things are facts. When another physician claims to have discovered new facts that seem to contradict or go beyond those previously known and taught, it is not easy for them to accommodate themselves to the new situation. . . . ” As for the skepticism concerning the results of my operations there is this much foundation for it: in some cases the effect of the greffes testiculaires may be dissipated in from four to six months. . . .

Wool Glands:1924:The press recently broadcasted from Liege, Belgium, the announcement that Surgeon Serge Voronoff, famed French gland-grafter, had stated that it was possible to increase the wool crop of sheep by gland-transplanting. He added that he hoped, by repeating the process on several generations of sheep, to create a special breed unusually wool-productive. He said that he was experimenting on a flock of 3,000 sheep in Algeria

Ape-Child?: 1926:Physiologists convening in Stockholm all but forgot other topics in a furore created by Dr. Serge Voronoff, famed gland-grafter. Last fortnight, Dr. Voronoff told Frenchmen about his extra-heavy three-glanded Algerian rams (TIME, Aug. 9). To his Swedish hosts he revealed that he had grafted within Nora, a mature female chimpanzee, the sex organs of a human female. Then, with assistance from Dr. Elie Ivanoff of Moscow, he had artificially impregnated Nora with human sperms. She was to bear her baby in January and it would be, biologically, a human child. To date, she was progressing normally.

No Ape Child: 1927:Ever since he told a convention of physiologists at Stockholm (TIME, Aug. 16) that he had replaced the ovaries of Nora, mature chimpanzee, with a woman’s ovaries, and then succeeded in; impregnating her with human sperms by artificial means, Dr. Serge Voronoff of Paris has been the subject of much lay and scientific speculation. Nora’s baby, biologically human, but prenatally an ape, was to be born in January. In August she was reported “progressing normally.” Then no more bulletins . . . until last week.

Ape-Woman:1929:The French, at the Pasteur Institute of Kindia, French West Africa, three years ago indicated their daring to make such tests. What results, if any, they had, so far they have kept secret. Nearly three years ago, also, Dr. Serge Voronoff, gland grafter, implanted human female sex organs in Nora, happy chimpanzee and artificially impregnated her. Nora apparently conceived. But no baby was born.

The New Reichstag:1932

The German Communists have only one good man and that is a woman: Clara Zetkin. —Lenin.

One summer day in 1925 dexterous Dr. Serge Voronoff had on his operating table a frail, weazened wisp of a woman. She was only 68 but German Reds hailed her as “The Grandmother of our Revolution!” Years of bitter struggle had aged Frau Clara Zetkin before her time. She needed “rejuvenation.” Dr. Voronoff did his best, grafted in bits of ovarian tissue, pronounced his operation “successful.”

Bull Strong: 1936:Leaving the parade ground, King Carol and his red-headed Magda Lupescu made a sentimental journey to the suburban château where for more than four years they lived in exile (TIME, June 16, 1930). Taking the Blue Train to Nice, they were up until dawn, dancing in the streets at a city fete. Next day His Majesty, 42, motored out to the villa of famed Dr. Serge Voronoff, monkey-gland rejuvenator.

Experimental Masculinity:1938 Ten years ago a Frenchified Russian, Dr. Serge Voronoff, and a Kansan who almost became Governor of his State, Dr. John Richard Brinkley, made fame & fortune by grafting monkey and goat glands into decrepit males. Later a Viennese, Dr. Eugen Steinach, finding gland grafts useless, got beneficial results by a small operation which prevented the gradual loss of male hormones, which make men virile. But the real advance in man’s age-old search for virility began only: 1) when Dr. Adolf Butenandt of Germany, after treating 62,500 gallons of urine, succeeded in crystallizing one two-thousandths of an ounce of male sex hormone called “androsterone”; 2) when Leopold Ruzicka of Switzerland manufactured a similar substance “testosterone” from the fat of sheep’s wool (TIME, Sept. 2, 1935).

Scielo Brazil: Dr. Serge Voronoff visited Brazil during the Jornadas Médicas of 1928, where he demonstrated his xenotransplantation technique to the local medical community. The present article uses newspaper clippings from that era to illustrate how this controversial surgery and Voronoff’s alleged miraculous preservation of good health and longevity was viewed in the popular imagination. Voronoff’s initiative paved the way for other health professionals to report on their surgical experiences with xenotransplantation and also popularized the topic, which became the subject of a  Carnival song.

Sydney Morning Herald:

Monkey Jones: Henry “Monkey” Jones, Student of Dr. Voronoff~”Voronoff is really a very important person,” says Copeman, “one of the greats of endocrinology and surgery. He was Russian, and he started his work with goats and sheep in Russia. When the Great War broke out he served as a surgeon on the Russian front, but the war in Russia didn’t last too long, and so he transferred to the Western front where the English and the French casualties were terrible. What he had failed to do in Russia he wanted to succeed with on the Western front – saving the arms and legs using bone to replace bone, either from cadavers or animals.”s and sardonic jokes in the press. An analysis is offered, based on current scientific parameters, along with a suggestion concerning the possible involvement of xenotransplantation in HIV epidemiology.

The New York Times:

Restoring Youth: Dr. Voronoff Believes a Promising Start Has Been Made

Patient Tells of New Life: Thinks Gland Operations May Enable Him to Live 150 Years

Voronoff’s Tests Gain Press Support: Paris Newspapers Defend Gland Scientist

New Scientist Magazine

Ilya Ivanov : The Forgotten Scandal of the Soviet Ape-Man~Ivanov passed the summer in Paris, where he spent some of his time at the Pasteur Institute working on ways to capture and subdue chimps, and also spent time with the celebrated surgeon Serge Voronoff, inventor of an increasingly fashionable “rejuvenation therapy”. In a now notorious operation, Voronoff grafted slices of ape testes into those of rich and ageing men hoping to regain their former vigour. That summer, he and Ivanov made headlines by transplanting a woman’s ovary into a chimp called Nora and then inseminating her with human sperm. While the press waited for the outcome, reporters turned their attention to Ivanov’s unusual project. The idea of an ape-human hybrid was both shocking and fascinating. Was it possible? Were humans really that closely related to apes? What would the result be like? And what were the Soviets up to?

Current Online Blogs:

RetroSpectacle A NeuroScience Blog: Monkey to Human Testicle Transplant~The development of surgical organ transplantation in humans will always be considered a landmark in medical science, and the scientists that pioneered the risky operations both brilliant and innovative. Well, most of those scientists anyway. One in particular, a surgeon by the name of Serge Voronoff, will live on in medical infamy for performing transplants which, while at the time (late 1800s) were lauded as genius, would eventually disgrace him. Adding to the intrigue is the fact that this surgeon was the student of Nobel Prize winner Alexis Carrel, from whom he had learned the technique of transplantation. The surgery’s aim was “rejuvenation” (anti-aging) and all began when Dr. Voronoff became interested in eunuchs and castration.

Everything2: Monkey Glands (Pablo Picasso was a Patient?!) The Russian-born Dr. Serge Voronoff of France was the initiator of the “monkey glands” fad of the 1920s and 1930s, persuading dozens of men that pieces of monkey testicle implanted in their own testes would give them increased potency. He came up with this idea after noting that eunuchs aged faster than the non-castrated. Voroneff wrote a book about his process in 1926, which spread the idea around the world. A Dr. Leighton Jones was famous for the same procedure in Australia, and cases of this transplant being done are known in the U.S., Italy, Russia, Brazil, Chile, and India. It was sometimes difficult to procure the monkeys needed, and monkey houses to raise the animals sprouted near Voroneff’s location. (Since the vivisection of animals was illegal in England, human testes were substituted.)

Things That Fizz: The Monkey Gland-A Peculiar Story~Have you ever had a Monkey Gland? If not, add it to your list. This classic cocktail is a gentle mix of gin, orange juice and grenadine, with just a splash of anise liqueur. Now that absinthe is back in the U.S. the Monkey Gland is even better (although any of the substitutes were excellent as well). Most recipes call for the splash to be added to the shaker with everything else, but I prefer something a little more subtle. So I usually take that splash straight to the glass, give it a good swirl to coat the inside and dump the rest. From there it’s just a matter of shaking up everything else and adding it into the glass. This produces a well-balanced, fruity cocktail with the delicious hint of juniper and anise. The aroma is just plain yummy! The Monkey Gland is not the typical drink name and it’s origin is, well, interesting. In his 1922 Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails book, Harry McElhone (owner of Harry’s New York Bar in Paris) took credit for the invention of this drink. He also claims that the name Monkey Gland was inspired by the 1920’s experiments of one Serge Voronoff. It was well before the time of Viagra and it’s many male enhancement counterparts and Voronoff was experimenting with various implants, the most famous of which was the grafting of monkey testicle tissue, or monkey glands, to human testicles. Voronoff was well-known for this rather shocking technique and over time he received a considerable amount of ridicule for it and died in near obscurity in the 50’s.

KillEverything: Before and After You Get Monkey Balls:Let’s say you have tiny scraps of monkey testicles surgically grafted to your own testicles. What changes can you expect?

According to Serge Voronoff’s book, “Rejuvenation by Grafting”, you’ll get an improved memory, and your “capacity for work increased. Those from whom their occupation demanded concentrated cerebral effort, such as men of letters, University professors, medical men, lawyers, etc., who had been forced to give up their work on account of loss of memory and impaired cerebral activity [due to old age], now found that they could resume their occupation and work for hours at a stretch, as in their youth.”

Slakethirst: The Monkey Gland Elixir~

1 1/2 oz. London dry gin
1 1/2 oz. orange juice
1 tsp. grenadine
1/2 tsp. pastis

Shake with cracked ice and strain.
The Monkey Gland is not the product of a late 70’s fraternal organization’s party manual, but is an honest-to-god pedigreed tipple. Regan cites it as having first appeared in Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Book of 1930, but its name hearkens to a practice begun a decade earlier, when, in 1920, Dr. Serge Voronoff began implanting slivers of freshly-vivisected monkey testicle into the scrota of elderly Frenchmen. Voronoff, who had studied the physiology of Middle-Eastern eunuchs, was convinced that testosterone was the key to a long and healthy life, and promoted his xenotransplantion procedure as a $5,000 fountain of youth. The public’s interest was piqued, and a drink was born. The Monkey Gland is the spiritual progenitor of today’s Liquid Viagra — wholly different concoctions, but each co-opting the name of a contemporary virility treatment to suggest a stiffening drink.I’ve not had a Liquid Viagra, but I suspect that the chief difference between it and the Monkey Gland is that the latter is actually palatable. Ratios for the Monkey Gland vary widely, but the ingredients remain largely the same (Benedictine in lieu of pastis is a common variant). Haigh calls for full teaspoon of pastis, which I find a bit heavy, so here I have reduced it to 1/2 tsp, but otherwise employ Doc’s ratios. 1/2 tsp. is still enough to make its presence felt, but those who favor licorice may wish to double-up.

Charles County Cafe: Holy Monkey Testicles, Batman!  The point, apparently, was rejuvenation (to make young or youthful again…give new vigor to…to restore to an original or new state):In his book Rejuvenation by Grafting (1925), Voronoff describes what he believes are some of the potential effects of his surgery. While “not an aphrodisiac”, he admits the sex drive may be improved. Other possible effects include better memory, the ability to work longer hours, the potential for no longer needing glasses (due to improvement of muscles around the eye), and the prolonging of life. Voronoff also speculates that the grafting surgery might be beneficial to sufferers of “dementia praecox”, the mental illness known today as schizophrenia.

La Riviera:(Translated from Italian) If the medical officer know ‘his’ experiments’ the community’ of Grimaldi has never forgotten: so much so that today, almost fifty years after his death, there ‘who also claims to have seen men — gorilla wandering around the villa Voronoff. At the weekly “La Riviera” a policeman and a student have in fact told that it grinds into a “monstrous creature with a human face but the body of gorillas.” One joke or mere suggestion? The monkey cages, which Voronoff used for its “crossroads”, are still holding ‘, in keeping Grimaldi, now transformed into residences for the elderly.

Alberto Dog: The Curse of Voronoff: The rich and unpublished documentation in the appendix can also consider the role that the Russian scientist Serge Voronoff, moved to Grimaldi in 1925, had in the Jewish community of San Remo. Voronoff is a precursor of transplants of organs and Grimaldi allevava chimpanzees in a cage just for his experiments. The Russian scientist was jew is extraordinarily famous for his studies on rejuvenation is rich they can afford a life on the line. The scheme to take everything but he manages to survive in America, part of his family will end (and die) in the concentration camp. Even from exile American Voronoff will recall the poor ventimigliesi and friends of the Society of Mutual Aid workers of Grimaldi.


A Revival of Atlantean Antiquities: From the Theosophy Monthly: THE Brest (France) daily, La Dépeche of March 13, 1933, contains a leading article signed by Dr. Serge Voronoff giving details of his “ape farm” in the Riviera, established to facilitate Dr. Voronoff’s theories and practices in “gland transplantation.”

As They Seemed to Me by Ujo Ojetti   “Whom does Serge Voronoff resemble?  Now, to point out something or other on the screen, he takes hold of a wand, and this instrument reveals him to me.  Voronoff is a wizard, in fact he is Mephistopheles in person, only the forked chin-beard is missing to complete the resemblence.”

The Famous Doctor Who Inserts Monkey Glands into Millionaires by Thierry Gillyboeuf  “The first human xenotransplants were made in 1920 in France, by a professor of Russian origin, Serge Voronoff (1866-1951). At the age of 18, he left Russia to study medicine in Paris; he became a naturalized Frenchman in 1895. Dr. Alexis Carrel taught his young friend, an ingenious and skillful surgeon, the technique of transplanting. In 1896, Voronoff left for Egypt, where he stayed until 1910. There, he took an active interest in eunuchs who, castrated when they were children, revealed certain deficiencies. Voronoff was convinced according to his own observations that testicles not only have a genital function, but also that they act on the skeletal, muscular, nervous, and psychological development of the individual. Already in June 1889, physiologist Adolphe Brown-Séquard (1817-1894) injected himself under the skin with an aqueous extract of dog and guinea pig testicles, ground up and mollified–an opotherapy or juice treatment. In line with the eugenicist trend in medicine of the 1920’s and 1930’s, Voronoff intended to “rejuvenate” human organisms with a transplant of glands from chimpanzees and baboons, who were thus elevated to the rank of brotherly species with mankind. “I dare assert,” he wrote, “that the monkey is superior to man by the sturdiness of its body, the quality of its organs, and the absence of those defects, hereditary and acquired, with which the main part of mankind is afflicted.” For him, aging was the result of a slowing down of endocrinal secretions, and particularly sexual hormones. Brown-Séquard’s experiments soon proved inefficient. But Voronoff had already transplanted chimpanzee thyroids on people suffering from thyroidal anomalies. And a transplant of a chimpanzee’s bone on a wounded soldier in 1915 suggested to him the idea of transplanting a monkey’s testicle in a man. According to him, glandular transplants would allow the production of the hormone for an extended time period, contrary to opotherapy which required repeated injections with not really convincing results. Between 1917 and 1926 Voronoff tested out his theory on animals, doing more than 500 homo-transplants on rams, goats, and even a bull. According to his observations, older animals transplanted with younger animals’ testicles regained lost vigor. ”

From The Testicle Transplant Craze: the War on Erectile Disfunction by Paul Aitkin:

“……..At about the same time, across the Atlantic in Paris, a Russian surgeon named Serge Voronoff came up with a brand new testicular procedure. The technique was the same, essentially the one practiced by Lepinasse, the big difference was that the donors were chimps. This was partly out of convenience, partly because Voronoff thought it unethical to “remove the source of vigor from a young man for the sake of making an old man young.” But mostly it was out of an unerring instinct for self-promotion. While there is no doubt that Voronoff fully believed in the rejuvenating powers of “monkey grafts”, he will be remembered as one of the greatest hucksters in medical history.

Voronoff actually performed the operation with donor and recipient side by side, both stretched out on the table with their nuts hanging out. Needless to say, the recipient was the only one there out of choice. By all accounts it wasn’t fun for the chimps, who had to be caged and gassed prior to the procedure.

This was shock-science and Voronoff’s experiments received a great deal of attention internationally. At first, the scientific community was horrified by the thought of xenotransplantation. But when Voronoff screened films of the procedure, as well as before and after footage, to audiences around the world, he slowly won them over. In his films, men who were clearly in the advanced stages of decrepitude were shown months after the operation riding horseback, rowing and doing other manly athletic feats. The films didn’t show any great strapping erections, but Voronoff made it clear that his operation rejuvenated the recipients sexually as well. In 1923, Voronoff was given a standing ovation by 700 doctors at the International Collage of Surgeons.

Voronoff’s fame spread throughout Europe and North America, convincing Leo Stanley to give up on executed prisoners and move on to apes. Stanley went on to perform 300 testicle transplants using apes. Such was the popularity of the procedure that it inspired the pulp novel The Gland Stealers, and a cocktail drink called the Monkey Gland, which supposedly imparted some of the same rejuvenating effects. The French Government even had to pass a law banning monkey hunting in its African colonies.

What is perhaps most remarkable about this whole sorry episode is not that the procedure became widespread, but that it endured for so long. For a period of over 15 years, nobody seriously questioned the efficacy of the procedure. It all came to an end in 1929, however, when Henri Velu, a French veterinarian, conducted microscopic analysis of his own grafting experiments and found that the tissues had been completely rejected. He concluded that testicle grafts were “Une grande illusion.” Other scientists confirmed Velu’s conclusions and monkey grafts eventually fell out of favor.

Over the course of his career, Voronoff supposedly performed more than a 1,000 operations. And at fees of upwards of $5,000 a pop, he was certainly one of the richest doctors in the world. Yet he lived to be a tragic figure. He had genuinely believed in his procedure and was horrified at the thought that his grafts may have introduced simian diseases into their hosts. Voronoff, died broken-hearted in 1951; in the end, just a prurient footnote in medical history.

From JSBLOG: Monkey Nuts:”…..The 1920s saw an especially peculiar theme. Conan Doyle’s The Adventure of the Creeping Man is well-known, a late-canon (some say substandard) Holmes story in which an elderly professor about to marry a younger woman takes an ape-based serum to obtain more vigour, with disastrous consequences. What’s less known is that it was one of a number of works based on a treatment then in vogue, Serge Voronoff’s monkey gland implants, which were claimed to have a rejuvenating effect. (Aside: John R Brinkley pioneered a similar treatment with goat glands; one of the segments of Accordion Crimes by Annie Proulx tells of the fate of one such recipient).

Though arguably such experiments paved the way toward genuine applications of endocrinology (i.e. hormone replacement), Voronoff is considered a quack now, but at the time was notable enough to make it into Time magazine, May 12th 1924 (see Dr. Voronoff). While the concept now seems somewhat lacking comic in potential, it inspired at least one comic novel: Bertram Gayton’s The Gland Stealers – see cover image – in which a bunch of elderly gentlemen go on safari to collect gorilla glands. In France, Voronoff inspired even stranger explorations, as told in the novels of the pulp author Félicien Champsaur. His 1923 Ouha, roi des singes (Ouha, King of the Monkeys) concerns a Voronoff-like doctor and its heroine’s miscegenation with a King Kong like orangutan. His 1929 Nora, la guenon devenue femme (Nora the She-Monkey Becomes a Woman) features a monkey who receives human gland implants and evolves into an alluring dancer closely modelled on Josephine Baker. Brett Berliner attributes these themes to a complex mix of anxieties about race, sex and cultural change in Jazz Age France: see Berliner, Brett A., 1960- Mephistopheles and Monkeys: Rejuvenation, Race, and Sexuality in Popular Culture in Interwar France (Journal of the History of Sexuality – Volume 13, Number 3, July 2004, pp. 306-325).

Stellar Moments of Humanity: The Famous Testicles of Voronoff:”…Being medical personnel Abbas II, jedive of Egypt, among my duties was taking care of the eunuchs who guarded the harems. Al obervarlos carefully checked that the removal of his testicles was producing them in a physical decay comparable only to old age. This led me to believe that the implant of at least one testicle, it might be an appropriate treatment against aging in general. .. I admit that this first graft as well as the following did not work, with necrosis in both cases.  The news spread throughout Europe, not without a good share of spectacle which I partly propitious. Later, wit, work and a big stroke of luck combine to elevated to a celebrity. Fortunately for me the great playwright Anatole France ends become one of my patients. When introduced 61 years and has an unfortunate aspect: cheeks falls, profuse wrinkles, and dead eyes dimmed, fatigue and rejection of any physical effort. Lack of appetite and also complains even those cold days when the heat is unbearable. I’ve grafted to intervene – as befits a figure of such notoriety, the testicles of the testicles of a huge ape cinocéfalo, which he divided into 8 parts around their own testicles.  At 23 days, the writer recounts his first erection me after 10 years of impotence. Which was then repeated with great frequency in sumiéndolo a joy that only remind me excited:


There was a complete change in him and surprising. His body was made straight, the muscles of the face regained its strength, the eye was lively and shows a surprising air of youth, vigor and energy “

Forever Young by Lucien Boia

From Adenta (a transplant timeline translated from Spanish):

YEAR 1912

During this year and due to the works, investigations and I contribute realised, related to the transplants and techniques of surgery, doctor ALEXIS CARREL obtains an important recognition, obtaining “the Medicine Nobel prize”.

YEARS 1912-1914

J.B. MURPHY contributes a great amount of works on the rejections in the USA. At the same time doctor ALEXIS CARREL participates next to doctor J.B. MURPHY in the first immunological experiments, whose results, later would be applied by far success in all the transplants “giving rise to the specialty of immunology.”

YEAR 1913

Doctor SHONTADT tries a transplant to an affected woman of nefritis with a kidney of a monkey, obtaining that the same survives by more than 62 hours.

YEAR 1914

The Great War of the 14, practically stops the experimentations on the transplants, dedicating itself completely the medicine to the problems caused by the losses in the combats.

YEARS 1923-1924

Doctor WILLIAMSON influenced by the works of doctor ALEXIS CARREL retakes the works and experimentations, realising a series of transplants in order to obtain positive results on the rejection.

YEAR 1920

Doctor SERGE VORONOFF tries a transplant of kidney in a human being in the city of Paris, which is prevented by an opinion of the Ministry of Justice of France.

YEAR 1928

As a result of the opinion of the Ministry of Justice of France, doctor SERGE VORONOFF it would later try to graft testicular weave of a monkey to a human being with very good results, would take it to this to announce between his writings the following thing: “In great the cities where the fatal accidents frequent and are so varied, special hospitals in which the patients awaiting the transplant of a gland or an organ would meet, hospitals where it would be transplanted from any man died in an accident, and where after a kind examination their organs for such aim would be extracted”.

These writings would be with happening of the years the origin of the present legislations and programs of transplants in the majority of the countries of the world.

During this year a Colonel, veteran military of 60 years of age, is transplanted with a testicle of a monkey, after to suffer an accident, according to the registries lived without disadvantages.

YEAR 1933

Doctor VORONOY realises in the city of KHERSON, the first transplant between humans from a deathly pale kidney. One was a woman of 26 years who entered the hospital by attempt of suicide, being operated DAY 03 OF APRIL, in that intervention were applied to techniques of doctor ALEXIS CARREL.

Day 05 of April, the woman passes away victim of several complications product of the ingested thing in the attempt of suicide.


Hermester Barrington (aka Nephomant) is a world famous author–but only famous in parts of the world where no one ever seems to have been, or come back from. Born in 1906 in Phoenicia, New York, he passed most of his adult life as archivist for the Law Firm of Petty, Smilodon, and Ruth, which was as exciting as watching the moss grow on a three toed sloth. Hermester did not notice, however, for he was one those who sleepwalk through life–that is, until he received a transplant of Sasquatch testicles by one of Dr. Voronoff’s protegés (and please note that said Sasquatch was captured and released, mostly unharmed, by none other than famed wrestler Dr. Jerry Graham and chanteuse Mrs. Miller). This operation not only released him from his walking death, but inspired him with enough vim, vigor, and testosterone to flee his old life and the hospital/…..

………The Monkey Gland is not the typical drink name and it’s origin is, well, interesting. In his 1922 Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails book, Harry McElhone (owner of Harry’s New York Bar in Paris) took credit for the invention of this drink. He also claims that the name Monkey Gland was inspired by the 1920’s experiments of one Serge Voronoff.from Colleen’s Cocktail Blog.

The Monkey Gland

This cocktail dates back to 1925 and was created by Harry MacElhone at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. MacElhone was an expatriate bartender who was forced overseas during “The Noble Experiment,” also known as, Prohibition. The drink was named as an ode to doctor Serge Voronoff’s experiments in sexual rejuvenation. The “Monkey Gland” is a stimulating cocktail sure to get the juices flowing.

From Ghosts: Here and HereAfter: An eminent psychiatrist underwent experiences indicating that he chose psychiatry despite his great surgical skill because he suffered from guilt incurred in a previous lifetime as a laboratory assistant to the famed “monkey-gland” scientist, Serge Voronoff, and in fact had died from a monkey bite.

The History of Hormone Replacement:the investigation into the theory of hormone replacement goes all the way back to the 1930s with the research of Dr. Serge Voronoff. His research involved implanting fresh monkey’s testicles into men’s scrotums, with limited effectiveness. Offshoots of his research led to the grafting of monkey ovaries in women, with rather dire consequences. After several fatalities (to both monkeys and women), the search was redirected to the use of synthetic estrogen. With the advent of World War II, research was put on hold.

THe Bostwicks:Fannie? Evelyn born in 1872 who married Dr. Serge Voronoff, and who was living in 1920 (but died the following year

The elixer of youth. Serge Voronoff’s early experiments involved transplanting thyroid tissue into humans with a thyroid deficiency. He also began transplanting the testicles of executed criminals into rich old guys (as a treatment for senility and schizophrenia), but had to stop when the demand for the procedure far exceeding the supply of criminal testicles. At this point, Voronoff began using monkey testicles instead, and his first “monkey gland” to human transplant took place in June of 1920.

Mephistopheles Faust by Delecroix
Mephistopheles Faust by Delecroix

Give back the passions unabated, That deepest joy, alive with pain, Love’s power and the strength of hatred, Give back my youth to me again~Goethe

Faust by Rembrandt
Faust by Rembrandt

“Had the philosophical Goethe known about the monkey gland, we had better have a ‘Voronoff’ and an ‘interstitial gland’ operation instead of the historical Faust and his mystic dealings with Mephistopheles of the underworld, to attain eternal youth” from the Medical Council, Chicago 1920

faust and marguerite by Ary Sheffer
faust and marguerite by Ary Sheffer

Mephistopheles and Monkeys: Rejuvenation, Race, and Sexuality When Voronoff’s experiments made Faust’s quest for a long life and perpetual sensual pleasure an ostensible reality for all, the popular media of the day celebrated but ultimately rejected the practice. This rejection demonstrated a conservative approach to the human life cycle, insisting that people should gracefully accept the consequences of aging. The response also reflected a fear of racialized sexuality and miscegenation, since monkeys were closely associated with blacks in the social imagination of the interwar French.Champsaur’s novel Nora, the SheMonkey Who Becomes a Woman gives a fictive account of a doctor based on the real Serge Voronoff (1866-1951) and his actual medical experiments in France in the 1920s. Voronoff, a naturalized Russian Jewish emigre, invented and practiced a method of rejuvenation by grafting monkey testicles into the scrotum of senile, often impotent, men. His patients, he claimed, regained their youthful vigor in more ways than one. Voronoff was an international celebrity, training numerous doctors and having his scientific studies translated into several languages. Holding a post at the College de France, Voronoff was a serious, albeit controversial, scientist who attempted to advance science but who practiced weird medicine, even by contemporary standards. faust1

A short silent film of 1900 featuring Faust, Mephistopheles, and Marguerite is here.

Dr. Samuel Serge Voronoff (1866-1951) or “the quest for eternal youth”::::::

a French physician and surgeon of Russian origin was the Khédive’s personal physician from 1896 to 1910 and the instigator of modern medicine in Egypt. He was later a student and friend of Alexis Carrel as soon as 1910 and directed a service of bone grafts during World War I. Between 1912 and 1949 he published the results of his experimental work at his Voronoff Foundation of the Collège de France and at Grimaldi where he performed homografts of endocrine glands of cattle and corresponding heterografts between great primates and man. Contested since 1922 by his colleagues for his results however histologically confirmed and improved durable, Voronoff who had an audience in the Académie des Sciences will proceed his research with success during the period preceding World War II. He grafted old people in senior homes and Government cattle in Algeria, training followers in Italy and California. In 1939 he gave all his research facilities at the Collège de France to René Leriche (1879-1955) and remained on the American continent until 1945. At that time his theories became obsolete in view of the progress in endocrinology and his laboratories were destroyed during the war. He died in Lausanne in 1951 at 85. The recent epidemics caused by HIV suggests to study the work he performed in the Collège de France.

Regaining Lost Youth: “The quest for regaining lost youth seems to have existed since the beginning of recorded history and has taken many forms. One strategy that began in earnest in the latter part of the 19th century and continues to have enormous momentum today is based on the notion that by replacing internally secreted substances, that is, hormones, that decline with age, the vitality and physical attributes associated with youth can be regained. Although the approach remains highly controversial as, for example, in “anti-aging medicine,” it is no more controversial than it was many years ago when the work of three high profile investigators, Charles Eduoard Brown-Séquard, Eugen Steinach, and Serge Voronoff set the basis for using this strategy. In the case of all three individuals, the therapies they developed received widespread attention (including ridicule) in the popular press, were spread rapidly by practitioners of questionable training and ethical motivation, and finally and relatively quickly disappeared from common use. However, and ultimately more importantly, in the process of developing and promoting their therapies, these individuals made important contributions to the origins of endocrinology, the biology of sex, and establishment of hormone replacement therapy. It remains to be seen whether contemporary efforts using hormone replacement therapy to blunt and reverse aging have the same fate as their predecessors and make comparable important contributions to biology and medicine.

Vasectomania: “It was Charles-édouard Brown-Séquard, a professor of experimental medicine at the Collège de France and the grandfather of modern endocrinology, who brought the importance of these chemical cues in the blood stream to scientific attention. In 1889, aged seventy-two, he injected himself with the juice of pulped guinea pig and dog testicles, a hormonal fluid that he believed rejuvenated him. Though the concentrations of testosterone would have been too low to have any biological effect, Brown-Séquard claimed that he felt awash with new energy, that his brain functioned more quickly, that his endurance was enhanced, and his sexual potency revived. In a book he wrote about the experiment—Elixir of Life—he said he felt thirty years younger. He could work into the night, walk up the stairs without holding on to the banisters, and, he noted, his bowel movements improved.

The physiologist Serge Voronoff, a Russian working in Paris, was one of the most infamous of the gland doctors. He thought that the lazy, mentally disabled, run-down, and aged could be revitalized by testicular transplants. Many wealthy men underwent the costly surgery; Voronoff transplanted the testes of executed criminals into millionaires. Legal contracts were drawn up with prospective donors, but apparently willing individuals were in such short supply that what one scientist called a “despicable trade in organs” began to develop. According to one newspaper, men were even being mugged for their testicles, “knocked unconscious and then robbed of the long-sought-for organs.”

Voronoff solved this crisis by slicing and grafting the testicles of monkeys onto those of the men who sought his treatment. In his book, Rejuvenation by Grafting (1925), Voronoff promised the patients who acquired his monkey glands that they’d be able to work longer, and that they would be blessed with improved memories, eyesight, and sex drives. He set up a special breeding center on the Italian Riviera for chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans that was run by a former circus-animal keeper.
But the idea that one might be made younger by apes, a kind of evolutionary trick, “seeped into the popular mind like water into sand,” according to a 1923 article in the New York Times Magazine, “for the mind of man has thirsted for this secret for untold centuries.” Serge Voronoff became very rich as the hopeful queued up to make their Faustian pact with him. He set up home on the entire first floor of one of Paris’s most expensive and fashionable hotels, where he was surrounded by an entourage of chauffeurs, valets, personal secretaries, and chefs, as well as two mistresses.

In Vienna, Eugen Steinach also performed transplant operations. Steinach, director of the Biological Institute in Vienna, was a research scientist who was nominated for the Nobel Prize six times in the 1920s and 1930s and performed sex change operations on rats and guinea pigs, triggering the development of the opposite sex by implanting ovaries or testes in his neutered rodents. The Austrian satirist Karl Kraus joked that with these skills, Steinach might be able to turn suffragettes into maternal women and journalists into real men. Steinach thought that he could treat homosexuality in men by transplanting a testicle of a supposedly “normal” man to remasculinize the recipient. Though sex reformers appreciated his attempt to establish that there was an innate biological basis for homosexuality, the results of his operations, according to one doctor who wrote his obituary, were to be taken cum grano salis.

Sigmund Freud and W. B. Yeats were among the celebrity patients who were Steinached, an operation no more serious, according to another respected Viennese doctor who went under the knife, than having your hair cut. Freud had the operation in 1923, aged sixty-seven, in the hope that it would prevent the recurrence of the cancer of the jaw from which he suffered.

We Live Too Short and Die Too Young: a short text on rejuvenation that refers to Dr. Voronoff, a ‘physician from Siberia”?!

Ectoplasmosis:“I dare assert,” wrote Dr. Vornoff, “that the monkey is superior to man by the sturdiness of its body, the quality of its organs, and the absence of those defects, hereditary and acquired, with which the main part of mankind is afflicted.” My girlfriends would agree.

Louis Pasteur in his laboratory, 1885
Louis Pasteur in his laboratory, 1885

The Pasteur Institute supported Dr. Voronoff’s research in the 20s and collaborated with him in creating monkey farms in Africa.  There is no mention of this on Wikipedia(the following is an excerpt):

The Pasteur Institute (French: Institut Pasteur) is a French non-profit private foundation dedicated to the study of biology, micro-organisms, diseases and vaccines. It is named after Louis Pasteur, its founder and first director, who had successfully developed the first antirabies serum in 1885. It was founded on June 4, 1887 and inaugurated on November 14, 1888.

For over a century, the Institut Pasteur has been at the forefront of the battle against infectious disease. This worldwide biomedical research organization based in Paris was the first to isolate HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, in 1983. Over the years, it has been responsible for breakthrough discoveries that have enabled medical science to control such virulent diseases as diphtheria, tetanus, tuberculosis, poliomyelitis, influenza, yellow fever and plague.


Time Magazine, April 1928: “It was said that President Mustafa Kemal Pasha of Turkey, called the Ghazi—”The Victorious”—but now somewhat debilitated by incessant, nightly champagne tippling, would confer with Dr. Voronoff in the inconspicuous city of Adana, some 30 miles inland from the southern coast of Turkey. The chief question of vital interest was whether there would also be present one of the lively young chimpanzees which are bred especially for Dr. Voronoff’s convenience in French West Africa by the Pasteur Institute. With thin sharp knives Surgeon Voronoff can slice from a chimpanzee glands which he then swiftly inserts in a human so unscrupulous as to wish to profit by the poor beast’s loss.

The New York Times 1922: French Government to Breed Apes to Supply Scientists; Plan a Large Reservation in West Africa

Figuring Age: by Kathleen Woodward: “On October 13, Dr. Voronoff had so impressed his fellow physicians at the French Surgical Congress that he was scheduled to perform his ‘gland-graft’ operations on eight of them right after the congress adjourned….”

The Mad World of AIDS Research: Even at an early stage of his work, Voronoff experienced difficulties in obtaining a steady supply of chimpanzees, which came largely from the African colonies of Spain and Belgium. The French authorities refused him permission to establish a breeding colony in France, so he bought a chateau in Italy for that purpose, although he had little success.

The Pasteur Institute also experienced difficulties in obtaining monkeys for research, and tried to establish a reservation for apes in West Africa.

Voronoff campaigned against the use of monkey skins for clothing and decoration, and in September 1923, the governor of French West Africa banned the killing of monkeys for their skins and issued a decree that monkeys could only be captured by those with a permit issued by the governorgeneral, with permits only given for obtaining monkeys for medical research. Similar edicts were issued in the Belgian Congo.

In 1925, Voronoff himself travelled to French West Africa, through Senegal, Sudan and Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso). At Kindia, in French Guinea, he demonstrated his method of gland-grafting in a laboratory of the Pasteur Institute building, and endowed the unit with 100,000 francs to enable them to build a monkey menagerie……

Historical Highlights of Erectile Dysfunction, An Illustrated Chronology explains:
Testicles by Da Vinci
Testicles by Da Vinci

At the beginning of the 20th century the transplantation or implantation of either human or animal testicular tissue was another appealing form of androgen therapy in hypogonadal and aging males. The most important protagonist in Europe during the 1920’s was the Russian Serge Voronoff (1866-1951) who worked in Paris and transplanted sliced monkey glands in hundreds of his patients who visited him from all over the world. According to his reports, hormonal secretion lasted for about one or two years and was then slowly decreasing due to fibrosis of the grafted tissue.

Voronoff left his peer Rene Leriche many of his important papers.Rene Leriche

Erectile Dysfunction Due To Arterial Vascular Occlusion
In 1948 the French surgeon Rene Leriche (1879-1955) firstly mentioned arterial vascular impotence in thrombotic obliteration of the aortic bifurcation, a syndrome he had already described in detail in the 1920’s and which today is named after him. During the following time several strategies were outlined to save or reconstruct the internal iliac artery during abdomino-pelvic vascular surgery to maintain or restore erectile function.

xeno2The U.S. National Library of Medicine has numerous Voronoff-related articles.

Samuel Serge Voronoff, a French physician and surgeon of Russian origin was the Khédive’s personal physician from 1896 to 1910 and the instigator of modern medicine in Egypt. He was later a student and friend of Alexis Carrel as soon as 1910 and directed a service of bone grafts during World War I. Between 1912 and 1949 he published the results of his experimental work at his Voronoff Foundation of the Collège de France and at Grimaldi where he performed homografts of endocrine glands of cattle and corresponding heterografts between great primates and man. Contested since 1922 by his colleagues for his results however histologically confirmed and improved durable, Voronoff who had an audience in the Académie des Sciences will proceed his research with success during the period preceding World War II. He grafted old people in senior homes and Government cattle in Algeria, training followers in Italy and California. In 1939 he gave all his research facilities at the Collège de France to René Leriche (1879-1955) and remained on the American continent until 1945. At that time his theories became obsolete in view of the progress in endocrinology and his laboratories were destroyed during the war. He died in Lausanne in 1951 at 85. The recent epidemics caused by HIV suggests to study the work he performed in the Collège de France.xeno

Professor Skevos Zervos (1875-1966) performed the first successful testicle transplantation from an ape to a man in 1910,his contribution in the field of testicle transplantation where his supremacy is incontestable:  This fact was officially recognized by Serge Voronoff (1866-1951) .xeno1

“Rejuvenation by monkey testicle transplanting was terribly fashionable in Paris, between years 1925-1930. The manual miracles done by a group of very well-known surgeons, in Paris, (especially Serge Voronoff and Dartigues) rooted in the head of a too credulous public the idea according to it was possible to be made scientifically younger by genital graftings.”From Gerontology and Endocrinology in the 20th Century

Regaining Lost Youth: In the process of developing and promoting their therapies[Sequard, Carrell, Steinach and Voronoff], these individuals made important contributions to the origins of endocrinology, the biology of sex, and establishment of hormone replacement therapy. It remains to be seen whether contemporary efforts using hormone replacement therapy to blunt and reverse aging have the same fate

From the History of XenoTransplantation: At the beginning of the 20th century, xenotransplantation of testicles became the latest craze. At the same time, and later in the 1960s, organ xenotransplantations were attempted, with disappointing results. Mathieu Jaboulay, Serge Voronoff, Keith Reemtsma, James Hardy, Denton Cooley, Thomas Starzl, Christiaan Barnard and Leonard Bailey were among the pionneers of xenotransplantation

eugenics1From Science Odyssey: The term eugenics comes from the Greek roots for “good” and “generation” or “origin” and was first used to refer to the “science” of heredity and good breeding in about 1883.

Within 20 years, the word was widely used by scientists who had rediscovered the work of Gregor Mendel who introduced the concept of genes, opening the field of genetics to a tumultuous century of research. One path of genetic research branched off into the shadows of social theory, and in the first quarter of the twentieth century became immensely popular as eugenics. It was presented as a mathematical science that could be used to predict the traits and behaviors of humans, and in a perfect world, to control human breeding so that people with the best genes would reproduce and thus improve the species. It was an optimistic school of thought with a profound faith in the powers of Science.

The eugenics craze was already fading when the horrors of institutionalized eugenics revealed in Nazi Germany during World War II doused it entirely as a movement.

The wikipedia article on Eugenics is here.

From Brazilian Medical History: Equally noteworthy is that Voronoff’s procedures between the 1910s and 1930s involved direct contact between a large number of patients (around two thousand, according to him) of different nationalities and the tissue of simians. Such procedures could allow the human species to absorb pathogens from the donor species, which raises the hypothesis – even if remote – that the simian immunodeficiency virus may have been transmitted to a population of patients who apparently suffered from sexual disorders. We know that SIV infects a wide variety of African primates by nature and has also been found in Caribbean primates. It is also known that this virus displays multicompartmental localization in different tissues and organs (Goldstein et al., May 2006; Pandrea et al., Jun. 2006). Voronoff described the primate species he used and that were present in his laboratory (“hamadrejas, Cynociephale-papion e Magot …“); from photographs, it can be seen that these are Pan troglodytes troglodytes and Cercocebus atys atys. Today these species are recognized as precursors of HIV-1 and HIV-2. The scientist captured primates in areas of equatorial Africa now constituting Congo, Sudan, Guinea, and Cameroon, as well as Gibraltar, which is where the species related to human HIV originated (Reeves, Doms, 2002; Keele et al., July 28, 2006; Gao et al., 1999). As the most virulent and easily transmitted agent, HIV-1 spreads rapidly. The virus most similar to HIV-1 is SIV, identified in the chimpanzee subspecies Pan troglodytes troglodytes in captivity.

bonegraftMedical Insurance: a prophetic quote from Dr. Voronoff: “A large hospital should be built in the center of each city to which the dead victims of railroad or streetcar accidents would be brought immediately after the incident.  The scientist in attendance would have to remove the vital portions without a moments delay and store the parts in a special cold storage.  Thus, when a case of grafting occurs, the wanted portion would be on hand, whether it be a kidney tibia or an interstitial gland.”

Understanding Viruses: Most medical historians believe that the first human-to-human kidney transplant took place in Russia in 1933 by Dr. Voronoff. His contemporary at the Rockefeller Institute Alexis Carrell, was awarded the Nobel Prize of Physiology and Medicine in 1912 for his pioneering efforts of transplantation of blood vessels and organs and vascular suturing.

From the New York Times 1914: Bone Grafting in the Army: Dr. Voronoff discovered bone grafting with Nobel-Prize winner Alexis Carrell at New York’s Rockefeller Institute.  Announced the first successful bone grafting of a monkey arm bone into a soldier at the Russian hospitol of  Bordeaux.bone11

Flesh and Blood Organ Transplanting: Like the Rockefeller surgeon Carrell, Dr. Voronoff received many offers from men to use their precious glands for large sums of money….

WikiBiography:After divorcing Edith Rockefeller, Harold Fowler McCormick married opera singer Ganna Walska. During the transition period between these two women, McCormick sought to fortify himself by undergoing an operation by Dr. Voronoff, a surgeon who specialized in transplanting animal glands into aging men who feared for their potency during the 1920s. bone2

The Journey of Life: Carrell, Metchnikoff, Voronoff, and Steinach all had similar ideas regarding the rejuvenation of elderly men through surgery involving the sexual glands.

From TIME, 1932: “Dr. Alexis Carrel,  last week announced his verdict against rejuvenation. Biologists know a great deal now, he wrote, about how people grow old. They probably will learn what is necessary to retard the aging process.  But it will be impossible, he declared, to reverse the action. If it were possible to replace all of a person’s old and decrepit cells by young ones, and if it were possible to cleanse every drop of blood, lymph and other liquid in his body, then he would be rejuvenated. How to accomplish all that has, said Dr. Carrel last week, “still to be discovered. . . . No senescent organism has ever been rejuvenated by the procedures of Steinach* and Voronoff. . . .† The process of aging remains irreversible.”


Beyond Species: The possibility of crossing humans with other anthropoid species has been discussed in fiction as well as in scientific literature during the twentieth century. Professor Il’ya Ivanov’s attempt to achieve this was crucial for the beginning of organized primate research in the Soviet Union, and remains one of the most interesting and controversial experiments that was ever done on non-human primates.

The International Primate Protection League: The world’s first Primate Research Centers was located in Sukhomoni, Russia in 1927.  Serge Voronoff of gland fame maintained colonies of chimpanzees and baboons for his glandular experiments in France even earlier.

The Roots of Sanity: a Czech Wordpress Blog: ” There is, as Voronoffova : Voronoff SA, a French doctor of Russian origin, in the twenties and thirties years of the twentieth century:  Monkey glands in the male genitals.Idea, loading of the animals to humans.  There is, as in the case of vegetarianism, in part animals to humans. Reflected in the fact that people have to die like a dog or that when the dog to die than when a man has to die.


Man the Unknown by Alexis Carrell: Carrel was a renowned scientist and a Nobel Prize winner.  The book is full of provocative speculation on the body and soul of man, thoughts on prayer, miracles and the human mind.

heartofdogFrom Mattviews WordPress Blog: Professor Philip Philippovich implants human testicles and pituitary gland from a recently-dead twenty-eight-year-old man into a stray dog to determine viability of such transplant and its effect on rejuvenation of human organism. In defiance of expected fatal outcome, the dog survives and shows sign of resuscitation. The creature proceeds to become more and more human as time passes, in both physical appearance and in speech.

Interpreted as a satire on the Soviet utopian attempt to radically improve human nature by creating a New Soviet man, or an improved human species, Heart of a Dog bears analogies to Dr. Faustus, Frankenstein, and The Island of Dr. Moreau, but with an edge about a wry comment on scientist going too far. The historical prototype is a Russian-French surgeon, Serge Voronoff, who was known for his experiments on implanting humans with animal testicles and thyroid glands. Bulgakov satirizes the inconsistencies (and absurdities) of the system in which a man with a dog’s intelligence could become significant and influential. On the same note he praises the man who with his strong personalities and conviction could remain unaffected in the midst of insanity.

The entire movie is available for viewing with English subtitles on Youtube.

Impotence: a Cultural History: The first experiment in grafting an entire testicle was performed by Dr. G. Frank Lydston on himself, on January 16, 1914. Expressing his disappointment that vulgar prejudices heretofore had prevented the exploitation of the sex glands of the dead, Lydston coolly reported how he transplanted into his own scrotum a suicide victim’s testicle. [p. 186]

L. L. Stanley, resident physician of the California state prison in San Quentin, reported in 1922 that he had first implanted testicles from executed convicts and then moved on to inject into his subjects via a dental syringe solutions of goat, ram, boar, and deer testicles. Altogether he made 1000 injections into 656 men. Stanley had been inspired by work of Serge Voronoff, an eminent Russian-born medical scientist working at the Collége de France. Voronoff in 1919 scandalized many by transplanting the testes of chimpanzees into men. He asserted that “marked psychical and sexual excitation” typically resulted, followed by a resurgence of memory, energy and “genital functions.” [pp. 186-7]

The Value of Continence: We have seen that the internal secretions of the sex glands stand at the basis of the individual’s physical and mental vitality and that sex hormones are present in the external as well as in the internal secretions of the gonads. Many of the effects attributed to such hormones, as we have seen, are due to the physiological effect of resorbed semen. Conservation of semen means conservation of sex hormones and increased vigor, while loss of semen means loss of hormones and diminished vitality; also chronic deficiency of such hormones leads to the symptoms of senility, which Voronoff and Steinach strove to overcome by increasing the amount of sex hormones in the blood.

History, Science, and Health, an incredible article translated from Portuguese quotes Dr. Voronoff :

“…these vital organs retain all their properties and, if transplanted in another body they are capable of again accomplishing their Transplanted in another body they are again capable of accomplishing their former functions. (Voronoff, 1928, p.127-128)

“This articel deals with a figure of the scientific world that, even before his arrival in Rio de Janeiro in 1928, was already associated with more varied themes of scientific progress and futuristic wit…”

Creativity in Everyday Life: “Ancient Hindu antiaging strategies touted the ingestion of tiger gonads—testicles—as a cure for impotence. The early Greeks endorsed similar efforts, such as eating the bone marrow of lions to gain courage. During the early part of the twentieth century, the flamboyant Russian-born surgeon Serge Voronoff updated the ancient practice of eating animal gonads for virility and modernized it by grafting monkey testicles to older humans in attempts to restore youth and vitality to the men. In the 1960s the Cryonics Society promoted the notion of freezing people immediately upon their death or, if legally permissible, just before they died, to preserve them for a later time when medical breakthroughs might offer them renewed health and longevity. And in the decades since, the search for the “fountain of youth” has taken gullible consumers through a wide assortment of remedies, from herbs to hormones.”

From La Revue (Medicine and Hygiene): translated from French, an article detailing Jean Real’s biography:

We will not repeat here the crispness and the epic of a life that sees a man – Samuel Abrahamovitch – born in July 1866, nine hundred kilometers south of Moscow, leaving his family after a prison and arrive in Paris in Spring 1885; Paris where he takes the name he is today.  Installation at 11 bis rue Berthollet, close to the Val de Grace, 300 francs monthly sent by his parents, richness of the Latin Quarter then trade with Verlaine, enrollment at the School of Medicine and vocation already affirmed the surgery. This will initially gynecology and current Charcot at the Salpêtrière. External hospitals of Paris, he became assistant Jules-Emile Péan, famous surgeon of the hospital Saint-Louis which all those who use tongs that bear his name, unfortunately do not know much. Paean who first opera cysts of the ovary and uterine fibroids, who worked “at the end of pliers, does staining and had never used” to remain in habit; Péan, a friend of Toulouse-Lautrec Jules Renard, whose writing he looked “rummaging in the wombs of seeking money in his pocket …”

(from the online blog Stensby’s South Africa)

Monkey gland steak or steak with monkey gland sauce is a very South African thing. I was quite hesitant to try it out the first time, as the name itself did not appeal to my palate. I could think of many species, from gorillas, baboons to the small thieves in my in-laws’ neighborhood. Human like creatures, it’s like having the missing link on the menu – semi cannibalistic! Then glands. Not the most mouth watering part of any animal. Which glands? Armpits or groins, the menu will never tell you. With all these associations your once ravenous appetite vanishes as soon as you identify the dish on the menu. My wife convinced me to try it out though and that it had nothing to do with any monkey parts. So by now I’ve dug in a few times…

Reading a piece on the origin of the dish almost made me choke. The story starts with a scientist, Dr. Serge Abrahamovitch Vornoff (1866-1951). He caused sensation for his technique of grafting monkey testicle tissue into the testicles of men. Not just any glands in other words, but testicles! I felt seriously sick now, but still bewildered as to how the testicles could end up in a dish and become a hit?! Could “gland” be just a less repulsive cover up for a Viagra dish?

RocketLover, a Spanish blog, recently posted an article about Dr. Voronoff.  The following is a quote from the blog: “Was what he really was, one thing is clear.  Voronoff contributed much to the courageous scientific diagrams of the time. If after this was placebo or not, you never know, but this freshness reported to investigations and, above all, because evolution, you know, without courage, there is no progress.”

Indian Prince Rejuvenated: from the Australian newspaper,Sir Hukunchand Sarupchand and his wife had the monkey gland operation in calcutta, 1930

From The Argus, Melbourne May 26 1928: Monkey Glands: Voronoff’s Theory could extend the human life to 140 years.

Xeno: Sexual Rejuvenation by Xenotransplantation: “…there is considerable evidence that Voronoff was a man whose vision exceeded the medical science of his time…”

Monkey Gland Cure for Defective Child from the NY Times 1920

Gland Man Sees 140 Year Life: from the Evening Independent, 1927  “Human life span would be doubled if monkey supply holds out…”

One thought on “Press Coverage

  1. Today I’ve read, in a local newspaper a note about Júlio Fonseca the former car driver of Gertrud, the 3rd Serge Voronoff’s wife. Gertrud´s castle is build some kms from here and there are plans to transform it in a Spa. In that newspaper article, the writer says that she was married with a russian cientist named Sergio Boronov, but could not find any information about him. I was impressed aboput that and, because during some years I heard the same, I took my hands and start thru Google. By this way I got really fascinated about him. And very surprised that he is the same which we know with other name.
    Now I intend to write something to clear to this newspaper and I will take the information as I need from your website, if you don’t mind.Two years ago I made some pictures in this castle and maybe can interest you.
    Kind regards.
    Antero Guerra
    Torres Novas, Portugal

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