A review and analysis of the 1924 introduction of the neurocalometer (NCM), a heat-sensing instrument purported to detect “nerve interference” (subluxation), is presented. Included are the origins of the device, the terms and expense of B.J. Palmer’s leasing program for the NCM, the role of the NCM as centrepiece in a “back to straight chiropractic” movement, the development of competitive instruments and BJ’s method of dealing with “infringers”, claims made for the clinical value of the NCM and the profession’s response to the NCM-movement. It is suggested that the NCM’s introduction provides a model of unethical promotions in health care.
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