History

From The Archives: ‘The Ross Method of Height Increase’

Museum of the Order of St John Judi McGinley, Museum Assistant

How tall are you? Do you feel vertically challenged? Would you prefer to be a little taller?
If you are unhappy with your height then ‘ROSS FOR HEIGHT’ may be just what you need!

We found the below slightly suspect advertisement in a 1934 edition of the ‘First Aid’ St John Ambulance magazine.

“BE TALLER!
LADIES ,– If you are short you can increase your height and, at one and the same time, develop that graceful, willowy figure that is much admired by adopting the Ross System. IT NEVER FAILS! No discomfort, or danger to health whatever is involved….
..The Ross System improves your health, physic and personality at the same time that it increases your height.
GENTLEMEN,- If you wish to be tall get to know all about the Ross Method of Height Increase TO-DAY. There is no longer any need to be short or overlooked. You will develop your physical and mental powers to an extent that will surprise you. Inches can be added to your height within a few weeks without trouble or danger of any kind.
THE ROSS SYSTEM NEVER FAILS
FEE £2:2s
Write to me to-day for Free Details and Convincing Testimony of the ‘Ross System’
F D MALCOLM ROSS
HEIGHT SPECIALIST, SCARBOROUGH, ENG”

Ummm…the “No discomfort, or danger to health whatever is involved” statement sounds a little ominous, and the claim that the Ross system was capable of “improving” one’s personality also sounds a little bit suspect!
The so-called height specialist, also claimed that the below illustration was a “reproduction” from an actual photograph showing how the Ross System had increased his own height to 6ft 3 3/4″. We find it strange that he was unable to provide the original “photograph” for his advertisement, especially if he really did have the looks and physique depicted in his illustration.

We suspect that old man Ross was probably no more than a fantasist and a snake oil merchant to boot!

Image obtained from the 1934 edition of the ‘First Aid’ St John Ambulance magazine.

ALT="drawing of a man and a woman standing beside a height measurement"

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