I heard something about this on the radio the other day about a huckster back in the early 1900s who used to perform goat testicle transplants in humans. Perhaps surprisingly, a lot of people were taken in by this guy's legitimate-looking operation:
John Brinkley, pioneer quack
Kate Summerscale reviews Charlatan: the Fraudulent Life of John Brinkley by Pope Brock
One night in November 1917, in a small clinic in Kansas, Dr John Brinkley performed a pioneering operation on an impotent 46-year-old farmer called Bill Stittsworth.
John Brinkley and his wife in surgey at their famous Milford clinic
The farmer lay on a table. The doctor came into the room bearing a silver tray, on which a pair of freshly cut goat testicles lay on a bed of cotton. He made two incisions in the patient's scrotum, placed a goat testicle in each, and sewed them into place.
A fortnight later, Stittsworth declared that the transplants had restored his sexual vigour - he was as randy as a billy goat. He recommended the procedure to friends, and sent his wife to Brinkley for a pair of goat ovaries.
A year later, when the doctor had opened a bigger clinic to cater for the huge demand for his transplants, Mrs Stittsworth gave birth to a boy - "named Billy," writes Pope Brock, "perhaps after the goat".
In this very funny biography, Brock describes how Brinkley got rich on goat gonads. With a genius for publicity, and a fake medical diploma bought for $100, he persuaded hundreds of American men to submit to his operations.