You don't want to see what they used to loosen people up for kidney stones.
In the late 1800s, when our great-great-grandparents were young, they too were into butt stuff. It was believed that one way to cure constipation was to power a four-inch doughboy up your kaiser and leave it there overnight. This idea was first inspired by a surgical device affectionately referred to as a "bougie." It was used by medical professionals to aid the defecation process by simulating the type of anal widening that occurs naturally only after a five-course meal at your local discount burrito joint. From there, it didn't take long for some enterprising spirit to come up with a do-it-yourself kit. And that's when the good times started.
As mentioned in one of our many, many previous articles on butt stuff, the devices were also sold over the counter as Dr. Young's Ideal Rectal Dilators, and at $2.50 a box, they weren't always sold for strictly medical purposes. Not content to just advertise them as a rock poop excavator, "Dr." Young claimed his dilators were a cure-all, much like snake oil (which did come in handy during the insertion process). Even "three-fourths of all the howling maniacs of the world" could be completely cured "in a few weeks' time by the application of orificial methods."