King Charles of New York City

a most fascinating man

The New Book by Gary Neidhardt

More than seveny years before the Betty Ford Clinic opened in 1982, Charles Townes opened a treatment center on Central Park in Manhattan in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the United States. The likes of W. C. Fields, Lillian Russell, and John Barrymore eventually required the services that Towns Hospital provided. He had perfected what been called the world’s only known opium cure in China after having been sent there as a United States drug treatment ambassador. Upon his return, he gave his secret remedy away and had it published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. How can it be that this most persuasive and influential personality of the 1910s can be almost entirely forgotten today?

Gary Neidhardt, Author

Author of Poseidon and the PC, Gary Neidhardt is a retired software executive and American history lover living in Lilburn, Georgia. He has been interested in the history of recovery from alcohol and drugs for many years.

He literally stumbled upon Habits That Handicap by Towns, which is his only work that remains in print. At first, this book mainly gathered dust until a friend of his had his picture taken in front of the building that used to be Towns Hospital. Eventually that picture peaked Gary’s curiosity, which has led to this book and Gary’s ongoing research into the history of this fascinating personality.

For those interested in the origins of AA founder Bill Wilson’s 1934 white-light experience at Towns Hospital in New York, Neidhardt shares an encyclopedic knowledge not only of the history that led up to this experience but also of the life of the man who laid the psychopharmacological foundation of Wilson’s final detoxification… Neidhardt’s biography of Charles B. Towns reflects meticulous attention to details while describing the larger perspective of pre-AA attempts at addictive disease recovery and the political forces that became associated with this almost forgotten movement.
William F. Doverspike, Ph.D.

5/16″ Away from Death

the WWII Patrol Craft

Poseidon and the PC:

The Letters of Lt. Paul W. Neidhardt

The hull of the ship consisted of 5/16-inch welded steel plate. Crews joked that this thin hull was just thick enough to keep out the water and small fish. They also said it protected the ship from tin fish—torpedoes. Her hull was so thin a “tin fish” can go right through without exploding. Poseidon and the PC documents the adventures of Lt. Paul W. Neidhardt (USNR) through one hundred and fifteen of his letters written to his wife during World War II.

Long before ‘PC’ became equated with a “personal computer” or “politically correct,” the two letters were associated with “Patrol Craft.” These World War II ships had the mission of performing convoy escort duty and antisubmarine warfare. The PCs were meant to relieve the larger, far more valuable ships from the often monotonous duties of sailing at the speed of the slowest ship in a convoy. The 174 foot long PCs were so small that they were considered safe duty as more worthy targets were always available…


Charles Towns and Drugs In Prison

Charles Towns and Drugs In Prison

In mid-February, 2016, 46 prison guards from nine different prisons were arrested in Georgia. The charges related to illegal drugs being purchased, distributed  and produced by prisoners. Charles B. Towns, in the book Habits That Handicap published in 1915, predicted...

Charles Towns 1945 Letter to Bill Wilson

Charles Towns 1945 Letter to Bill Wilson

Charles Towns wrote a fascinating letter to Bill Wilson on October 4, 1945. He claims to have been the originator of the need for Bill's small group of drunks to write a book that would document their movement. The letter was written on Towns Hospital stationary to...

Dr William J. Robinson

Dr William J. Robinson

Dr William J. Robinson was the editor of the MEDICAL REVIEW OF REVIEWS, which was a very prominent medical magazine founded in 1895. Charles Barnes Towns was hired in early 1916 to write a "Drug Addictions and Alcoholism" column even though Towns had but an...