The Royal Essence for the Hair

 This is the oldest advert featured on The Quack Doctor so far – it’s from a 1705 edition of Daniel Defoe’s periodical A Review of the Affairs of France. Defoe began the publication in February 1704 as a weekly opinion piece, but by the time of this example he was publishing …

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Alfred's Royal Composition

  Image: Portrait of Madame Récamier, by François Pascal Simon Gérard   FEMALE ATTRACTION TO    obviate    the    unpleasant    sensation    experienced    by those    Ladies    who    may    have    SUPERFLUOUS     HAIRS growing  on  the  Face  or Arms, and to render their persons more lovely   and   attractive,   …

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Lockyer's Sulphur Hair Restorer

(Image: Brunette Combing her Hair. James Carroll Beckwith, 1851) We continue the hair theme today with the pungent-sounding Lockyer’s Sulphur Hair Restorer. This preparation was scrutinised in 1912 by the  British Medical Association in More Secret Remedies: What they cost and what they contain. Analysis showed that it comprised: Precipitated Sulphur…..1.3 …

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Edwards' Instantaneous American Harlene

 (Image: Tempus Edax Rerum, by John Leech. Punch, 1852. Courtesy of the John Leech Sketch Archive.)  The advert below has a wonderfully tabloid feel to it, reflecting the sensationalist publication that carried it. The Illustrated Police News featured shocking accounts of true crime stories, and its advertising tended to be towards the seedier end …

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