Basil Burchell's Purging Sugar Plumbs for Worms

Here we have an early example of the grocer’s apostrophe. Basil Burchell was well-known not only for his Worm medicine (which was for getting rid of worms, not for making worms feel better, in case you were wondering) but also for the famous Anodyne Necklace, supposed to soothe teething babies. More …

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Dr. De La Motte's Sassafras Chocolate

The sassafras tree is native to North America,  and its healing properties were valued by Native Americans long before it became an export to the Old World. This 1848 advertisement lifts most of its text verbatim from Dr Richard Reece’s book, The Medical Guide, published in 1828. Neither Dr De La Motte nor the retailer can …

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Laffere's Worm Powders

I’ve been looking forward to this one. It’s the most disgusting advert I’ve posted so far. DO NOT read it if you are eating.           WORMS! WORMS! WORMS! LAFFERE’S WORM POWDERS are the best remedy for worms; they effect a certain cure, are tasteless, and at the same time …

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Page Woodcock's Wind Pills

  Page Woodcock’s Wind Pills were well-known throughout the second half of the 19th century and into the 20th. Born in Norwich and spending most of his life either there or in Lincoln, Woodcock (1820-1889) had a successful business as a chemist. He was a Methodist, and came under satirical fire from Punch in 1853 …

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