Mr Grimstone and the Revitalised Mummy Pea

Grimstone ad, 1840

In a Highgate garden known as the Herbary grew plants destined to invigorate nostrils all over the world. Savory, rosemary and lavender scented the air, while orris-root thrived under the carefully cultivated soil. Dried, powdered and mixed with salt, they would become Grimstone’s Eye Snuff, promising to cure cataracts, eradicate …

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The most uncanny look

 IRRESISTIBLE EYES MAY BE HAD BY TRANSPLANTING THE HAIR. a story from The Dundee Courier, 6 July 1899 If your eyes are unattractive you may make them irresistible by transplanting the hair. Transplanted eyelashes and eyebrows are the latest things in the way of personal adornment. There are specialists who make …

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Angelick Snuff

This noble composition was on sale for most of the first half of the 18th century but enjoyed a moment of fame 200 years later when an American news editor stumbled on the advert and found it entertaining enough to fill a space in his paper. Other papers lifted the …

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Ede’s Patent American Eye Liquid

EDE’S PATENT AMERICAN EYE LIQUID CURES Eyes! which Ache with tears that’s shed, Eyes! which Bloodshot overspread; Eyes! which Cataracts oppress, Eyes! which Dimness too distress; Eyes! which Evening fogs soon blight, Eyes! which Fever weakens quite; Eyes! which Great depression gives Eyes! which Health enfeebled leaves; Eyes! which Inflammation …

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Dr Ball's Ivory Eye Cups

This device, invented by Dr Ball of Nassau Street, New York, was a small cup with a squeezy rubber balloon attached to it, as pictured left. The invention made its way to England in 1872, when Chichester minister Joseph Fletcher filed a British patent for it. The patient had to put …

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Grimstone's Eye Snuff

Grimstone’s Eye Snuff was widely advertised, purportedly at a cost of £5000 per year to its inventor. Testimonials were often included in the ads, and the product even inspired one satisfied customer to write a poem about it (Quoted in The Champion and Weekly Herald, 3 Feb 1839): . From …

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