Poison. To be applied night and morning.

I have some wonderful pictures to share with you today thanks to collector Rex Barber from Perth, Western Australia, who owns several hundred 18th – 20th century proprietary remedy lids. Rex has exhibited his collection as far afield as the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors’ 2012 show in Reno, NV. …

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A miraculous change right away quick

Last October I blogged about the Magic Foot Drafts, a remedy for rheumatism that required the patient to stick pine-tar-coated oilcloth plasters to the soles of their feet. This was supposed to draw out uric acid through the pores, but as Samuel Hopkins Adams said in The Great American Fraud, …

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Whitehead’s Essence of Mustard

WHITEHEAD’S ESSENCE OF MUSTARD. —– CHILBLAINS are prevented from breaking, and their tormenting itching instantly removed, by WHITEHEAD’s ESSENCE of MUSTARD, universally esteemed for its extraordinary efficacy in Rheumatisms, Palsies, Gouty Affections, and Complaints of the Stomach; but where this certain remedy has been unknown or neglected, and the Chilblains …

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The Etherial Oil of Mustard for the Gout

Source: London Evening Post, December 27, 1755 The Dr Linden of the advert is Diederick Wessel Linden, a physician from Westphalia who came to Britain in 1747 and settled in Flintshire. Better known for his writings about spa waters, and for featuring in an amusingly earthy scene in Smollett’s Humphry …

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Beetham's Corn & Bunion Plaster

 It’s interesting that this advert uses the phrase “worth a guinea a box.” This slogan was plastered everywhere in the second half of the 19th century, advertising the famous Beecham’s Pills. Mr Beetham wasn’t necessarily copying his near-namesake, however. The phrase was around before Thomas Beecham adopted it in 1859, so the satisfied customer …

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Thompson & Capper's Corn and Wart Remover

  Thompson and Capper were homeopathic chemists who, as well as making their own medicines, published books and pamphlets on homeopathy. The company is still going strong today – based in Runcorn, they are a specialist manufacturer of all kinds of tablets, from medicines to kettle descalers, and there is …

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Corns, Bunions and Deformed Nails

This chiropodist appears to have been a fine, upstanding member of the community rather than a charlatan – but his advertisement has just enough of the yuk factor to make it worth including. Joel Farbstein was born in Warsaw in about 1820 but probably spent some time in London before settling …

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Infallible German Corn Plaister

Various proprietory corn plasters were available, and were not greatly different from the treatment you could get from a reputable surgeon. Samuel Cooper, in his The First Lines of the Practice of Surgery (1813) recommended making a plaster from 2oz. Gum Ammoniacum, 2oz yellow wax and 6 drams of  “verdigrease.” He said this …

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