Notorious Chrimes: The Blackmail Pills

Richard and Edward Chrimes

In 1890s London, the ‘Lady Montrose Pills’ blackmail scheme efficiently and heartlessly targeted more than 8,000 victims. In this comprehensive account of the case, Dick Weindling introduces the Chrimes brothers, who manufactured this audacious scam.   In April 1896 adverts began to appear in newspapers across the country. Addressed to ‘Ladies …

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Mother’s Friend

In honour of the birth of The Quack Doctor’s new baby niece, who arrived early Saturday morning in the car park of Harlow Hospital, this post looks at a liniment that claimed to make labour a doddle. Mother’s Friend was on sale in the US and Canada by the mid-1880s, …

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Bond’s Marvellous Corn Cure

Source: The Graphic, 19 Feb 1881 . This is a product I really don’t know much about, but I just had to feature it on the site because I love the chap’s cheerfully unsympathetic response to his friend’s agony. And the agony of corns is not to be underestimated, judging …

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Wine of Cardui

WINE FOR WOMEN! Woman’s modesty and ignorance of danger often cause her to endure pains and suffer torture rather than consult a physician about important subjects. Pains in the head, neck, back, hips, limbs and lower bowels at monthly intervals, indicate alarming derangements. McELREE’S WINE OF CARDUI is a harmless …

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Hystericon

I’m attempting to use the long ‘s’ for this transcript – I hope Wordpreſs doesn’t do anything weird with it: . HYſtericon, or Antidote againſt Fits, Vapours, Hypochondriack Melancholy, Vertigoe, Gid- dineſs or Swimming in the Head, Phrenzy, or Deprivation of Senſes, Suffocations, or Riſings in the Throat, Faintings, Swoonings, …

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White's Restorative Salo Pills

Nothing very funny about today’s remedy, I’m afraid. Adverts for abortifacients appeared in many 18th- and 19th-century newspapers, but they had to be discreet, as is the case with this one, which focuses on the pamphlet before mentioning the availability of the pills. The pamphlet was most likely an advertisement for Mr and Mrs …

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Widow Welch's Pills for ladies

I like this one because there’s a real sense of feminine solidarity. Mrs Smithers, possessor of knowledge passed down through the generations, sounds like a better bet than the mortifying prospect of consulting a male doctor.   TO LADIES.—THE ONLY GENUINE WIDOW WELCH’S PILLS are those prepared by MRS SMITHERS (Granddaughter to the WIDOW …

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