The mysterious ‘Zep’ love potion

A 1930s Valentine card courtesy of the Vintage Valentine Museum

A rag, worn close to the heart, and steeped in a mystic substance imbued with the wisdom of the East. A flame, charring the edges until smoke curls and billows and at last takes shape. What is it that forms in this cloud of shimmering grey? Behold! A man, handsome …

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A barbarous, insanitary custom

CRUSADE AGAINST KISSING New York Lady Doctor says it is Barbarous. Great amusement has been caused in New York by a crusade against kissing started by the local branch of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. Dr. Anna Hatfield, lady physician, the leader of the new movement, in the course of …

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The Mormon Elder’s Damiana Wafers – the most powerful invigorant ever produced

The Mormon Elder's Damiana Wafers

As a target of drug manufacturers, impotence has stood the test of time. In the late 19th century, mail order remedies and relatively anonymous purchases from a chemist were ways of avoiding the embarrassment of visiting a doctor – and judging by the amount of spam devoted to the subject …

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Dr Velpeau’s Magnetic Love Powders

WANTED! An industrious and strictly honest man in each County in the State to take orders by samples for Velpeau’s Magnetic Agents. Salary first year $800, and small commission, payable monthly. For full particulars address Dr. M. Velpeau, 422½ Broadway, N. Y., sending stamp. Source: The Sauk County Standard, (Baraboo, Wisconsin) …

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Goss & Co.

According to a correspondent of the Monthly Gazette of Health (vol 5 1825), the proprietor of Goss & Co was a former shop assistant going by the unlikely name of Mr Crucifix. While Mr Crucifix insisted that his company had genuine surgical credentials, it had a terrible reputation among the medical …

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Champion Damiana Wafers

Damiana is a shrub long reputed to have aphrodisiac effects, and is still used in herbal medicine to boost libido. P.N. George sold a variety of products that were despatched with the utmost discretion. As well as the “Rubber Goods” advertised below, there was also a “Male and Female Combined Preventive Appliance,” and if you …

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Renovating Essence of Azilica

        I have absolutely no idea what was in this medicine, so instead of a witty and/or informative comment, here is a picture of a fellow epitomising health and manly vigour. The image is from the Dictionnaire encyclopédique Trousset, published in Paris between 1886 and 1891, and is reproduced courtesy …

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May's Celebrated Love Lozenges

  This advert doesn’t specify whether you have to take the lozenges yourself in order to exert a magnetic influence on the object of your affections, or whether you’re supposed to give him or her one (a lozenge, that is) under the pretence that it’s a delicious bon-bon. But in either case, who could resist ordering …

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