No More Baldheads, No More Dandruff

Whether they promised to cover a bald head with a mop of curls, to rejuvenate greying locks or to produce manly whiskers on the smoothest of chins, hair-related products appear in numerous Victorian and...

Anti-Stiff – strengthens the muscles

  Anti-Stiff – a name contrary to the philosophy of today’s email spammers – appears to have been a boon to the athletes of the 1890s. It was a muscle rub intended to ward off...

Stay Vigorous at Seventy

ADvent Calendar Day 23 Ah, good old John Harvey Kellogg – everyone knows the cornflake-inventing, masturbation-disapproving, enema-giving sanitarium owner of Battle Creek, Michigan. It’s not much of a surprise that he would be promoting something...

Figuroids

.ADvent Calendar Day 3 .The three female figures in Figuroids' publicity were designed to illustrate the product's promise: ‘If you are like the STOUT girl—you will become like the MEDIUM girl—and finally like the DAINTY girl—by...
Esther Jane Neumane

Guest post: England’s ‘only female doctor’?

Last year, The Quack Doctor featured some bottles from the collection of Michael Till, including this gorgeous and rare example of Cavania's Wonder-Worker Lotion. A father and daughter team, Professor and Mademoiselle Cavania practised in...

A devil of a cure

One must always be grateful for small mercies. When a giant jazz-hands Satan is trampling amok on your planet of residence, you can at least gain comfort from the fact he has kept his...

Why smoke and spit your life away?

  ADvent Calendar Day 22 Advertised with this beautiful Art Nouveau poster designed by William H Bradley, Narcoti-cure claimed to put smokers and tobacco-chewers off their habit for life. 'Why smoke and spit your life away?'...

Ali Ahmed’s Treasures of the Desert

Between March 1852 and September 1853, monthly instalments of Bleak House tempted readers with their eyecatching illustrated covers and affordable price of one shilling. Within these covers, the ‘Bleak House Advertiser’ promoted commercial products, from...

Hunt’s Remedy

ADvent Calendar Day 7 Take THAT, Death! POW! The skeletal figure of the Grim Reaper drops his scythe and cowers before the might of a strong, healthy opponent wielding a bottle of Hunt's Remedy. The Remedy...

A Patent-Medicine Song, 1892

Some of the most famous patent medicine brands of the late Victorian era found their way into this humorous song by John Johnston, MD, in 1892. Originally from Dumfriesshire, Johnston settled in Bolton in...