Allcock's Porous Plasters

Source: The Penny Illustrated Paper and Illustrated Times, Sat 26 January 1895. To view this rather fine-looking gentleman in full technicolour glory, click this ad from the National Archives. Allcock's Plasters had their origins in an...

Homocea

Source: The Graphic (London) 13 October 1894 I haven't tried to transcribe this for obvious reasons, but I think it should be clear enough, and you can click to make it bigger. Some of the...

Centaur Liniment

As we have seen before, nostrum-vendors' talents were more suited to  salesmanship than to poetry. This ad gets off to a tolerable start, but come verse 3 it goes downhill fast, and by the...

The Modena Fossil

. This is perhaps the most bizarrely named product yet featured on this site. It is not surprising that it should be obscure to the modern observer, but in fact it made no sense to...

Walter De Roos' Compound Renal Pills

Here's another product from the enigmatic Dr De Roos, who once again uses the ploy of warning the punters against charlatans. The Renal Pills were still available in the early 20th century, when the results...

Cross's Gout and Rheumatic Pills

This remedy was not widely advertised and I don't have much information about it, but I like the way the typography is laid out in the original, so have tried to reproduce it as far...

Weston's Wizard Oil

Weston was an entertainer who toured Australia and New Zealand from the 1860s to the 1880s, putting on free two-hour shows featuring jokes, songs and comic tales that incorporated lots of plugs for his products. A NZ...

Hood's Sarsaparilla

Hood's Sarsaparilla was big business in the late 19th and early 20th centuries - you can get an idea how big from this picture of the Massachusetts laboratory. Adverts for it were everywhere, and...

Walker's Jesuits Drops

Robert Walker obtained the King's Royal Letters Patent for his remedy in 1755, and on his death, surgeon Joseph Wessels took it over. The drops were still around, under the name Wessel's Jesuit Drops...

Carrington's Life Pills

Carrington's Life Pills were made principally of capsicum, so they might well have cured your cold — if having your entire head blown off could be said to constitute a cure. The Reverend Caleb Carrington was...