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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Tuna – a vegetable compound

There’s often something a bit fishy about patent remedies, but this one appeared before the advent of canned tuna and, for the average non-sea-going punter, the name did not have the piscatorial associations it has now. A company called Fels and Davis began promoting it in 1879, but by the following …

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Lardner’s Prepared Charcoal for the Teeth

FOR Beautifying and Preserving the TEETH.—LARDNER’s superior prepared CHARCOAL, so much recommended by the Faculty for its safe and antiseptic properties, for cleaning, preserving, and making the teeth beautifully white, in boxes at 2s. and 2s. 9d. each; and Mouth Solution, for curing the scurvy, bracing the gums, preventing the …

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Rowland's Alsana Extract

The Rowlands – a father and son team – mainly produced cosmetic products. The one shown below veers more towards the medical side of things, as did their Cerelaeum elixir for headaches and vertigo. They also sold a tooth powder called Odonto, a beauty preparation named Kalydor and a hair dye called the Essence of …

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Butler's Vegetable Restorative Tooth Powder

Image: Le Baume d’Acier by Louis Leopold Boilly. Courtesy of the US National Library of Medicine. BEAUTY, HEALTH, and a PEARLY SET of TEETH, may be preserved to old age, by the use of BUTLER’s VEGETABLE RESTORA- TIVE TOOTH-POWDER, a specific for the Tooth Ach, and its cause, the Scurvy …

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Newton's Restorative Tooth Powder

   (Image from Gray’s Anatomy, 20th US Edition 1918.) There’s a sub-species of urban myth specifically related to “the olden days,” and one of its pronouncements is that everyone before about 1950 had appallingly rotten teeth. That’s if they were lucky enough to have any teeth at all.  I have a vague memory of a …

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