The Acme Worm Bouncer

ADvent Calendar Day 19 This wonderful product name conjures up an image of Wile E Coyote speeding along a dirt road on a go-kart-mounted trebuchet, firing little worms at Road Runner until the cart hits a stone and tumbles into a lake, attracting thousands of ravenous fish to the bait. …

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If the patient is not alarmed

I just rediscovered this book, which I’ve owned for years but had forgotten about. It’s a marketing publication produced by Elliman and Sons, who manufactured the hugely popular Elliman’s Embrocation (for people) and Royal Embrocation (for animals) at Slough from 1847 onwards. The book, which has the cover title Horses, …

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Bourbon Poultry Cure

If your Easter chicks aren’t looking too chirpy, why not perk them up with a dose of this 20th-century Kentucky remedy? As a 1911 advert put it: Sick fowls don’t pay, Droopy hens won’t lay and the Poultry Cure was a bargain at only 50 cents for a quantity that …

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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 bit about the sheep it’s apparent that the copy-writer just wanted to get the wretched thing …

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Gibson's Cordial Balls

The Gentlemen, Farmers, Jockies, Stage-Coachmen and Carriers Universal Medicine in the true Cordial Horse Balls and Preparation of Antimony, adapted for the Use and Benefit of all, as well the Race as Cart Horse, THE CORDIAL BALLS at 4s. per Pound, which in above 40 Years private Experience and 12 Years Publication, are approved of and …

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Mr. Lewis's Incomparable Sheep-Drench

 Although Mr Lewis admits in this ad that the causes of sheep rot were imperfectly understood, he is on the right lines when he refers to “insects in the liver.” The liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica L. was often noticed in sheep that had died of the rot, but there was a lot …

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Johnson's American Pig Spice

As well as the Pig Spice, Johnson’s also manufactured American Calf Spice, Johnson’s Prairie Sheep Spice and Johnson’s Horse, Cattle, Game and Poultry Condiment. All rather culinary-sounding in name, products like this were intended to fatten livestock or improve condition, and were more of a food than a medicine. This one, however, …

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Wainwright's Staffordshire Cordial

    Image: Kavalkade vor Schloss Heiligenberg by Allbrecht Adam, 1831 .    WAINWRIGHT’s STAFFORDSHIRE CORDIAL,         AND ROYAL ENGLISH MEDICINE FOR HORSES, WHICH  has  been  given   with   unprecedented  success  in the   most   dangerous   stages   of   the  Sleeping  or  Raging Staggers,  Gripes,  Colds,  Coughs, Fevers,  and all disorders originating …

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Stevens's Ointment for Horses

Henry Rowe Stevens was a respected veterinary surgeon and farrier who spent the first 20 years of his career at Newmarket before moving to London in the 1850s. His adverts suggest that he had a humane and progressive outlook, as he condemned the traditional practice of firing (i.e. placing a red-hot …

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Cupiss's Constitution Horse Balls

  As a horse owner, I can make an educated guess that this medicine was no worse than a lot of the crappy potions and supplements available at extortionate prices in modern feed stores.   CUPISS’s CONSTITUTION HORSE-BALLS. To Sportsmen, Agriculturalists, Postmasters, and all Pro- prietors of Horses, these Balls …

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