Charles Forde's Bile Beans for Biliousness

While Bile Beans were initially pitched as a cure for biliousness, the influenza epidemic of 1899 was too good an opportunity to miss. Horrible though the ‘flu was, a lot of people would recover after a week or so anyway, and it was an easy matter for quacks to point to …

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Grimstone's Eye Snuff

Grimstone’s Eye Snuff was widely advertised, purportedly at a cost of £5000 per year to its inventor. Testimonials were often included in the ads, and the product even inspired one satisfied customer to write a poem about it (Quoted in The Champion and Weekly Herald, 3 Feb 1839): . From …

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Keating's Cough Lozenges

A 1s 1½d tin contained 50 lozenges, and the recommended dose was one or two lozenges at bedtime and up to 10 during the course of the day. The ingredients were morphine, ipecacuanha, extract of licorice, and sugar, held together by tragacanth gum. .      KEATING’S     COUGH        LOZENGES. “94, …

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Clarkson's Specific for Bad Legs

Another very long advert today. Thomas Clarkson was a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, but his method of cure, which isn’t named in this ad, was a patent medicine by the name of Clarkson’s Specific for Bad Legs. Initially, Clarkson treated the afflicted in person, but because this often meant they had …

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Barclay's Dr. Bateman's Pectoral Drops

  Bateman’s Drops had been around since the 1720s and were prepared by various suppliers, hence the specification that these were Barclay’s Bateman’s Drops rather than anyone else’s. The main ingredients were aniseed, camphor and opium, so the drops would have at least a temporary effect and could be rather dangerous …

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