During the next couple of weeks I’m featuring some of the ads that have slipped through the net – either I can’t find out much about them, or I’ve already written about something similar.

The brief British season of thinking it might be nice to play tennis is now coming to an end. The crumbling tarmac of the courts on the local rec succumbs once more to weeds and the old wooden-framed school racket retreats to the back of the wardrobe.

This remaining enthusiast, however, has the advantage of tip-top health thanks to Gamjee’s Oriental Salve – which, in spite of its name, was mainly advertised in the Western Mail. The ‘white swelling’ referred to in the testimonial was tuberculosis of the joints.

Gamjee's Oriental Salve


(As supplied to the Right Hon, W. E. GLADSTONE)

CURES Burns, Sores, Piles, Rheumatism, Paralysis, Lumbago, Stiff Joints, White Swellings, Wens, Hip Disease, Chest and Lung Complaints, &c., &c.

ELIZABETH BLOOD, 28 Newthorpe-st., Nottingham. I suffered for over three years from white swelling. The doctor’s opinion here was that it would be years of ever I was cured. Whilst on a visit to Swansea I was advised to use Gamjee’s Salve. The change for the better was rapid, and in three weeks I walked up the steps of the Midland Station without assistance, although on my arrival I had to be carried. Four boxes completely cured me.—Certified by GEO. BLOOD, M.R.S.

Hundreds of similar cases have been cured.

GAMJEE’S EAST INDIAN PILLS, or Blood Cleansers, thoroughly Purify the Foulest Blood, Cure Indigestion, Bilious or Liver Complaints, Piles, Gravel, Wind, Restore Tone and Vigour to the most weakly constitution, and are the best in the world for all Female Irregularities. Perfectly Herbal and Tasteless.

Everyone who has tried them says they are the


In Boxes at 7½s., 1s 1½d., 2s.3d., 4s. 6d. From ALL CHEMISTS, or Free for the amount (with special instructions, if required) from the Manufacturer, CHAS. MAGGS, 13, Wind-street, Swansea.

Source: The Western Mail, 27 November 1885


W. E. Gladstone’s patronage of the product might or might not be true, but it foreshadows his portrayal as a political quack in this 1889 cartoon by Tom Merry. Gladstone as the charlatan is promoting the ‘Infallible Home Rule Ointment.’

The Travelling Quack

Courtesy of Wellcome Images


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