Happy New Year and welcome to The Quack Doctor! For more information about this new blog, please have a look at the About page. I’ll be posting transcripts of historical advertisements for all sorts of weird and wonderful patent medicines, with the aim of building up quite a collection. I’m hoping to post daily for the first fortnight to get it started off, then after that it’ll be two or three times a week. At least, that’s the plan, barring any computer disasters.

For now, though, let’s start with an advert from this day in 1818, for a medicine so powerful it even makes you impervious to the weather…


        SOLD by TREWMAN and Co. Exeter.


SOLOMON’s DROPS (without mercury, or any

deletarious preparation,) for the cure of the Scurvy, Scro-

fula, Leprosy, and all disorders originating in an impure

state of the blood, strengthen the constitution, purify the

blood, and promote the circulation of the fluids.

They are gentle, and almost imperceptible, in their ope-

ration—the best substitute that has ever been discovered for

that dangerous mineral Mercury, sweetening the blood,

stimulating it to expel all noxious and impure juices, and

giving strength and tone to the nerves, enlivening and in-

vigorating both body and mind.

In the King’s Evil, Stroma or Scrofula, it restores health

and vigour. The directions given with each bottle are

plain, and its application is attended with little or no

trouble. Hail, rain or snow, can be no obstacle to any

person taking this medicine. It is well established as a

fact, that an impure or scrofulous taint will remain in the

habit for years, nay, for generations, undiscovered, and will

invade the noblest organs of the human frame, before the

patient can be aware of his danger. The Anti-Impetigines

strikes at the root, not at the branches, and with this pe-

culiar advantage effects a cure when other medicines fail.

Price 11s. a bottle, or family bottles, containing four at a

11s. for 33s. on which 11s. is saved.

With each bottle is given a copious bill of directions,

and select illustrations of the efficacy of the Anti-Impeti-

gines, or which is more commonly denominated Solomon’s

Drops, the Government label or stamp of which has the

words “SAML. SOLOMON, LIVERPOOL,” engraven

thereon, to protect those who buy from the intrusion of

counterfeit imitations.


Source:  Trewman’s Exeter Flying Post: Or, Plymouth and Cornish Advertiser, Thursday, 1st January, 1818

Note: “Deletarious” and “four at a 11s.” as in original.


  1. Kind of chills my own blood a bit to think about how they tested drugs back in the day. I zeroed in on the bit about how they recognized that Mercury was dangerous. I remember one of my teachers saying how when she was growing up in the 1950’s that she was actually allowed to play with Mercury because nobody thought anything of it. Thanks for posting this!

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