Crossthwaite & Co’s Occult Lozenges

While I’m researching my posts, I find a lot of interesting ads that I put to one side to blog about one day. But sometimes it turns out that I can’t discover much about them, or they’re so famous that there’s not a lot I can add to the info …

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McAlister’s All-Healing Ointment

McALISTER’S ALL-HEALING OINTMENT OR WORLDS SALVE Has been an old family nurse for the past twenty years, and known all around the world as the most soothing and healing ointment in existence. McALISTER’S ALL-HEALING OINTMENT Never Fails to Cure. Salt Rheum, Scrofula, Ulcers, Small Pox, Sore Nipples, Mercurial Sores, Erysipelas, …

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Swaim's Panacea – part 1

SWAIM’S PANACEA.—This Medicine has acquired a very extensive and established celebrity in Europe and America, and its virtues are known and acknowledged by many of the most respectable physicians of both countries. As an alterative, and in various diseases, particularly in cases of inveterate corruption of the blood descending to …

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Dr Scott's Aperitive Vase

The Aperitive Vase, a cure for constipation, is somewhat coyly advertised here, but adverts from earlier in the 1840s left less to the imagination: The apparatus is a fountain in miniature, so small that when filled it may be concealed in the pocket until it can be used conveniently; when, by an …

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Hance's Candy

Apologies for the lack of background information or ironic commentary on this one, but I’m too busy celebrating the launch of my first novel. For more info on that, have a look at my website. Otherwise, today’s ad has a suitably literary (or least vaguely poetic) section.                H A N …

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Dr. Stolberg's Voice Lozenge

 I don’t have much info on these lozenges, but other similar products of the time tended to be based on cayenne pepper. Later in the 19th century, cocaine also became a popular ingredient, albeit in very small amounts. In 1844, according to the  Eclectic Magazine, Dr Stolberg “bequeathed the secret of his voice lozenge – …

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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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Abernethy's Pile Ointment

Today’s advert is rather long. The Mr Abernethy referred to was the eminent surgeon John Abernethy (1764-1831), pictured right. He wrote about piles in his Surgical Observations (1804-06), a work that according to his biographer, George MacIlwain, was known as “the My-Book”  because “he not unfrequently recommended his patients” to read it. Although …

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Holland's Balsam of Spruce

Holland’s Balsam of Spruce is in the tradition of other tree resin remedies, such as Solomon’s Balm of Gilead and the Balsam of Mecca. Given that nearly 170 years later, a cure for the common cold remains as elusive as ever, this medicine would have been worth a punt – if …

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Dr. De La Motte's Sassafras Chocolate

The sassafras tree is native to North America,  and its healing properties were valued by Native Americans long before it became an export to the Old World. This 1848 advertisement lifts most of its text verbatim from Dr Richard Reece’s book, The Medical Guide, published in 1828. Neither Dr De La Motte nor the retailer can …

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