The devil in disguise

Hall's Coca Wine - 1897 ad from Country Life

John Michael Smith is one of those fleeting figures who cross history’s pages when they get into trouble and then disappear, leaving only a hint of a life where destitution is more prominent than criminality. At the age of 11 he lived in Lodge Lane, Derby, with his mother and … Continue reading

Happy Christmas from The Quack Doctor

………………………………………………………………………………….. FATHER CHRISTMAS AND THE DOCTORS Old Christmas comes but once a year, Of that there is no question; But when he comes we all feel queer, Hurrah for indigestion! Dyspepsia follows in his train, The Stomach-ache attends him; And every sort of inward pain A gay enjoyment lends him. … Continue reading

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 human version of the liniment is still … Continue reading

No More Baldheads, No More Dandruff

Whether they promised to cover a bald head with a mop of curls, to rejuvenate greying locks or to produce manly whiskers on the smoothest of chins, hair-related products appear in numerous Victorian and Edwardian adverts. There was a huge choice of potions, lotions, devices and even pills for bringing … Continue reading

Derk P. Yonkerman's Tuberculozyne

Consumptives There is Hope for You! Derk P. Yonkerman, Specialist, discoverer of a remarkable Cure for Consumption. To every consumptive person there is  hope  of  life and health,   for,   incredible  as  it  may  seem,  a specific which cures Consumption has at last been found.    Seeking   year  after … Continue reading