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JUNE 16, 2014

IN THE 1800'S
click on pictures to enlarge


Snake Oil, etc
Have you ever wondered why our great grandparents all had such fond memories of their youth?
It's surprising they remembered anything at all !!!
Forget Tums & Tylenol. Forget Aleve & Benadryl.
They had cool stuff back then!

Today we live in a world of drugs. Drugs for pain, drugs for disease, drugs for allergies, drugs for mental health, and of course, drugs for "pleasure". Drugs have been purified from nature or synthesized in the factories. They have been clinically tested and for the most part, effective and safe. "By no means was this always the case.


A bottle of Bayer's 'Heroin'.
Between 1890 and 1910 heroin was sold as a non-addictive substitute For morphine.
It was also used to treat children suffering with a strong cough.

In the early 1800's, medicines were concocted with a mixture of "looks" and "prayers". Trial and errror, inherited formulas, and mystical theroies were the basis of medicines.Tinctures, soups, and teas were maded with water or alcohol based extracts of freshly ground or dried herbs, animal bi-products--such as bone and fat, and even pearls and other minerals. "Mercury" was the most favored. This would cause a person to be either paralyzed or poisoned depending on the dose. If a plant looked like a body part, it was assumed that it influenced that part of the body. For example, lungwort was considered to be good for the lungs, because of its "lobe-shaped leaves". The worst it tasted, the better it was for you. Medical theories were a bit bizarre.


Coca Wine, anyone?
Metcalf's Coca Wine was one of a huge variety of
wines with Cocaine on the market. Everybody used
to say that it would make you happy and it would
also work as a medicinal treatment.

In the mid 1800's, the roots of modern pharmacy began. Doctors identified symptoms and attacked them vigorisly. "Bloodletting" was the most popular remedy and dosing patients with powerful mercury based compounds, and catharitics was the order of the day.
1. Bleed them until they faint.
2. Dose them until they drool and vomit.
3. Cleanse the stomach and bowels violently to remove toxins.


Mariani Wine.
Mariani wine (1875) was the most famous Coca wine of it's time.
Pope Leo XIII used to carry one bottle with him all the time.
He awarded Angelo Mariani (the producer) with a Vatican gold medal.

These methods did not work. "George Washington" died in misery from bloodletting. "Abraham Lincoln" suffer from chronic mercury poisoning and crippling constipation from his constant dosing from concoction called "Blue Mass". The cure was all to ofton, worse than the disease.


Produced by the Maltine Manufacturing Company of New York ...
It was suggested that you should take a full glass with or after every meal.
Children should only take half a glass.

In the late 1800's, medicines took the form of pills and powders..Technology had begun. Quinine, digitalis, and cocaine were introduced. With the development of aspriin in 1897, this helped set the stage for medicines for the next 10 decades.


A paperweight:
A paperweight promoting C.F. Boehringer & Soehne (Mannheim , Germany ).
They were proud of being the biggest producers in the
world of products containingQuinine and Cocaine.

From watching movies and reading books, just about everyone has heard of the traveling medicine shows and their "patented elixers". Patened medicines were promoted and sold as medical cures. This is a misnomer, because although these products were trademarked, this did not guarantee that they would cure anything. Many of these elixers were known as "snake oil". Depending on the product, it would claim to cure frostbite, bruises, grow hair, cure veneral disease, clear up stomach aches, and a multitude of other falsehoods.


Opium for Asthma:
At 40% alcohol plus 3 grams of opium per tablet.
It didn't cure you... But you didn't care!

The original snaked oil came from chinese water snakes and was used in China as a treatment for arthritis, bursitis, and other joint pains. It has been used successfully for 100's of years. It was brought to North America during the gold rush. The oil made of fat, turned out to be full of omega-3 fatty acids. Modern medicine has proved that omega-3 fatty acids are prescribed to reduce inflamation, which can lead to arthritis and high blood pressure. So believe it or not SOME SNAKE OIL REALLY WORKED.


Cocaine Tablets (1900):
All stage actors, singers, teachers and preachers had to have
them. For a maximum performance. Great to 'smooth' the voice.

Report presented by Gary "Col. Klink" Klinke
John A Sutter Historian


Cocaine drops for toothache:
Very popular for children in 1885. Not only did they
relieve the pain, They made the children very happy!

additional photos provided by www


Opium for newborns:
I'm sure this would make them sleep well.
(not only the Opium, but also the 46% alcohol)