If you have a fireplace and have ever had to clean it out, you are familiar with creosote. As well, if you’ve ever taken a walk on the tracks, and noted the sticky black coating on the railroad ties, you’ve discovered creosote. It is a by-product of the burning of wood or coal, which leaves […]
You may be wondering what articles about patent medicines are doing on a site about food. Well, the patent medicine industry and the food manufacturing industry are connected more than you may think.
Early mass-produced food companies got their advertising chops from the patent medicine makers before them. They used much the same type of outrageous health-related claims to market their food products. Nothing is new. The same kind of thing is still happening today, but with even more sophisticated lip-service to science and medicine.
Some of the first ready-made breakfast cereals certainly followed the patent-medicine advertising route. And we can't forget that today's soda industry started out as the patent-medicine industry, as served up in drug stores by creative pharmacists. Why do you think Coca-Cola is so good at advertising? They built on a tradition of successful marketing.
Although Bayer, or Freidr. Bayer & Co. of Elberfeld, Germany, had already created its first aspirin product by 1894, the company decided to hold off on moving forward with it in favor of another product: heroin. The company introduced their heroin product in the Autumn of 1898. It was a hydrochloric salt of heroin, soluble […]
Blood poison was often used during the 1800’s and into the early 1900’s as a general wastebasket diagnosis to explain many common non-serious and serious conditions. Although blood poison, in those days, could mean the same thing as an infection of the blood introduced through a wound, it was just as often a way of […]
During the last part of the 17th century, a curious thing happened. Folks began to distrust medicine, which was becoming more and more complex and hard to understand while embracing cures that were based on new and emerging science. This period saw the rise of radioactive remedies based on radioactive isotopes like radium. There were Radione […]
The term patent-medicine, used to refer to the unregulated quack remedies of the 1800’s, such as those featured in traveling medicine shows, may be confusing. How could these medicines have been patented? Does this term refer to the United States Patent Office or any other patent-granting organization? In reality, the term patent used in patent-medicine had […]
Musterole was a medicinal rub that was used similar to Vicks VapoRub but could also be used similarly to Ben Gay and other muscle and joint pain rubs. It is often said that Musterole existed long before Vicks Vapo-Rub, but this is an erroneous assumption, as we shall see. Musterole was first introduced in 1905, […]