Monday, December 14, 2015

1600-1900: Botanic medicine becomes a craze, part 4

These are three patent medicine bottles: Daffy's Elixir
Dalby’s Carminative and Turlington’s Balsam of Life. 
These products were patented in Britain.  Note that
each bottle has a unique design, particularly the King's
Royal Patent: Turlington's Balsam of Life.  This was to
prevent copycats from making pirated versions, and to
make the official patented product easy to spot by
potential customers.  (4)
During the botanic medicine craze that lasted through the course of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, it is said that there were over 100 British patent medicines sold in both Europe and America.  Listed here are some of the more common remedies you might take for respiratory ailments.

1.  Scot's Pills:  These were initially made by Patrick Anderson around 1635. The compound contained aloes, jalap, gamboge, and anine. (1, page 291)

Here is part of an article about Scott's Pills in the London Gazette, probably from some time in the 17th century:
faithfully prepared only by JAMES INGLISH, son of DAVID INGLISH, deceased... to prevent Counterfeits from Scotland, as well as in and about London, you are desired to take Notice, That the true Pills have their Boxes sealed on the Top (in Black Wax) with a Lyon Rampant, and Three Mullets Argent, Dr. Anderson's Head betwixt I. I. with his Name round it, and Isabella Inglish underneath the Shield in a Scroll.
They are of excellent Use in all Cases where Purging is necessary, and may be taken with Epsom, Tunbridge, or other Medicinal Waters.
This product was provided with a letter's patent, which was a type of patent granted by parliament in 1624 "to curb arbitrary actions like those of previous monarch (prior to King James II)."

Anderson persuaded King James II to grant him a letter's patent for his pills, which meant that he had sole rights to his product so long as he supplied it to the king. The Glorious Revolution of 1688 put an end to an exercise of such royal power over the U.S. Colonies, and the grant was named invalid. This began a rivalry of the various people who claimed to make this remedy. (19, page 71-72)

Daffy's Elixer:  This was a concoction first introduced by Reverund Thomas Daffy in 1650,  and made famous by his relative Dr. Anthony Daffy, who created a pamphlet calling it "the choice drink of health."  He "promised" that it cured gout, dropsy, rickets, consumption, melancholy, etc. (3, page 73)  (3, page 128)(4, page 163)

The elixir was mainly a concoction of alcohol (mainly alcohol) and various herbs, roots and a laxative.  (4, page 128) 

It was available throughout the 18th century and much of the 19th century.  There were also various recipes published in magazines and newspapers for the product for homemakers to make their own versions of the remedy.   

Dutch Drops or Harlem Oil:  Garrison said this is a "mixture of oil of turpentine with other ingredients, has been used since 1672 as a 'medicamentum" (remedy) or routine preventative of disease." (1, page 292) There were other similar remedies that were supposedly meant to be a cure all, many of which could be purchased from private individuals.

This is an ad from the Chicago Tribune in 1880 (10)
Dalby's Carmanative: This was an elixir originally made by James Dalby of London, England, about 1780, and later in the United States around 1804. The product was still being sold at the turn of the 20th century. (7)

The main indications for this remedy were: flatulence, gripes, convulsions, gout, bloody flux, etc.

This medicine is the most ancient and popular arcana in Great Britain, chimed the authors of The Dublin Journal of Medical Science in 1845. It was good for people of all ages, including infants. The authors of the magazine also include the following warning:
"Like other popular nostrums, Dalby's Carminative is made after various receipts, so that the dose, which is perfectly safe when the cordial is prepared by A., may be poisonous when it is manufactured by B. In the Returns from the Coroners of England and Wales, made to the House of Commons in 1839, we find ten cases of death from Godfrey's Cordial, and one from Infant's Mixture. Dr. John Clarke mentions an infant destroyed by forty drops of Dalby's Carminative.—Translator's Note].Medical Gazette.
This is a before after picture for people who use patent
medicine.  This was a window exhibit at a Chicago drug
store used by Collier's to help Adams make his point.  The
caption under said: Don't dose yourself with secret "Patent
Medicines," almost all of which are frauds and humbugs.
When sick Consult a Doctor and take his prescription: it is
the only Sensible Way and You'll find it cheaper in the end.
This note is interesting, considering one of the main concerns of medicines like this, along with the possibility of inducing alcohol dependence, was inducing side effects -- such as death -- due to the narcotic (in this case opium) contained in it.

Surely the medicine would ease pain and suffering, yet opiates (possibly the most ancient medicine known to mankind) also have a tendency to slow respiration, and may even stop breathing all together.

Considering the doses may vary depending on who makde the elixir, there is no true guarantee how much had been blended into the product.

Goddard's Drops:  Dr. Jonathon Goddard invented this "famous elixir" as a result of performing chemical experiments.  Dr. Goddard died in 1675 of apoplexy, in the street, on his way to his carriage. (26, page 190) (29, page 52) and then the patent was taken over by his relatives.

This was actually the first medicine to be patented in Britain. (22, page 334-336)

Dr. Goddard, before he died, gave his secret to the Royal College, under the stipulation they not publish it during his lifetime (apparently they didn't have to wait long.) (29, page 52) King Charles II granted the patent because he thought commoners  would benefit from it.   (22, page 334-336)

The product was advertised in 1673 by Dr. C. Goddard and communicated by his nephew, Dr. Thomas Goddard. The recipes varied, and one version included "hartshorn, portions of the skull of a criminal who had been hanged, dried vipers bodies and other unmentionable substances." (22, page 334-336)

The drops were  recommended by Dr. Thomas Sydenham, physician known as the Hippocrates of English medicine.  In referring to them, he said they were made by Dr. Goodall. (24, page xlvii).

Sydenham said the  drops are "a highly volatile oleous alcaline spirit, drawn from dead silk worms: but the present practice takes no notice of it." (23, page xlvii)

Dr. Martin Lister said he saw the patent, and that "they were nothing more than the volatile spirit of raw milk rectified with oil of cinnamon."  Along with gout, the pills were also used in "fainting, appoplexies, lethargies and no better than ordinary spirit of hartshorn and sal ammoniac, or other sudden and alarming onsets." (25, page 25)

They were also known as "King's Drops," or "English Drops," because King Charles II loved to use them, even purchasing the secret for 1500 (or was it 5000, or 6000, or 15000, depending on the source) pounds.  (23, page 205)  (1, page 292)

They were also sometimes referred to as "Spirit of Scull." They may also have be recommended for epilepsy.  King Charles II may have also made his own version of the remedy in his own laboratory. (27, page 119)

They were originally sold under the name spiritus salis volatilis oleosus, and later sal volatile drops, and then spiritus ammonia aromaticus. (29, page 52)

Tuscora Rice:  Mrs. Sibilla Masters started production of this product in 1711 under the company name Sibilla Masters.  She went to England to try to get her product patented, but she was rejected. She later sent her husband, Mr. Thomas Masters, to England, and he was granted a patent for the same product.  The product was "actually a food and not a patent.  Little is known about the product nor whether sales were successful." It was the first American patent. (16, page 2)(1, page 402)

Dr. Bateman's Pectoral Drops: According to Griffenhagen and Iogard, it  was the first medicine to be given a patent in Britain by the new rules set forth by parliament after the Glorious Revolution, and the second medicine patent was given to Stoughton's Great Cordial Elixir.  The patent was awarded to Benjamin Okell in 1711.  The product was being regularly advertised by Okell in London by 1721, with advertising in the London Mercury that said: "Each bottle (was) sealed with the boar's head," on which was inscribed "By the King's Patent."  (19, page 72)
 (22, page 334-336)

Stoughton's Great Cordial Elixer:  According to David Wondrich, in his 2007 book, Richard Stoughton owned an apothecary shop in London, and, in 1690, decided create his own proprietary medicine to "get in on the action." (17, page 169)

It was an "alcohol infusion," and it was initially intended as a remedy for stomach and blood ailments, although "users seem to have discovered it was good for one set of symptoms in particular. (17, page 169)
He received a royal patent in 1712, "only the second to be granted to a medicine." (17, page 169)

In 1710, Stoughton's advertising, which had previously hinted at this somewhat less exalted indication, came right out and said: the elixir is "Drank by most gentlemen... to recover and restore weakened or Lost Appetite... occasioned by hard Drinking or Sickness, &c." and "carry off the effects of bad Wine, which too many die of."  (17, page 169)

In other words: it was a hangover cure

Stouighton created a bottle design that made it unique, and it became so common that it "gained dictionary definition." Circulars extolled the product, and served as the package label, mainly because these early bottles did not have paper labels: they usually came wrapped inside the label.  This product made patent medicine popular in Britain.  (19, page 72)

While this remedy wasn't necessarily recommended for respiratory disorders, I would imagine a good draught of booze might take the edge off.  If you drank too much, Stoughton's Great Cordial Elixer would take the edge off your hangover.

Timothy Byfield's sal oleosum volatile:  It's a chemical preparation that "hath been found very helpful and beneficial as well in uses medicinall as others and will much tend to the public use and benefit of our subjects." It was supposedly for ails of the stomach. (18, page 342)

Goddard's Drops were used in making this recipe. (28, page 80)

Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup:  A product similar to Dalby's only it was recommended as a soothing medicine for infants, children and animals, regardless of age. (7)

Along with lots of alcohol, the product contained morphia, which is perhaps one of the oldest medicines known to mankind for it's ability to ease pain and suffering of mind and body. Too much, however, and it has a tendency to slow (or even cease) respirations, thus causing death.

Turlington’s Balsam of Life: This product was invented by merchant Robert Turlington, and he obtained a patent from King George II in 1744.  The product gained fame in Britan and in the American Colonies as an elixir that pretty much cured any malady. (9, page 98)

Turlington made an extensive effort to advertise his product with testimonials and warnings against purchasing pirated versions.  He even went as far as to create a unique shaped bottle with the intent of making it very recognizable to customers, and difficult to pirate. The patent claiecds that the product contained over 27 ingredients. (9, page 98)

Molded into the glass of one side of the unique pear shaped bottles was the following: 
"By the King's Royal Patent Granted to"
On the other side was printed:
"Rob't Turlington for his Invented Balsam of Life."
Also, on one edge was printed:London," and on the other the date the bottle was introduced "January 26, 1754."

This unique idea made it very difficult to create counterfeits.

Other patent medicine makers soon used the idea of molding their names into the glass bottles, such as was done with bottles of Dalby's Carminative, which came out with a steeple shaped conical bottle with "carminative" on one side and "Dalby's" on the other. (19, page 73)

The product was so popular that there was even a book published about it called "Turgington's Balsam of Life, prepared and sold by the patentee...The Efficacy and Virtues of which Incomparable Medicine are Exemplified by an Account of Some of the Cures Perform'd Thereby, in this Book Briefly Mentioned," and "By Virtue of the King's Patent: Turlington's Balsam of life is....", and a variety of other similar titles.

Dr. James Powder:  Dr. Robert James introduced his patented medicine in 1747. It was also referred to as Fever Powder, or Dr. James Fever Powder. The powder contained antimony and bone ashes, and it was supposed to make you vomit and perspire. The medicine was marketed as a remedy for fevers, although it was also used for a variety of other ailments, including delerium and asthma (of course asthma was considered a nervous disorder). The remedy was given to King George III to treat his delerium. (31 , page 203)(32, page 79)(33, page 146)(34, page 281)

Francis Hopkins Rammage, a famous asthma expert from the early 19th century, wrote of the remedy being useful for convulsive asthma. (35, page 99)

Does this not look just
like a bottle of liquor?
Was this just a coincidence,
or was it purposeful?  Your
guess is as good as mine. (11)
Kickapoo Indian Medicine Company:  This was among the most famous Companies to make Indian Remedies in the United States, created by John E. Healy and Charles F. Bigelow in Philadelphia.  They had a variety of products that were first patented in the 1860s, and as the company advertisements could be found in various newspapers around 1888.  They had a cure for just about anything, such as:
  • Kickapoo Worm Killer: A drink containing a variety of contents claiming to kill worms
  • Kickapoo Salve: for skin ailments
  • Kickapoo Oil: Containing, among other things, alcohol and opium
  • Kickapoo Indian Cough Cure: It was a syrup that contained many ingredients, including ipecac, which made a patient puke.  (11, 30)
  • Kickapoo Indian Sagwa:  The product contained mostly alcohol, and was good for dyspepsia. Since dyspepsia can also lead to nervousness, it can also cure nervousness. (30, page 23)
Hale's Honey or Horhound and Tar:  This was supposedly a remedy that would cure inflammation or catarrh.  It was good for coughs, cold, influenza, and "Lung and all bronchial complaints."

Dr. Bull's Cough Syrup: Dr. John W. Bull started manufacturing a family of proprietary products in 1845, and the products (including many pirated versions) by a variety of other people. Most of the products, including the cough syrup, were marketed under the claim "The People's Remedy." There were a variety of similar products, such as Red Star Cough Cure, and the product may also have had other names, such as Dr. J.W. Bull's Vegetable Baby Syrup. The company ultimately became known as the A.C. Meyer and Company, (15) which claimed, in a letter to Adams, that "there is no case of hoarseness, hoarseness (12, page 48)

Shiloh's Consumptive Cure:  It's a nice name, although the contents are not listed, at least not in the U.S.  Adams said the product is made in Leroy, New York, by S.C. Wells and Company, and contains chloriform and prussic acid.  He says "the public would probably exhibit some caution in taking it.  Under the present lax system there is no warning on the bottle that the liquid contains one of the most deadly of poisons." (12, page 47)

Dr. King's New Discovery:  Marketed mainly as a cure for consumption, is was also effective for any disease that caused shortness of breath, or of the chest or throat, including asthma.  An ad for the product said: "Knowing the many wonderful curative qualities of this great discovery, we are willing to stake our reputation on its merits." (12, page 48)

The Special Liquid Blood Cure:  It was the remedy of Dr. Bunyan Along with curing asthma, it was also supposed to cure just about any other malady, including: enlarged tonsils. enlarged glands, ulcers, sores, eruptions, scrofula, impurities of the blood and whole system, etc. According to Adams, "the product looked "cheap at $2, until the Bureau of Chemistry analyzed the miraculous mixture and found it to consist of iodide of potassium and milk sugar with a trace of corrosive sublimate. Then it didn't look like such a bargain." (12, page 129)

Birney's Catarrh Powder:  This product was made by the Birney Catarrhal Powder Company, and ultimately advertised their product as "Cocaine Dr. Birney's Catarrhal Powder." The bottle that contained the powder claimed that you blew the powder and inhaled it through your nose. The company also claimed the product contained less than 3% cocaine. Some reports show that strammonium and menthol were also in the product, along with various other substances. (13, page 297)(12, page 11)

This graphic was used by John Hopkins
Adams in his articles to show that the
alcohol content of many patent medicines
was similar to whisky, champagne, and beer
(12, page 16
Duffy's Malt Whiskey:  Sold as a regular drink at saloons, it was patented as a medicine and cure all. It contained mostly water and alcohol. Adams said that doing this was an easy way for manufacturers to sell alcohol where alcohol in states was prohibited. Eventually, when the prohibition amendment was passed, this provided an amble market for patent medicine makers. Of the whiskey, Adams said: "But Duffy's Malt Whiskey is a fraud, for it pretends to be a medicine and to cure all kinds of lung and throat diseases. It is especially favored by temperance folk. "A dessert spoonful four to six times a day in water and a cription for consumptive, makes a fair grog allowance for an abstainer." (12, page 17-18)

Antikamnia (heroin tablets): This was a remedy that was delivered through the postal service, and claimed to be a remedy for a variety of ailments, and was particularly advertised as a painkiller. The claim of the product wa that "its effect on the respiratory organs is not at all depressing, but primarily it is stimulating, which is promptly followed by a quietude which is invigorating and bracing, instead of depressing and followed by lassitude... it neither stupefies nor depresses the patient, but yields all the mild anodyne results without any of the toxic or objectionable phases." (13, page 583)  Adams claimed such claims were "no less fraudulent and dangerous.

Dr. Peruna's book, "The ills of life":  The owner of Peruna products was Dr. S. B. Hartman, who was "once a physician in good standing," wrote Adams. Adams claimed the product was essentially just a mixture of water and alcohol, with food coloring to make the product look appealing, and sweeteners to make the product taste appealing, and was marketed as a "cure all."  (12, page 13)

The author claimed the remedy (Peruna) treated catarrh. John Hopkins Adams claimed, in a series of articles in 1906, that basically any product could claim to be a cure for catarrh, which was basically an old term for inflammation. He said that any ailment presents with catarrh.  (12, page 13

Adams said: (12, page 13

No matter what you've got, you will be not only enabled, but compelled, after reading Dr. Hartman's Peruna book, "The Ills of Life," to diagnose your illness as catarrh and to realize that Peruna alone will save you. Pneumonia is catarrh of the lungs; so is consumption. Dyspepsia is catarrh of the stomach. Enteritis is catarrh of the intestines. Appendicitis—surgeons, please note before operating—is catarrh of the appendix. Bright's disease is catarrh of the kidneys. Heart disease is catarrh of the heart. Canker sores are catarrh of the mouth. Measles is, perhaps, catarrh of the skin, since "a teaspoonful of Peruna thrice daily or oftener is an effectual cure" ("The Ills of Life"). Similarly, malaria, one may guess, is catarrh of the mosquito that bit you.  (12, page 13
Other products were advertised in newspapers, appearing as advertisements, although no advertiser is marked, said Adams.  One example of such an ad is as follows:
Foreign Specialists Give Reasons For
Marvelous Success of New
Remedy, Ascatco
Vienna, Sept. 9.—The astonishing suc-
cess of the Ascatco treatment for catarrh,
asthma and bronchitis is wholly attributed
to its marvelous action on the mucous mem-
branes, and having no disturbing influence
on other organs of the body. (12, page 56)
Of this, Adams said:
"It is claimed by European savants, from whom this remedy emanated, that five hundred drops will cure permanently even the most obstinate cases. The dose is small and pleasant to take, being only seven drops twice daily. The Austrian dispensary, 32 West Twenty-Fifth Street, New York, N. Y., will send a trial treatment of Ascatco free by mail to all sufferers who have not tested the wonderful curative powers of the specific. (12, page 56)
Adams used this photo to show that many patent
medicine manufacturers used patent medicine as
guise to avoid alcohol taxes.  As seen here, Duffy's
Pure Malt whiskey, a patent medicine, was available
with other alcohol bottles in this saloon window
in Auburn, New York.  (12, page 18)
Anyone who profited from the benefits of patent medicine, or profited from the sale of them, was out of luck after Teddy Roosevelt signed the Food and Drug Act of 1906.

If you had asthma and you relied on such remedies, you were now forced to seek alternatives.  Those responsible for the passage of the law would probably recommend you see a licensed physician.

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