|Figure 7 -- Potter's Patient Inhaler (funnel device) (3)|
Some pharmacists gathered the ingredients and further prepared them into powders to be further prepared by the patient. Some pharmacists went a step further and rolled the powder into cigarettes that could be purchased in packs. So there were a variety of options.
By 1879 an asthma cigarette craze struck America and Europe. (1)
More and more companies entered the market in an attempt to benefit off the plight of asthmatics.
Belladonna, stramonium, lobelia, henbane, atropine, and even cannabis were packaged in cans and placed on shelves in pharmacies.
The products were marketed for just about any respiratory condition, including asthma, chronic bronchitis, whooping cough, cholera, croup, catarrh, and hay fever.
By the 1880s technology progressed so some companies pre-rolled cigarettes, packaged them, and sold their product at pharmacies.
Asthma cigarettes from a variety of companies could be found on pharmacy shelves like the A.H. Lyman Company, a privately owned pharmacy on River Street in Manistee, Michigan. When the business closed during the 1950s, the building and all its contents were donated to the Manistee Historical Society, and since turned into a museum.
Among the contents of the pharmacy, the shelves of which are still intact and filled with antique prescriptions, is a box of asthma cigarettes.
According the Mark Sanders at inhalatorium.com, the most famous brands were:
|Figure 8 -- Potter's Asthma Cigarettes (3)|
- Dr Guild’s green Mountain
|Figure 9 -- Potter's Asthma Pills (3)|
An asthmatic patient of mine who grew up in 1950s in Manistee, Michigan said she remembered her dad smoking cigarettes from a green package. We later figured the produce was probalby Dr. Schiffmann's Asthmador Cigarettes.
- "The Scarcity of Cubebs," The Chemist and Druggist," 1887, Feb. 26, page 268 of Chemist and Druggist: A Weekly Trade Journal, 1887, Vol. XXX, January to June 1887
- Sanders, Mark, inhalatorium.com, http://inhalatorium.com/index.html, accessed on various dates
- Picture used with permission from Inhalatorium.com
- Jackson, Mark, "'Divine Stramonium': The Rise and Fall of Smoking for Asthma," Med Hist., 2010 April; 54(2): 171–194.
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