Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Reading in January

Terry Pratchett, The Last Hero
An inspiring tale of a Conan-like hero grown old, set off to return fire to the gods by blowing them up.

Louisa May Alcott, "The Mummy's Curse"
The Classic Tales Podcast is currently doing blood and thunder adventures by Louisa May Alcott. These are so much more interesting than Little Women etc. 

I am currently in the process of reading 

  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being 
  • The Satanic Verses 
  • The Great Hunt (these people sniff more than any normal human being has ever sniffed)
  • Trigger Warning
  • Threadbare

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Vintage Snake Oil: Indian Blood (Remedy)

Source, 1916 Grier's Almanac for the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas

Post Trail of Tears, we have this gem of a native American helping a white man along health's highway. For Blood Poison--Itching Humors--Pimple, Smith's Blood Syrup, the Great Indian Vegetable BLOOD PURIFIER.  Since it is manufactured by John B Daniel of Atlanta, Ga, I wonder if this is the same John B Daniel responsible for Daniel's Famous Cold Tablets.  It seems likely, but all we really know about this stuff is that it
Shakes out the aches of Uric Acid Poisoning, Rheumatic Affections, Sores, Ulcers, Scrofula, Eczema, Tetter, and all Skin Disease. 
According to the Mayo clinic, most people with high levels of uric acid show no symptoms, making it easy to "cure," I'm not sure what rheumatic affections are, tetter is a skin problem like eczema or ring worm, scrofula is frequently caused by tuberculosis, which is not curable by anything but antibiotics, and all skin diseases is quite the range and the claim.  But we can write for testimonials!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Vintage Snake Oil: Daniel's Famous Cold Tablets

Daniel's Famous Cold Tablets!  Don't expect a cold to cure itself! (I thought that was the only known solution?) But these are "Indispensable in the treatment of colds, la grippe, headache, and constipation!"

No ingredients listed, other than chocolate, as in "chocolate coated and pleasant to take" so there's that.  However, these are popular. 

The Formula of DANIEL'S COLD TABLETS is widely prescribed by physicians everywhere and the demand for them is increasing with such rapidity that a special laboratory force is constantly required in their preparation.
Lab force 1!  To the COLD TABLETS!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Monday, January 1, 2018

Vintage Snake Oil: Indian Weed

Recently, at an antique store, I found a number of old Almanacs, including a Lamar Almanac from 1908, for Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and Alabama.

It has the most wonderful medicine advertisements, including the following for "Indian Weed"

Indian Weed gives tone to and builds up the prostrated Nervous and Muscular Systems and makes Regular and Healthy all the natural functions of the female organism. St. Louis, MO., Post-Dispatch, says: "Indian women are proverbially healthy and strong, often marching for days with their babies upon their backs. In fact, they frequently go the day before and after confinement, with their tribes upon the march. These women acquire this great strength and power of endurance by using a weed that grows in their locality, out of which a medicine is now being made, and kept by druggists under the name INDIAN WEED (Female Medicine). 

It's only $1/bottle, which in today's terms would be somewhere around $25, but what is money when you too can embrace racism and an unspecified weed that grows in apparently all localities where native Americans are found to solve all your unspecified female problems!

I couldn't find any explanations online of what this was, since searches either came up with scanned versions of this exact ad, or opining about marijuana. Nonetheless, I think we should see Gwyneth Paltrow selling this soon.