Idaho 1918-1920 Influenza Pandemic
Influenza “Cures” from Idaho Newspapers 1918
Patent Medicines, Advertising, Home Remedies and Misinformation
Idaho photos courtesy: the Mike Fritz Collection, History of Idaho
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October 22, 1918
Bonners Ferry Herald. October 22, 1918, Page 7
Spanish “Flu” Spreads Rapidly
Persons Weak And Rundown Easy Victims – Fortify Yourself Against It By Taking Tanlac
According to late reports issued by State and Federal health authorities the Spanish Influenza epidemic is rapidly spreading to all parts of the country, and it now seems that practically every state in the Union will be seriously affected before it runs its course.
It has not only become a great and terrifying menace to the public health, but unless checked, it is apt to seriously affect the progress of war work in all its various departments. Already the Shipping Board has announced that ten per cent of its workers had been affected.
The disease has made its greatest progress in the East where it has claimed its victims by the thousands. Reports from other sections, however, are equally alarming; and both civil and military authorities have warned the public to take every precaution to prevent its further spread. In many cities schools, churches and theatres have been closed and public gatherings of all kinds forbidden.
Medical authorities agree that people who are weak and rundown are the earliest victims of the Influenza epidemic. If you find yourself tired, weak and losing flesh, or if you are in a generally run-down condition, or if you catch cold easily this warning should be heeded promptly. You are really in great danger, because the germ of this disease is very catching and you are apt to fall an easy victim if you come in contact with the germs. People who are well and strong are not likely to contract the disease because they are able to throw it off. The common-sense way to keep from taking it is to fortify the system against attack by building up the constitution.
In other words to use the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And if you are in a sub-normal condition the proper thing to do is to begin immediately to build up your powers of resistance. To accomplish this, nothing on earth will strengthen you and build you up like Tanlac, the powerful reconstructive tonic, which contains the very elements needed by the system to give you fighting strength and ward off the influenza germ.
First of all Tanlac begins its action by creating a good healthy appetite for wholesome, nourishing food, and assists every organ of the body to perform its natural functions, thus helping to build up health and strength in the natural way.
Tanlac is also the ideal strengthening tonic for persons who are suffering from the after effects of influenza, Grippe or Bronchial troubles and hundreds of thousands are using it daily with the most gratifying results.
In connection with the Tanlac treatment, it is necessary to keep the bowels open by taking Tanlac Laxative Tablets, samples of which are included with every bottle of Tanlac. It is also important that the every day rules of hygiene be observed; that is, sleep in well ventilated rooms, get plenty of fresh air and exercise and keep away from crowds.
Tanlac is now sold in Bonners Ferry by C. D. Simonds.
source: Bonners Ferry Herald. (Bonners Ferry, Idaho), 22 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Idaho Republican. October 22, 1918, Page 2
Valuable Information On Spanish Influenza
The following was taken from a Los Angeles paper in 1909, and just recently handed to the editor for publication. This remedy may be found valuable for the present epidemic, “Spanish Influenza.” However, it will do not harm to give it a trail.
Editor the Record:
During my stay in Pasadena, 1907-1908, I read in the Los Angeles papers of deaths from pneumonia of from two to five persons every twenty-four hours. The twenty-seventh of February, 1909 I got the following prescription inserted in four of the Los Angeles daily papers; the public read it and the next day the high death rate dropped suddenly, the papers only recording one death a day.
This simple remedy was discovered twenty years ago, and can be had at any drug store for 30 cents. Seven people died last week in one day from this malady. I am ready to defend this remedy as an absolute cure for pneumonia, even in the last stages.
The Remedy is: Saturate a ball of cotton one inch in diameter with spirits of grain alcohol and three drops of chloroform to each ball of cotton, place it between the patient’s teeth, (after first using vaseline [sic] on the gums to prevent burning) and let the patient inhale the fumes in long, deep breaths for 15 minutes; then rest for 15 minutes or more; inhale again and repeat the above for twenty times.
The result will be that the lungs will relax and expand to their normal condition; in twenty-four hours the patient is out of danger and in forty-eight hours cured altho weak.
Change the cotton every seven minutes, else the saliva will dilute the alcohol.
Cut this out and save, as it may save life.
Marius A. Redding
source: The Idaho Republican. (Blackfoot, Idaho), 22 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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October 25, 1918
The Daily Star-Mirror., October 25, 1918, Page 2
Health Board Gives Warning of Influenza Danger
Ask People to be Careful and Take Proper Treatment Promptly, Many Pneumonia Cases Follow Influenza
What to Do
To be prepared for the serious outbreaks of Influenza and Pneumonia that are now sweeping over the entire country and that have seized on this community Public Health Boards everywhere are issuing cautions and instructions to the public not to neglect treatment at the first symptom of a cold and to co-operate with the board and physicians in stamping out the spread of the disease.
No disease develops so quickly or spreads so rapidly. The first symptom usually is a sharp rise in temperature to 103 or 104 degrees, headache, pain in the back, throat feeling dry or sore. Unless promptly checked by proper treatment, the best plan is to go to bed and stay there for at least a week, keeping warm to avoid pneumonia and let the minor ailment run its course and also prevent the spread of the disease to others.
Most of us, in these busy days, cannot afford, it if can be avoided, to lose a week or more of work so it is all the more necessary that at the very first sign of grip or influenza a counteracting treatment should be taken.
Probably no better or more effective treatment could be followed at such a time than to get from the nearest drug store a complete Hyomei outfit consisting of a bottle of the pure Oil of Hyomei and a little vestpocket, hard rubber inhaling device into which a few drops of the oil are poured.
This is all you will need. Put the inhaler in your mouth and breathe its air deep into the passages of your nose, throat and lungs. Every particle of air that enters your breathing organs will thus be charged with an antiseptic germ-killing balsam that will absolutely destroy the germs of influenza that have found lodgement there.
You can’t do this too often. The Hyomei Inhaler is small and can be conveniently carried in a hand-bag or your vestpocket. Every half hour or so throughout the day take it out and draw a few breaths of its pure healing air into your nose and throat. Relief comes almost instantly. The Grip or Influenza symptoms subside. Congestion ceases, fever disappears, throat conditions become normal and you soon are feeling fine. The outfit is not at all expensive for the rubber inhaler will last a lifetime while the Oil of Hyomei can be obtained at little cost from any reliable druggist. Lots of people already have it and use it without delay. If you haven’t one get it today.
A few cents spent now may easily prevent serious illness and save you many dollars and help stamp out the spread of the disease.
source: The Daily Star-Mirror. (Moscow, Idaho), 25 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Kendrick Gazette. October 25, 1918, page 3
source: The Kendrick Gazette. (Kendrick, Idaho), 25 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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Clearwater Republican. October 25, 1918, page 2
source: Clearwater Republican. (Orofino, Idaho), 25 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress
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Montpelier Examiner. October 25, 1918, Page 1
Sulpher [sic] As A Preventive For Spanish Influenza
D. C. Stuart handed us the following item, which a citizen of New York City contributed to the Glove of that city:
Editor Globe: – Several years ago during an epidemic of the grip in Massachusetts Dr. George Angall of Boston, and eminent physician at that time, published an article stating that he had observed that those who were employed in match factories where sulphur was used never contracted malaria, yellow fever, nor grip.
Consequently he advised that a small amount of sulphur be put in the shoes daily, the absorption of which would be preventive of the grip. Nurses and members of my family who have followed this advice have been immune from grip in the past and thus far escaped this epidemic.
source: Montpelier Examiner. (Montpelier, Idaho), 25 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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October 29, 1918
American Falls Press. October 29, 1918, Page 5
“Bring your kimono or use mine, when that cold, fever or spinal aching – the initial symptoms of influenza – appear. Then is the time to stop it. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Chiropractic as the “specific” for influenza and can prevent it when it starts. See a Chiropractor before it’s too late.”
Dr. Geo. A. Wilson
Phone 7-W Wones Bldg.
source: American Falls Press. (American Falls, Idaho), 29 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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October 31, 1918
The Grangeville Globe. October 31, 1918, Page 8
Prevent The Influenza
The old talk about an ounce of prevention etc. has surely come back strong during this epidemic. There are only a few cases of influenza in the city of Lewiston and they are scattered and in a mild form. WHY? The doctors and druggists have told the people how to prevent it and it did not have a chance. Buy an atomizer and a bottle of ZePyrol, spray nose and throat several times a day. Keep yourself in a good condition and you have a mighty good chance of escaping it. Complete treatment sent for $1.75. Postage paid.
The Rexall Store, Lewison, Idaho
source: The Grangeville Globe. (Grangeville, Idaho), 31 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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Dill Hospital, Shoshone, Idaho
Photo courtesy: the Mike Fritz Collection, History of Idaho
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November 1, 1918
The Rathdrum Tribune., November 01, 1918, Page 4
Resemble Old Fashioned Grip
The symptoms of Spanish Influenza are very similar to old fashioned grip – pains throughout the body, extreme dizziness, sleepiness, chills, high fever, headache, disturbed digestion with running at the nose and eyes and excessive spitting, showing an inflammation and congestion of the mucous linings.
Manifested by Catarrhal Condition
With the first symptoms of Influenza, it is well to consult your family physician at once. It is not the disease itself that is to be feared so much as it is the complications which may follow.
To ward off Spanish Influenza or as an aid to returning health after an attack, nothing is any better than Dr. Hartman’s World Famous Peruna.
For Catarrh of Every Description Take PE-RU-NA
The well known and direct action of Peruna in restoring and maintaining a healthy condition of the mucous membranes throughout the body makes it the greatest disease preventing and health restoring remedy known to science.
For forty-five years Peruna has retained its title as a reliable safe-guard to the health of the American family.
Experience Of Users The Best Recommendation
Anna, Ohio. “I find Peruna excellent for Catarrh of the head. I keep Peruna and Manalin in the house all the time.” – Mrs. A. Runkle, Box 86.
Newark, N. J. “I have used Peruna for colds and grip. It will do all you claim and more. My family always have a bottle on hand for stomach and bowel trouble and colds.” – Geo. Clark, 124 Union Street.
Try Peruna First – Tablets or Liquid – Sold Everywhere
source: The Rathdrum Tribune. (Rathdrum, Idaho), 01 Nov. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Meridian Times., November 01, 1918, Page 1
source: The Meridian Times. (Meridian, Idaho), 01 Nov. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Meridian Times., November 01, 1918, Page 13
Spanish Influenza – What It Is and How It Should Be Treated
Nothing News – Simply the Old Grip or La Grippe That Was Epidemic in 1889-90, Only Then It Came From Russia by Way of France and This Time by Way of Spain
Go to Bed and Stay Quiet – Take a Laxative – Eat Plenty of Nourishing Food – Keep Up your Strength – Nature Is the Only “Cure”
Always Call a Doctor
No Occasion For Panic
Spanish influenza, which appeared in Spain in May, has all the appearances of grip, or la grippe, which has swept over the world in numerous epidemic as far back as history runs. Hippocrates refers to an epidemic in 412 B. C., which is regarded by many to have been influenza. Every century has had its attacks. Beginning with 1831 this country has had five epidemics, the last in 1889-90.
There is no occasion for panic – influenza itself has a very low percentage of fatalities – not over one death out of every 400 cases, according to the N. C. board of health. The chief danger lies in complications arising, attacking principally patients in a run-down condition – those who don’t go to bed soon enough or those who get up too early.
Grip, or influenza, as it is now called, usually begins with a chill, followed by aching, feverishness, and sometimes nausea and dizziness, and a general feeling of weakness and depression. The temperatures if from 100 to 104, and the fever usually lasts from three to five days. The germs attack the mucous membrane or lining of the air passages, nose, throat and bronchial tubes; there is usually a hard cough, especially bad at night; oftentimes a sore throat or tonsillitis, and frequently all the appearances of a severe head cold.
Go to bed at the first symptoms, not only for your own sake, but to avoid spreading the disease to others – take a purgative, eat plenty of nourishing food, remain perfectly quiet and don’t worry. Quinine, aspirin or Dover’s Powders, etc., may be administered by the physician’s directions to relieve the aching. But there is no cure or specific for influenza – the disease must run its course. Nature herself will throw off the attack if only you keep up your strength. The chief danger lies in the complications which may strike. Influenza so weakens the bodily resistance that there is danger of pneumonia or bronchitis developing, and sometimes inflammation of the middle ear, or heart affections. For these reasons it is very important that the patient remain in bed until his strength returns – stay in bed at least two days or more after the fever has left you, or if you are over 50 or not strong stay in bed four days or more, according to the severity of the attack.
In order to stimulate the lining of the air passages to throw off the grippe germs, to aid in loosening the phlegm and keeping the air passages open, thus making the breathing easier, Vick’s VapoRub will be found effective. Hot, wet towels should be applied over the throat, chest and back between the shoulder blades to open the pores. Then VapoRub should be rubbed in over the parts until the skin is red, spread on thickly and cover with two thicknesses of hot flannel cloths. Leave the clothing loose around the neck, as the heat of the body liberates the ingredients in the form of vapors. These vapors, inhaled with each breath, carry the medication directly to the parts affected. At the same time VapoRub is absorbed through and stimulates the skin, attracting the blood to the surface, and thus aids in relieving the congestion within.
How To Avoid The Disease
Evidence seems to prove that this is a germ disease, spread principally by human contact, chiefly through coughing, sneezing or spitting. So avoid persons having colds – which means avoiding crowds – common drinking cups, roller towels, etc. Keep up your bodily strength by plenty of exercise in the open air, and good food. Above all, avoid colds, as colds irritate the lining of the air passages and render them much better breeding places for the germs.
Keep Free From Colds
Use Vick’s VapoRub at the very first sign of a cold. For a head cold, melt a little VapoRub in a spoon and inhale the vapors, or better still, use VapoRub in a benzoin steam kettle. If this is not available, use an ordinary teakettle. Fill half-full of boiling water, but in half a teaspoon of VapoRub from time to time – keep the kettle just slowly boiling and inhale the steam arising.
Note – Vick’s VapoRub is the discovery of a North Carolina druggist, who found how to combine, in salve form, Menthol and Camphor with such volatile oils as Eculyptus, Thyme, Cubebs, etc., so that when the salve is applied to the body heat, these ingredients are liberated in the form of vapors.
VapoRub is comparatively new in New York State and New England and a few Western states where it is just now being introduced, but in other sections of the country it is the standard home remedy in more than a million homes for all forms of cold troubles. Over six million jars were sold last year. VapoRub can be had in three sizes at all druggists. It is particularly recommended for children’s croup and colds, since it is externally applied and therefore can be used as freely as desired without the slightest harmful effects.
(ibid, page 13)
The Meridian Times., November 01, 1918, Page 14
(ibid, page 14)
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The Idaho Republican. November 01, 1918, Page 1
Seeger-Bundlie’s Influenza Message
We are in accord with the order of the State Board of Health. We believe in prevention wherever possible, and we think that wearing a mask helps to prevent getting the disease.
The salespeople in our store all wear masks. We are selling masks to people at cost and doing what we can to help break up the epidemic. We believe in taking every reasonable precaution.
But we do other things to promote public health. We always sweep our floors with a preparation that absorbs the dust instead of stirring it up. We wipe our floors with a preparation of oil that keep them in the most sanitary conditions possible. These methods prevent the accumulation of dust and lint on our good, shelves and counters, and when people come into our store they are protected to the utmost. Our store is new, clean, modern and sanitary. If you have been dealing with us you are aware of this; if you have not been in, this is a good time to come.
Seeger-Bundlie Company “Everybody’s Store” Broadway – Blackfoot
source: The Idaho Republican. (Blackfoot, Idaho), 01 Nov. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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Montpelier Examiner. November 01, 1918, Page 7
Influenza Worse Than Hun Bullets
Claims More Victims Than Battle Fronts of Europe – Disease Can Be Avoided
According to carefully compiled statistics it is an indisputable fact that the Spanish Influenza epidemic which is now sweeping all parts of the country is daily claiming far more victims than German bullets on the battle fronts of Europe. Although civil and military authorities have succeeded in checking the disease in some localities, it is growing worse in others and continues to spread at an alarming rate. That the disease can be avoided there is no longer any doubt. According to leading authorities the powers of resistance of the human system can be so perfected that it can throw off almost any infection, not even excepting Spanish Influenza, which is one of the most contagious diseases known.
It is persons who are suffering from lowered vitality, who hare weak and rundown and who have not the strength to throw it off who are the earliest victims. Persons who have bad colds, who are suffering from cataarhal troubles, or influenza of the mucous membranes are especially susceptible, as the inflamed mucous membrane linings of the nose and throat are an open door to the germs. This condition is almost always accompanied by a weakened condition of the system.
If you are suffering from any of symptoms, nothing on earth will build you up and strengthen you like Tanlac, which contains the most powerful tonic properties known to science.
This statement is easily proven by the fact that Tanlac is now having the greatest sale of any system tonic in the history of medicine. In less than four years time over Ten Million Bottles have been sold and the demand is constantly increasing. Thousands are using it daily for the above troubles with the most astonishing and gratifying results.
Tanlac increases your strength and weight and creates a good, healthy appetite for nourishing food. It keeps you physically fit and helps every organ of the body perform its proper function in the natural way.
In connection with the Tanlac Treatment be sure and keep the bowels open by taking Tanlac Laxative Tablets, samples of which are included in every bottle.
Tanlac is sold in Montpelier by the Modern Drug Co.
source: Montpelier Examiner. (Montpelier, Idaho), 01 Nov. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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November 6, 1918
The Daily Star-Mirror., November 06, 1918, Page 3
Is The Most Essential Thing
To Cure Influenza
“This is true, BUT NOT DAMP AIR. Have plenty of fresh air in your room, BUT HEAT IT to a temperature so it will be DRY FRESH AIR, more like NATURE DEMANDS is for lung trouble. Do not be stingy by not having a stove to take care of your family and pay it out in doctor bills and funeral expense. Buy a stove and have it comfortable for yourself and children. We sell stoves and it does not take a fortune to buy one.”
Do Your Work With A Small Hod Of Coal
Save The Difference
source: The Daily Star-Mirror. (Moscow, Idaho), 06 Nov. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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November 7, 1918
Lincoln County Times., November 07, 1918, Page 7
source: Lincoln County Times. (Jerome, Idaho), 07 Nov. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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November 8, 1918
Montpelier Examiner. November 08, 1918, Page 2
Camphor For Influenza
Editor Globe: – To prevent the spread of influenza may I suggest a remedy to arrest it in its incipient state?
Put a small piece of gum (lump) camphor, with surface about the size of a nickel, in a low metal vessel, such as an inkwell. Light it and allow it to flame for about ten seconds before blowing it out. Inhale the fumes, one nostril at a time, the other one closed, and repeat about four or five times at one treatment. This will abort the growth of the microbe in the nostrils which later gets into the system.
It is a positive and tried germicide and cannot fail in its purpose.
New York, Oct. 16.
If your children are subject to croup, or if you have reason to fear their being attacked by that disease, you should procure a bottle of Chamberlain’s Cough Remedy and study the directions for use, so that in case of an attack you will know exactly what course to pursue. This is a favorite and very successful remedy for croup, and it is important that you observe the directions carefully.
source: Montpelier Examiner. (Montpelier, Idaho), 08 Nov. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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November 13, 1918
The Challis Messenger., November 13, 1918, Page 6
Spanish Influenza or Grip
By Dr. Lee H. Smith
An old enemy is with us again, and wither we fight a German or a germ, we must put up a good fight, and not be afraid. The influenza runs a very brief course when the patient is careful, and if we keep the system in good condition and throw off the poisons which tend to accumulate within our bodies, we can escape the disease. Remember these three C’s – a clean mouth, a clean skin, and clean bowels. To carry off poisons from the system and keep the bowels loose, daily doses of a pleasant laxative should be taken. Such a one is made of May-apple, leaves of aloe, root of jalap, and called Dr. Pierce’s Pleasant Pellets. Hot lemonade should be used freely if attacked by a cold, and the patient should be put to bed after a hot mustard foot-bath.
To prevent the attack of bronchitis or pneumonia and to control the pain, Anuric tablets should be obtained at the drug store, and one given every two hours, with lemonade. The Anuric tablets were first discovered by Dr. Pierce, and, as they flush the bladder and cleanse the kidneys, they carry away much of the poisons and the uric acid.
It is important that broths, milk, buttermilk, ice-cream and simple diet be given regularly to strengthen the system and increase the vital resistance. The fever is diminished by the use of the Anuric tablets, but in addition, the forehead, arms and hands may be bathed with water (tepid) in which a tablespoonfull of salaratus [sic] has been dissolved in a quart. After an attack of grip or pneumonia to build up and strengthen the system, obtain at the drug store a good iron tonic, called “Irontic” Tablets, or that well known herbal tonic, Dr. Pierce’s Golden Medical Discovery.
source: The Challis Messenger. (Challis, Idaho), 13 Nov. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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November 14, 1918
Lincoln County Times., November 14, 1918, Page 2
Druggists!! Please Note Vick’s VapoRub Oversold Due To Present Epidemic
Tremendous Demand Last Few Days Has Wiped Out Excess Stocks That We Had Estimated Would Last Until Next January. Last Week’s Orders Called For One and Three Quarter Million Jars – Today’s Orders Alone Amount to 932,459 Jars
Big Shipments Are En Route to Jobbers. Until These Arrive There May Be a Temporary Shortage. All Deals Postponed – Buy in Small Lots Only
Retailers Can Get Immediate Shipments Direct By Parcel Post
This advertisement is written on Monday, October 21st. It is directed to the attention of all distributers of Vick’s VapoRub, both wholesale and retail. In an emergency such as the present epidemic – our duty – and your duty – is to distribute VapoRub in the quickest possible manner to those sections stricken by Influenza. We therefore, call your careful attention to the following:
Danger of Shortage If Supply Is Not Conserved
On October 1st we had on hand, at our Factory and in twenty warehouses scattered over the country, sufficient VapoRub to last us, we thought, until January 1st, allowing for a 50 per cent increase over last year’s sales, and not accounting our daily output. This big excess stock has been accumulated during the summer months.
Then this epidemic of Spanish Influenza hit us – and in the last ten days this stock has vanished. At first we thought this remendous demand would last only a few days, but the order have run:
Wed., Oct. 16 …. 18,504 doz.
Thur., Oct. 17 …. 25,323 doz.
Fri., Oct. 18 …. 39,256 doz.
Sat., Oct. 19 …. 45,833 doz.
Mon., Oct. 21 … 77,705 doz.
Up to Saturday, October 19th, we have actually shipped for this month $400,284.10 or over two million jars of VapoRub.
The Problem Now Is To Distribute VapoRub Quickly
Most of this tremendous quantity is still en route to the jobbers, but freight and express are both congested nowadays, and it may be some time before this supply reaches the jobbers. In the meantime, therefore, it is necessary that we distribute, as widely as possible, the stock that we are manufacturing daily, together with that now on the jobbers’ and retailers’ shelves, in order that it may get to the influenza districts quickly. Our normal output is about 4,000 dozen per day. We are putting on a night shift, but it will be a little while befor ethat is producting.
What We Ask The Wholesale Druggist To Do
Last Saturday we notified all of our jobbers, by Special Delivery, as follows:
1st – Deals and quantity shipments of all kinds are cancelled. Fill no quantity orders of any kind, whether taken by our saleman or by your own. Sell in small lots only.
2nd – Order from us in as small quantitie as possible. If you are out we will try to ship a limited amount by Parcel Post or express, and pay the charges ourselves.
3rd – In order to make distribution still quicker, we will ship direct to your retail customers quantities not more than three (3) sozen 30c size at any one shipment.
4th – We are no out of the 60c size and will be for the next ten days.
What We Ask The Retail Druggist To Do
Buy in as small quantities as possible. If you have any quantity orders, given the jobber’s salesmen or given to our salesmen, don’t bother about them – no need to write us – it is absolutely impossible to fill these orders at this time. If the Jobbers in your territory are out of Vick’s VapoRub, we will ship you by Parcel Post, prepaid, quantities not more than three (3) dozen 30c size in any one order. Naturally, we can’t open accounts at this time, so your check or money order for this amount must accompany order. Don’t write us stating to ship thru your Jobber, as we then have to wait until we write this Jobber and get his O.K. If you wish the goods to come thru your Jobber, have him order then for you.
Snowed Under With Correspondence
Our force has already been “shot to pieces” – twenty-four of our men wearing Uncle Sam’s khaki – and this recent rush has simply buried us. All our sales force has been called in to help in the office and factory. We just mention this so you won’t hold it against us if your wires and letters aren’t answered promptly.
Special Booklets On Spanish Influenza
We will send, on request, to any retail druggist, 100 or more little booklets, just issued, on Spanish Influenza, giving th latest information about this disease – its history – the symptoms – the treatment, and particularly the use of Vick’s VapoRub as an external application to supplement the physicians’ treatment.
New Ways To Use VapoRub
In addition to the usual method of using VapoRub – that is, applied over the throat and chest and covered with hot flannel cloths – our customers are writing us daily telling of their success in using VapoRub in other ways, particularly as a preventive. They melt a little in a spoon and inhale the vapors arising, or melt it in a benzoin steam kettle. Where the steam kettle is not available, VapoRub can be used in an ordinary teakettle. Fill the teakettle half full of boiling water, put in half a teaspoon of VapoRub from time to time – keep the kttle just slowly boiling and inhale the steam arising.
According to a Bulletin just issued by the Public Health Serivce, Dr. Stiles recommends that the nose and throat be kept coated iwth some [?] substance. For this purpose VapoRub is excellent – just put a little up the nostrils from time to time and [?] back into the air passages.
The Vick Chemical Company – Greensboro, N.C.
source: Lincoln County Times. (Jerome, Idaho), 14 Nov. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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Payette Enterprise., November 14, 1918, Page 6
Cure For Flu
Below we are publishing at the request of one of our subscribers, a home remedy for Spanish influenza to be used where Doctors can not be had:
“Take two pieces of worn sheeting large enough to cover chest. Spread thickly with lard and add 20 to 30 drops of turpentine. Sprinkle enough Scotch snuff (not black snuff) to give plasters a dark brown color. Mix lard, snuff and turpentine thoroughly with a case knife. After patent has taken hot bath in water to which a cup of salt and two spoonsful of mustard have been added, plaster should be applied to chest and back, both well up near the neck. Cold Cloths should be wrapped on wrists and head and changed occasionally until fever is reduced.
Mrs. Welch claims that not one death has occurred where this treatment has been used and is especially effective as a home remedy while the shortage of doctors is so acute. It is quite simple too.
Well, stay at home and tell your friends to do the same. That seems to be the wiser plan these days.
source: Payette Enterprise. (Payette, Canyon Co., Idaho), 14 Nov. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Challis Messenger., November 20, 1918, Page 2
How To Fight
By Dr. L. W. Bowers
Avoid crowds, coughs and cowards, but fear neither germs nor Germans! Ekkp the system in good order, take plenty of exercise in the fresh air and practice cleanliness. Remember a clean mouth, a clean skin, and clean bowels are a protecting against disease. To keep the liver and bowels regular and to carry away the poisons within, it is best to take a vegetable pill every other day, made up of May-apple, aloes, julap, and sugar-coated, to be had at most drug stores, known as Dr. Pierce’s Pleasant Pellets. If there is a sudden onset of what appears like a hard cold, one should go to bed, wrap warm, take a not mustard foot-bath and drink copiously of hot lemonade. If pain develops in head or back, as the druggist for Anuric (anti-uric) tablets. These will flush the bladder and kidneys and carry off poisonous germs. To control the pains and aches take one Anuric tablet every two hours, with frequent drinks of lemonade. The pneumonia appears in a most treacherous way, when the influenza victim is apparently recovering and anxious to leave his bed. In recovering from a bad attack of influenza or pneumonia the system should be built up with a good herbal tonic, such as Dr. Pierce’s Golden Medical Discovery, made without alcohol from the roots and bards of American forest trees, or his Irontic (iron tonic) tablets, which can be obtained at most drug stores, or send 10c. to Dr. Pierce’s Invalids’ Hotel, Buffalo, N.Y. for trial package.
source: The Challis Messenger. (Challis, Idaho), 20 Nov. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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Wallace Hospital, Wallace, Idaho
Photo courtesy: the Mike Fritz Collection, History of Idaho
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December 3, 1918
Bonners Ferry Herald. December 03, 1918, Page 9
Joyner’s Anti-Flu Capsules
Cures Colds, Grip and Influenza quickly and prevents bad after-effects. No opiates or injurious drugs used. Absolutely harmless.
50c post-paid by
Joyner Drug Co.
Spokane Box 2191
source: Bonners Ferry Herald. (Bonners Ferry, Idaho), 03 Dec. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
Uncle Sam’s (Real) Advice
The Oakley Herald. October 11, 1918, page 6
The Oakley council is meeting today to pass measures to enforce the State Board of Health order that all public indoor meetings, except public and private schools, be prohibited during the Spanish influenza epidemic.
Uncle Sam’s Advice on Flu
U. S. Public Health Service Issues Official Health Bulletin on Influenza.
Latest Word on Subject.
Epidemic Probably Not Spanish In Origin – Germ Still Unknown – People Should Guard Against “Droplet Infection” – Surgeon General Blue Makes Authoritative Statement.
Washington, D. C. — (Special.) — Although King Alfonso of Spain was one of the victims of the influenza epidemic in 1893 and again this summer, Spanish authorities repudiate any claim to influenza as a “Spanish” disease. If the people of this country do not take care the epidemic will become so widespread throughout the United States that soon we shall hear the disease called “American” influenza.
In response to a request for definite information concerning Spanish influenza, Surgeon General Rupert Blue of the U. S. Public Health Service has authorized the following official interview:
What Is Spanish Influenza? is It something new? Does it come from Spain?
“The disease now occurring in this country and called ‘Spanish influenza’ resembles a very contagious kind, of ‘cold,’ accompanied by fever, pains in the head, eyes, ears, back or other parts of the body and a feeling of severe sickness. In most of the cases the symptoms disappear after three or four days, the patient then rapidly recovering. Some of the patients, however, develop pneumonia, or inflammation of the ear or meningitis, and many of these complicated cases die. Whether this so-called ‘Spanish’ influenza is identical with the epidemics of influenza of earlier years is not yet known.
“Epidemics of influenza have visited this country since 1647. It is interesting to know that this first epidemic was brought here from Valencia, Spain. Since that time there have been numerous epidemics of the disease. In 1889 and 1890 an epidemic of influenza, starting somewhere in the Orient, spread first to Russia and thence over practically the entire civilized world. Three years later there was another flare-up of the disease. Both times the epidemic spread widely over the United States.
“Although the present epidemic is called `Spanish influenza,’ there is no reason to believe that It originated in Spain. Some writers who have studied the question believe that the epidemic came from the Orient and they call attention to the fact that the Germans mention the disease as occurring along the eastern front in the summer and fall of 1917.”
How can “Spanish Influenza” be recognized?
“There is as yet no certain way in which a single case of ‘Spanish influenza’ can be recognized. On the other hand, recognition is easy where there is a group of cases. In contrast to the outbreaks of ordinary coughs and colds, which usually occur in the cold months, epidemics of influenza may occur at any season of the year. Thus the present epidemic raged most intensely in Europe in May, June and July. Moreover, in the case of ordinary colds, the general symptoms (fever, pain, depression) are by no means as severe or as sudden in their onset as they are in influenza. Finally, ordinary colds do not spread through the community so rapidly or so extensively as does influenza.
“In most cases a person taken sick with influenza feels sick rather suddenly. He feels weak, has pains in the eyes, ears, head or back, and may be sore all over. Many patients feel dizzy, some vomit. Most of the patients complain of feeling chilly, and with this comes a fever in which the temperature rises to 100 to 104. In most cases the pulse remains relatively slow.
“In appearance one is struck by the fact that the patient looks sick. His eyes and the inner side of his eyelids may be slightly ‘bloodshot,’ or `congested,’ as the doctors say. There may be running from the nose, or there may be some cough. These signs of a cold may not be marked; nevertheless the patient looks and feels very sick.
“In addition to the appearance and the symptoms as already described, examination of the patient’s blood may aid the physician in recognizing ‘Spanish influenza,’ for It has been found that in this disease the number of white corpuscles shows little or no increase above the normal. It is possible that the laboratory investigations now being made through the National Research Council and the United States Hygienic Laboratory will furnish a more certain way In which individual cases of this disease can he recognized.”
What Is the course of the disease? Do people die of it?
“Ordinarily, the fever lasts from three to four days and the patient recovers. But while the proportion of deaths in the present epidemic has generally been low, in some places the outbreak has been severe and deaths have been numerous. When death occurs it is usually the result of a complication.”
What causes the disease and how is It spread?
“Bacteriologists who have studied Influenza epidemics in the past have found in many of the cases a very small rod-shaped germ called, after its discoverer, Pfeiffer’s bacillus. In other cases of apparently the same kind of disease there were found pneumococci, the germs of lobar pneumonia. Still others have been caused by streptococci, and by others germs with long names.
“No matter what particular kind of germ causes the epidemic, It is now believed that influenza is always spread from person to person, the germs being carried with the air along with the very small droplets of mucus, expelled by coughing or sneezing, forceful talking, and the like by one who already has the germs of the disease. They may also be carried about in the air in the form of dust coming from dried mucus, from coughing and sneezing, or from careless people who spit on the floor and on the sidewalk. As in most other catching diseases, a person who has only a mild attack of the disease himself may give a very, severe attack to others.”
What should be done by those who catch the disease?
“It Is very important that every person who becomes sick with influenza should go home at once and go to bed. This will help keep away dangerous complications and will, at the same time, keep the patient from scattering the disease far and wide. It is highly desirable that no one be allowed to sleep in the same room with the patient. In fact, no one but the nurse should be allowed in the room.
“If there is cough and sputum or running of the eyes and nose, care should be taken that all such discharges are collected on bits of gauze or rag or paper napkins and burned. If the patient complains of fever and headache, he should be given water to drink, a cold compress to the forehead and a light sponge. Only such medicine should be given as is prescribed by the doctor. It is foolish to ask the druggist to prescribe and may be dangerous to take the so-called ‘safe, sure and harmless’ remedies advertised by patent medicine manufacturers.
“If the patient is so situated that he can be attended only by some one who must also look after others in the family, it is advisable that such attendant wear a wrapper, apron or gown over the ordinary house clothes while in the sick room and slip this off when leaving to look after the others.
“Nurses and attendants will do well to guard against breathing in dangerous disease germs by wearing a simple fold of gauze or mask while near the patient.”
Will a person who has had Influenza before catch the disease again?
“It is well known that an attack of measles or scarlet fever or smallpox usually protects a person against another attack of the same disease. This appears not to be true of ‘Spanish influenza.’ According to newspaper reports the King of Spain suffered an attack of influenza during the epidemic thirty years ago, and was again stricken during the recent outbreak in Spain.”
How can one guard against Influenza?
“In guarding against disease of all kinds, it is important that the body be kept strong and able to fight off disease germs. This can be done by having a proper proportion of work, play and rest, by keeping the body well clothed, and by eating sufficient wholesome and properly selected food. In connection with diet, it is well to remember that milk is one of the best all-around foods obtainable for adults as well as children. So far as a disease like influenza is concerned, health authorities everywhere recognize the very close relation between its spread and overcrowded homes. While it is not always possible, especially in times like the present, to avoid such overcrowding, people should consider the health danger and make every effort to reduce the home overcrowding to a minimum. The value of fresh air through open windows cannot be over emphasized.
“When crowding is unavoidable, as in street cars, care should be taken to keep the face so turned as not to inhale directly the air breathed out by another person.
“It is especially important to beware of the person who coughs or sneezes without covering his mouth and nose. It also follows that one should keep out of crowds and stuffy places as much as possible, keep homes, offices and workshops well aired, spend some time out of doors each day, walk to work if at all practicable — in short, make every possible effort to breathe as much pure air as possible.
“In all health matters follow the advice of your doctor and obey the regulations of your local and state health officers.”
“Cover up each cough and sneeze, If you don’t you’ll spread disease.”
Note: this article was posted in: The Oakley Herald, The Daily Star-Mirror, The Idaho Republican, The Challis Messenger, Lincoln County Times, Payette Enterprise, Idaho County Free Press, The Nezperce Herald, The Rathdrum Tribune, The Kendrick Gazette, Shoshone Journal. between Oct 11 and Oct 18, 1918
source: The Oakley Herald. (Oakley, Idaho), 11 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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Patent Medicines Not to Be Trusted
The Meridian Times., December 27, 1918, Page 1
Advice to “Flu” Convalescents
Spain and England Report Increase in Tuberculosis After Influenza Epidemic.
U.S. Public Health Service Warns Public Against Tuberculosis, One Million Cases Tuberculosis in United States – Each a source of Danger.
Influenza Convalescents Should Have Lungs Examined – Colds Which Hang On Often Beginning of Tuberculosis. No Cause for Alarm if Tuberculosis is Recognized Early – Patent Medicines No to Be Trusted.
Washington, D. C. (Special.) – According to a report made to the United States Public Health Service, the epidemic of influenza in Spain has already caused an increase in the prevalence and deaths from pulmonary tuberculosis. A similar association between influenza and tuberculosis was recently made by Sir Arthur Newsholme, the chief medical officer of the English public health service, in his analysis of the tuberculosis death rate in England.
In order that the people of the United States may profit by the experience of other countries Surgeon General Rupert Blue of the United States Public Health Service has just issued a warning emphasizing the need of special precautions at the present time. “Experience seems to indicate,” says the Surgeon General, “that persons whose resistance has been weakened by an attack of influenza are peculiarly susceptible to tuberculosis. With millions of its people recently affected with influenza this country now offers conditions favoring the spread of tuberculosis.”
One Million Consumptives in the United States.
“Then you consider this a serious menace?” was asked. “In my opinion it is, though I hasten to add it is distinctly one against which the people can guard. So far as one can estimate there are about one million cases of tuberculosis in the United States. There is unfortunately no complete census available to show exactly the number of tuberculous persons in each state despite the fact that most of the states have made the disease reportable. In New York city, where reporting has been in force for many years, over 35,000 cases of tuberculosis are registered with the Department of Health. Those familiar with the situation believe that the addition of unrecognized and unreported cases would make the number nearer 50,000. The very careful health survey conducted during the past two years in Framingham Mass., revealed 200 cases of tuberculosis in a population of approximately 15,000. If these proportions hold true for the United States as a whole they would indicate that about one in every hundred persons is tuberculous. Each of these constitutes a source of danger to be guarded against.”
What to Do.
In his statement to the public Surgeon General Blue points out how those who have had influenza should protect themselves against tuberculosis. “Add who have recovered from influenza,” says the Surgeon General, “should have their lungs carefully examined by a competent physician. In fact, it is desirable to have several examinations made a month apart. Such examinations cannot be made through the clothing nor can they be carried out in two or three minutes. If the lungs are found to be free from tuberculosis every effort should be made to keep them so. This can be done by right living, good food and plenty of fresh air.”
The Surgeon General warned especially against certain danger signs, such as “decline” and “colds which hang on.”
These, he explained, were often the beginning of tuberculosis. “If you do not get well promptly, if your cold seems to hang on or your health and strength decline, remember that these are often the early signs of tuberculosis. Place yourself at once under the care of a competent physician. Tuberculosis is curable in the early stages.
Patent Medicines Dangerous in Tuberculosis.
“Above all do not trust in the misleading statements of unscrupulous patent medicine fakers. There is no specific medicine for the cure of tuberculosis. The money spent on such medicines is thrown away; it should be spent instead for good food and decent living.”
source: The Meridian Times. (Meridian, Idaho), 27 Dec. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
1918 UofI Flu Pandemic Collection
Materials depicting the impact of the “Spanish Flu” on the University of Idaho
In 1918, a virulent strain of influenza affected approximately 500 million individuals worldwide. The disease reached the University of Idaho in October of that year, prompting the university to cancel activities, enact a quarantine, and encourage the use of gauze face masks. The 1918 Flu Pandemic Collection brings together correspondence, reports, news articles, oral histories, and other materials that highlight the local response to the 1918 pandemic.
continued: University of Idaho (collection slide show)
Dr. J. Collis Browne’s Chlorodyne
Marijuana, Opium, and Chloroform
Marijuana has always been used for medicinal purposes, no matter where it grows. It was a staple in patent medicines stretching from the Colonial times all the way to the moment the sale and possession of Marijuana was outlawed in the U.S., in 1937.
Marijuana, usually called cannabis in those days, was used to treat gonorrhea, malaria, headaches (including migraines), tetanus, epilepsy, cancer, and at least one hundred other conditions. It was also used for any sort of mental issue, whether severe or minor. It was recommended for pain. Many of the patent medicines containing cannabis also contained a lot of other now illegal drugs including cocaine and opiates. In fact, taking a swig out of marijuana, cocaine, and opiate elixir was a normal part of daily life for many of the middle class or wealthy of the 19th century.
A popular formula for cough syrups was a mixture of cannabis (Cannabis Indica), Morphine, and Chloroform. These mixtures were even recommended for infants and children.
A popular product was Chlorodyne. There were several products sold under the name but the original was claimed to have been invented by J. Collis Browne. This contained opium in the form of laudanum, cannabis and chloroform. It was advertised as a cure for pretty much everything.
source: Culinary Lore
Chlorodyne at Wikipedia:
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source: Los Angeles Herald Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
Peruna was a well-known patent medicine sold from the late 19th to mid 20th century. The mascot of Southern Methodist University was named after the product. It was patented by Samuel Brubaker Hartman, and endorsed by hundreds of politicians. Hartman began selling the product on July 29, 1885, and advertised it as curing catarrh. At its peak, Hartman was earning $100,000 a day from Peruna sales. The drug was reportedly so popular that babies were named after it. Peruna once released an ad with 50 United States Congressmen endorsing the product.
In a series of 11 articles Samuel Hopkins Adams wrote for Collier’s in 1905, “The Great American Fraud”, Adams exposed many of the false claims made about patent medicines, pointing out that in some cases these medicines were damaging the health of the people using them. On October 20, 1906, Adams published an article in Collier’s, claiming that Peruna and other such patent-medicines were frauds, for instance alleging that Peruna was 28% alcohol. The series had a huge impact and led to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. In 1911, the Supreme Court ruled that the prohibition of falsifications referred only to the ingredients of the medicine.
This meant that companies were again free to make false claims about their products. Adams returned to the attack, and in another series of articles in Collier’s Weekly, Adams exposed the misleading advertising that companies were using to sell their products. Linking his knowledge of newspapers with patent medicines, he wrote The Clarion (1914), which was critical of newspaper advertising practices and led to a series of consumer-protection articles in the New York Tribune. When Prohibition came into effect, Americans began using Peruna and other similar products as a way to get drink amounts of alcohol. Peruna had stopped being sold by the mid 1940s.
The Great American Fraud: Articles on the Nostrum Evil and Quacks
by Samuel Hopkins Adams
Reprinted from Collier’s Weekly, Oct. 28, 1905
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Jalap is a cathartic drug, largely obsolete in Western medicine, consisting of the tuberous roots of Ipomoea purga, a convolvulaceous plant growing on the eastern declivities of the Sierra Madre Oriental of Mexico at an elevation of 5,000 to 8,000 feet above sea level, more especially about the neighborhood of Chiconquiaco on the eastern slope of the Cofre de Perote in the state of Veracruz.
Jalap has been known in Europe since the beginning of the 17th century, and derives its name from the city of Xalapa in Mexico, near which it grows, but its botanical source was not accurately determined until 1829, when Dr. J. R. Coxe of Philadelphia published a description.
The ordinary drug is distinguished in commerce as Vera Cruz jalap, from the name of the port whence it is shipped.
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Dr. Pierce’s Anuric Tablets – Quack Remedy
Dr. Pierce was a huckster who marketed placebo treatments of no genuine medical value and – apparently – with no genuine medicinal ingredients. The Anuric Tablets were said to treat kidney disorders but even medical doctors from his own era would disagree. This is a corked bottle of the original tablets produced for over-the-counter sale in its original cardboard packaging, from my late father’s collection. My father donated many such items and artifacts to the local medical society’s museum of quackery. If the ‘medicines’ in his collection were potentially harmful he would first dispose of the contents; in this case he had apparently concluded that the treatment was essentially a placebo. An interesting collectible piece of quack ‘medical’ history.
source: Worth Point
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Dr. Pierce’s Golden Medical Discovery
source: National Museum of American History
Nickell Collection of Dr. R.V. Pierce Medical Artifacts
It was in Buffalo where Pierce really began his ascendancy to fame as a leading seller of mail-order patent medicines, including “Dr. Pierce’s Golden Medical Discovery Pills,” “Dr. Pierce’s Favorite Prescription Tablets,” and “Dr. Pierce’s Pleasant Pellets.” Many of Pierce’s cures were aimed at addressing “female illnesses.” Pierce’s medicines, like several other remedies available at the time, would often include alcohol and opium.
The enormous demand created for Pierce’s remedies led to his building of the World’s Dispensary Building (664 Washington Street), from where his numerous cures were manufactured, packaged, and distributed to people around the world. Pierce went on to establish Pierce’s Palace Hotel in 1878 to accommodate the many patients who came flocking to seek his apparent curative skills. The building burned down in 1881 and was replaced with the Invalids Hotel and Surgical Institute (at 663 Main Street). Pierce also had a facility in London, England. Pierce incorporated his entire medical “empire” under the name World’s Dispensary Medical Association in 1883. Later, the company became “Pierce’s Proprietaries” and continued under the supervision of his son, Dr. Valentine Mott Pierce, until the late 1940s.
Perhaps the most significant accomplishment of Dr. Pierce was his ability to market and sell his medicines more successfully than almost any other physician at a time when availability of home remedies and nostrum cures were at their height. His descriptions of illnesses and their symptoms, with just the right amount of medical terminology and human pathos for cures, made them seem authentic and scientifically possible. Pierce was a master of the media, using newspapers, broadsides, and later billboards, to saturate the country with word of his success. Many of the original signs painted on barns and other buildings can still be seen along the roads and highways throughout the U.S.
Another marketing skill employed by Pierce was that of the testimonial. His advertising, which includes his book, The People’s Common Sense Medical Adviser (essentially an advertisement for his various products), sold millions of copies, and included testimonials from patients whose claims of near-miraculous cures convinced millions of people to try the remedies of Dr. Pierce. In some ways, the media-savvy skills of Pierce and the resounding public response to his bold assurances of cures sound remarkably like today’s media campaigns waged by various pharmaceutical companies.
Pierce was a strong proponent of free enterprise, and took a lead in the fight against the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. He also was involved in a lawsuit against The Ladies Home Journal, which tested “Dr. Pierce’s Favorite Prescription” and reportedly found traces of opium, digitalis, and alcohol (Pierce actually won the case).
Pierce also served as a New York State Senator from 1878-1879 and then as a Republican representative for the 32nd Congressional District of New York in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1879-1880, when he resigned due to ill health.
Pierce spent his last years in his winter home in St. Vincent, Florida, where he passed away in 1914. He is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, NY.
from: New York Heritage
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Chamberlain’s Cough Remedy
Chamberlain’s Cough Remedy Advertisement
The Hamilton Spectator January 10, 1905
source: Research Gate uploaded by D. Ann Herring. Content may be subject to copyright.
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Chamberlain’s Colic and Diarrhoea Remedy
alcohol, 45% (drug active ingredients)
ether, 10.7% (drug active ingredients)
chloroform, 19 minums (drug active ingredients)
tri-chlor-tertiary-butyl-alcohol, 3 grains (drug active ingredients)
paper; cardboard (packaging material)
glass (container material)
source: Smithsonian National Museum of American History
10 Dodgy Cough Remedy Ads From the Olden Days
Back in the day any quack could create a cough remedy and sell it to an unsuspecting public. There were no rules and regulations on what ingredients you could use, and there certainly wasn’t an ‘advertising standards authority’.
That meant that all manner of dubious ingredients where thrown together and sold as the ultimate cure for your cough.
For instance, did you know that Bayer Pharmaceuticals sold heroin as an over-the-counter remedy for coughs in the early 1900s?
By 1898, Bayer pharmaceutical found that, by boiling morphine for several hours, they could create diacetylmorphine, which they then called Heroin. It was said to cure bronchitis, tuberculosis and other cough-related diseases and in 1906 it was approved by the American Medical Association for general use and to replace morphine (which was until then the cough cure of choice).
The result: by 1914 there were 200 000 heroin addicts in New York City.
1. Here’s the ad – Herion-based cough mixture (1900). Problem solved.
Heroin wasn’t the only ingredient in dubious cough and cold remedies. Here are a couple more gems:
2. The infamous One Night Cough Syrup that is nothing more than a lethal cocktail of drugs. Manufactured in Baltimore in the US (1988).
3. A strange mixture of alcohol, cannabis and chloroform was said to cure colds and coughs by the Tancro Dug Company (1814).
4. Dr Veno’s Lighting Cough Cure (1920) was hailed as a miracle cure, although the exact ingredients remain a mystery.
5. Dangerous advice: Dr Batty’s asthma cigarettes (1890) not only ‘cured’ asthma, but a host of other diseases too.
6. Ayers Cherry Pectoral (1891) – depending on which list of contents you reference, this cure for colds, coughs and “all diseases of the throat and lungs” contained either morphine or heroin.
7. Smoke to cure that cough! More bad advice, from Phillip Morris (1935)
8. Allcock’s porous plaster for cough and back pain (1895). Transdermal patches started early.
9. Charles E Hires’ cough cure (ca 1870) was said to instantly dissolve and loosen the mucus. Made from fresh balsem, roots, herbs and bark.
10. Adamson’s Botanic Cough Balsam, prepared from concentrated vegetable extracts, barks, gums and roots and “recommended for clergymen, eminent physicians and scientific men everywhere.” (1984)
source: Health 24
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Link to Idaho 1920 Influenza Pandemic (Part 97)
Link to Idaho 1920 Influenza Pandemic (Part 98)
Link to Idaho 1920 Influenza Pandemic (Part 99)
Link to Idaho 1918 Influenza Pandemic Ads (Part 100)
Link to Idaho 1919 Influenza Pandemic Ads (Part 101)
Link to Idaho 1920 Influenza Pandemic Ads (Part 102)