Jun 17, 2008

History Slivers - Coleman's Fever and Ague Pills

This is a recurrent feature on the site in which I briefly describe some arcane aspect of history that I came across, but about which I am too busy or lazy to write in greater depth, yet which - sliver-like - I cannot simply ignore.

I came across the following front-page advertisement in the 11 July 1838 edition of the Toledo Blade while doing some research. I have transcribed the ad for readers who might like to compare modern-day quackery with that being pushed by pharmaceutical representatives of dubious distinction in the nineteenth century.

The term "fever and ague," by the way, was used to describe the symptoms associated with malaria, a disease that was endemic to Northwest Ohio until the early twentieth century.


Coleman's Fever and Ague Pills

An effectual cure for the Fever and Ague in all its various forms. In many hundreds of certified instances, they have effected an immediate cure, and permanently secured that uniform enjoyment of health, without which, life itself is but a partial blessing. So great indeed has their efficacy invariably and infallibly proved, that it has appeared truly a subject of wonder to those who were unacquainted with the beautiful philosophical principles upon which they act.

They are entirely composed of extracts from rare and powerful plants, the virtues of which, though long known to several Indian tribes, and recently to some eminent pharmaceutical chemists, are altogether unknown to the ignorant pretenders to medical science, and were never before administered in so happily efficacious a combination.

The particular properties of this medicine consist in its power to remove all vitiated secretions of the stomach and bowels, purify the blood, restore the tone of the stomach and liver, quiet the nervous system, restore lost appetite, the spirits, and bring back the natural vivacity of restored health.

These Pills have their great advantages over any other remedy. First, they are a certain cure. Second, they will effect a cure in the short space of twenty-four hours. And thirdly, heading of this article will show that the patient is not liable to a second attack. The heading of this article will show that the proprietors are willing to "take the responsibility." They will now only add to those who are so unfortunate to have that shocking, shaking disease, the Fever and Ague, that they can be cured in twenty-four hours by one box of Coleman's Pills, without endangering their health with Arsenic, Bark, or Quinine.

Manufactured and for sale Wholesale and Retail, by C.H.& J. Coleman no. 220, corner Main and Swan Sts., Buffalo.

For sale at the Drug Store of HOISINGTON & MANNING, corner of Summit & Locust sts., Lower Toledo.


Mad Jack said...

Hey-ya Hey-ya Hey-ya
Step right up ladies and gents and witness one of the mystical marvelations of the enlightened age, and while I strive to entertain all you good God fearing people please keep in mind that listening doesn't cost a dime, and speaking of which those of you in the front row will note that, entirely by coincidence, I have exactly one brand new Roosevelt dime here in my right hand, my left hand being occupied by this bottle of Colonel Zackariah Vandergriff's Elucidating Elixir, distilled from exotic plants found only in the hostile jungles of South America.

How am I doing so far, Mike?

dr-exmedic said...

Given the percentage of such remedies that had mercury, opium, or both, I wonder exactly what was in that one?