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Patent Medicines and Quackery

By December 4, 2010April 14th, 2021No Comments

1908 America was a land of great enthusiasm. Every product was hyped as the greatest ever, and the solution for every problem.   Unregulated medicines and health supplements promised to cure every illness.

Here is an advertisement for soda water that was supposed to make you healthy and strong:


Manufactured by Mrs. Blanche Thomas of New York, San Francisco and St. Louis, the Herbo-Nervo Tonic was an all in one tonic, confection and soda drink guaranteed under the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 to “build up the whole system and give renewed vigor and vim.”   It was made purely of “vegetables and herbs”.   The ad claimed that  “Children can take it with impunity” because it contains nothing but sugar and the tonic.  At least one part of the advertisement was accurate.

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Victor Doppelt

Victor Doppelt

Victor Doppelt explores the world of yesterday through vintage photographs and informative articles.