Vintage "medical" advertising

For the first time in the world of the law governing the promotion of medicines, it was adopted in 1906, and before that the completeness and accuracy of the information on the label is only determined by the honesty and richness of fantasy producer.

In those years, questionable electrical appliances, Coca-Cola and the snake oil sold in pharmacies and traveling salesmen and buyers belief in the effectiveness of potions used stunts and tricks, as well as pseudo-scientific terminology incomprehensible.


Here are a few examples of the strange and absurd advertising of medicines at the time related to the late 19th - early 20th century.



"Children and adults are gaining weight like pigs: 20 years on the market, half a million bottles of tonic sold over the past year." Today, the motivation "to get fat as a pig," sounds discouraging, but in the seventies of the 19th century tonic Edwin Wiley Grove offered on the market as a means of malaria prevention and control of disease symptoms. Tonic, invented in Paris - not in the French capital, and in a small town in Tennessee, had a sweet taste and lemon flavor, and the main active ingredient in it acted quinine.


Tonic Groove really could relieve the symptoms of malaria, but as a preventive measure, he was absolutely useless, because in the absence of a pathogenic organism quinine passes through the gastrointestinal tract unchanged, without stopping in the tissues.

Grove does sell millions of its bottles, while its products are not pressed by the famous Coca-Cola.



"A delicious and healthy beverage. Fatigue, needs men - businessmen and professors, students and athletes. It relieves physical and mental exhaustion. Favorite drink of women, eliminating hunger and ill-humor. "


Doctor John Pemberton was a veteran of the Confederation; retired, he engaged in the production of drinks and drugs, and especially the invention of his life was the Coca-Cola drink. The main active ingredient of a new soft drink cola steel walnut leaves are known for their property to cure a hangover and excite sexual appetite. It must be said that the modern Coca-Cola drink to taste and smell has nothing to do with the invention of Pemberton - it was thick sweet balm, which included dozens of extracts of herbs and plants. Carbonated beverage Coca-Cola has become a chance, but as a result of the inventor has changed the release of the product form, realizing that sell diluted balm is much better than concentrate.



"The ointment on the basis of snake oil - the most powerful means of pain and lameness. Cures rheumatism, neuralgia, sciatica, lumbago, sprains and toothache; It recommended for frostbite, bruises, fever and insect bites and animals. It is used to treat humans and animals. "

Advertising Act of 1906 was adopted, in particular, to protect consumers against scoundrels like Stanley Clarke. He sold his ointment, promising to get rid of dozens of ailments, and said that for the manufacture of drugs used oil extracted from the bodies of Chinese rattlesnakes. Statements Stanley sounded very convincing, so only conducted tests of chemical composition showed that the production of drugs, no snake does not hit (!) - snake oil was not there at all, but a crook selling a dummy, for which he was ordered to pay a huge fine.



"miracle cure for weight loss - net, a cooling and refreshing cream for external use. Without fat and oil, odorless, does not require compliance with diet and exercise, available at a price. Restores the normal figure of 30 application sessions creates chiseled silhouette of 60. Suitable for use in the bath. " The exact composition of the funds did not reach our days, but you can with 100% certainty that it was completely useless in the fight against obesity. Sales of such drugs not regulated by law, and the producers do not even bother to write a list of ingredients on the packaging.



"reducers chin - young oval face will be back, if you pull the strings. Prevention and elimination of double chin, reducing cervical lymph nodes via the intensive massage of the chin and neck. "

On the border of the 19th and 20th century New York professor Ozhin Mack sold his "miracle reducer chin" of $ 10 per share, which at the current exchange rate is equivalent to $ 250, promising not only a reduction of double chin, but also a fresh complexion , improve the shape and contour of the neck, and removing wrinkles. It was one of hundreds, if not thousands of absolutely useless devices, the popularity of which is determined by their mysterious and "tech" appearance, as well as a complete medical ignorance of consumers. Also included in the story "correctors Nose", "aids to create dimples on his cheeks" and "Electric facials".



"pink pills for pale people".

Pink pills Dr. Williams sold in the US and Canada throughout the nineteenth century and were considered not only a means of giving a healthy and flowering species pale individuals, but also a remedy for chorea, partial paralysis, tachycardia, neuralgia, and general weakness.

In fact, the inventor of this tool was not the mythical "Dr. Williams," a native of Ontario, George T. Fulford. He sold drugs of Dr. recipe Williams Medicine Co., which, in turn, has invested heavily in the advertising promotion of the drug. The only valuable ingredient in these tablets was iron which actually to a greater or lesser degree when assisted anemic pallor, but all other merits means were invented.



"The best remedy for the treatment of hemorrhoids and constipation - rectal dilators. It helps the natural processes for chronic constipation and hemorrhoids. Sale of medical equipment stores. Expanders are made of solid rubber and are available in four sizes. "

This is probably one of the most egregious examples of the use of medical illiteracy of the population in the mercenary purposes businessmen from medicine. Manufacturer assured that rectal extender promotes natural training internal pelvic muscles and thus serves as a preventive and therapeutic agent for hemorrhoids. The trial of 1940 ended with the verdict: rectal dilators may cause irreparable harm to the patient with hemorrhoids, and their production was banned. 1906 Act was the first step to prohibit such inhuman and obviously harmful experiments on sick people, but it took another thirty years for the law began to effectively protect consumers from false medical advertising (it is about taking the first US Federal law in the field of food, medicines and cosmetics)