Do you suffer from Early Excesses, Sour Eructations, Softening of the Brain, Female Weaknesses, or Rupture? If so, these advertisements from the late 1800s are ready to sell you a cure.
This location is now a seven-unit condo. One of them can be yours for $4.5 million, a price that is likely to bring on nervous debility.
Our research didn’t reveal what this exotic cure for hemorrhoids might have been, but one currently can visit a shrine in Japan that claims to relieve your piles by dipping your backside in a river and then pointing it in the direction of a holy egg.
According to the Notices of Judgment Under the Food and Drugs Act, Issue 4001; Issue 5000, the company was unable to prove that theirs medicines cured the listed diseases, and “on July 27, 1915, the defendant company entered a plea of guilty to the information, and the court imposed a fine of $50.”
All of these adjectives for this cure – positive, speedy, harmless – sound great, except we can’t quite determine the meaning of “almost inexpensive.”
A treatment that addresses hysteria, fits, nervous prostration caused by alcohol and tobacco, softening of the brain, involuntary losses, self-abuse, and over-indulgence sounds like the perfect antidote for the day after Halloween.
One can only guess what kind of rupture was being cured; more information would have been helpful. As a side note, the Mutual Life Building at 10th and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia is still in use, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The current ground-floor tenant is a Starbucks.
Bright’s disease was a name given to a range of kidney diseases at the time. In the late 1890s, the Bedford Mineral Springs billed itself as “one of the most celebrated and romantic mountain resorts in the country,” according to a brochure at the time. The resort offered the Magnesia Spring, the Sulphur Spring, the Pure Spring, and the Iron Spring. The Magnesia Spring appeared to be the source for the bottled water.
According to the New England Historical Society, James Cook Ayer, The Sarsaparilla King of Lowell, Massachusetts, “would become the most successful patent medicine manufacturer of his age. He accumulated one of the great fortunes of the era, an estimated $20 million.” While some of his concoctions proved to be effective, the Sarsaparilla didn’t work.
We’re not sure what the cure was, but it’s safe to say that any ladies’ “womb troubles” should not be addressed by an electrochemical battery company.
Become a Saturday Evening Post member and enjoy unlimited access. Subscribe now