Muckrakers Upton Sinclair published The Jungle in to expose labor abuses in the meat packing industry. But it was food, not labor, that most concerned the public. Sinclair's horrific descriptions of the industry led to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act, not to labor legislation.
The best-remembered snake oil salesman, Clark Stanley, handled live snakes in a turn-of-the-century medicine show. These products and their marketing have been a favorite topic for historians of advertising, who describe how intense competition and the development of transcontinental and international markets motivated energetic entrepreneurs to develop new marketing techniques.
Patent medicine did not require a large capital investment. Clark Stanley was not the only medicine show performer to do his bottling at or near the venue, and Philadelphia druggist Henry Helmbold, who got rich on his diuretic Extract of Buchu, claimed to have begun production with fifty cents. With low barriers to entry, huge potential markets, and many examples of successful firms, the industry was highly competitive.
Proprietary medicine makers therefore had to argue for the unique merits of their remedies, and their innovative advertising associated their products with those claims by means of trade names, emblems, and symbols of reassurance or potency. Historians who have used nineteenth-century periodicals can testify both to the ubiquity of ads for the most popular patent medicines and to the extensive advertising for the many we have never heard of.
Chugging them would have been unpleasant and expensive.
Although it was widely advertised for serious illnesses, this medicine addressed the much larger market of women suffering from more ordinary complaints. Lydia Pinkham, whose sons turned a remedy she developed into the highly successful patent medicine company that bore her name, started as a local healer in Lynn, Massachusetts.
Her surviving notebook of case histories indicates that she tailored samuel hopkins adams nightly business report recommendations to individual cases, prescribing dozens of plants besides those in the medicine her sons marketed with her trademarked image.
When women bought the Compound, they were purchasing one formula, pitched to as many consumers as possible.
But understanding the nature of the plants in this formula helps to take an interpretation of household medicines beyond accusations of fraud and quackery. Others suffered from sexually transmitted infections they were embarrassed to reveal to physicians.
People might seek expensive medical assistance when they broke bones or feared death, but bruises, burns, muscle strains, and digestive problems called for liniments, salves, and tonics.
We need not construe people looking for relief as credulous dupes of advertising. Like people buying over-the-counter remedies today, they may have bought a first bottle because they bought the pitch, but if they came back for a second, they probably thought it had done some good.
Before the invention of aspirin inthere was nothing to alleviate pain besides plant medicines; willow bark and meadowsweet offered mild relief, and even respectable people used drugs made from the stronger and more reliable opium poppy.
Before sulfa drugs were developed during the s, the most effective antimicrobial agents were derivatives of mercury and arsenic; numerous doctors and patients opted for less toxic plant medicines. Herbal treatment was not an alternative to seeing a doctor, nor did it suggest dissatisfaction with professional care.
All kinds of physicians prescribed plant drugs, and commercial medicines were formulated with those same plants. These plants, and substances derived from them, had long histories of effective use in clinical practice, and they were the drugs that Merck sold, as did Parke-Davis, Eli Lilly, and other early pharmaceutical companies.
Along with the wholesale drug firms located in every port city, these companies obtained plant materials from all over the world. Central to the early development of the domestic trade were businesses operated by the Shakers, whose communities grew and sold medicinal plants and herbal preparations, creating a Shaker brand image that communicated high quality decades before they marketed their famous furniture.
Already innovators in the commercial production and distribution of individual medicinal plants, Shakers became leaders in patent medicine after the Civil War, selling compounds with secret formulas: National Library of Medicine.
Merck, Lilly, and Parke-Davis sold a wide range of products—herbal and non-herbal, single plants and chemicals as well as compounds. But the Dispensatory complained about variability among samples of this drug and questioned the claims Parke-Davis and other companies made that their products had been tested and standardized.
Prescriptions were not legally required for any drug beforeand the current distinction between prescription and over-the-counter medications was not enacted until The line between nineteenth-century proprietaries and physician-prescribed medicines was by no means clear.
They were all formulated with the same plants, minerals, and solvents. Many physicians prescribed proprietaries. Although the American Medical Association adopted numerous resolutions against secret formulas, medical journals not only carried ads for patent medicines, but used public relations material from the proprietaries as editorial matter.
The attack on self-dosing with commercial medicines, which began in the states long before the law, was taken up again by consumer advocates in the s.
The racialized and xenophobic campaign against cannabis led by Harry Anslinger, for 32 years the Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, and the subsequent tax laws made medical use of that plant anathema for many decades, but so did the decline of all kinds of plant medicines.
For much of the twentieth century, medical authorities and the media disparaged botanical medicines. To some extent, the lore of herbal healing was kept alive by folklorists, ethnobotanists, and gardeners.
Now herbal products are again for sale at every drugstore, the objects of fads and the subjects of marketing gimmicks. Accurate and useful information on growing, processing, and using medicinal herbs is widely available from a well-developed international community of listservs, blogs, and podcasts with no commercial interest in particular products as well as from purveyors.
Big Pharma firms produce some of those posters, but, like Parke-Davis in the nineteenth century, they also send bioprospectors to tropical rainforests in search of new drugs. · Samuel Adams was the son of a generous beer brewer, also named Samuel, and Mary Fifield Adams, his religious wife. Mary Adams passed her Puritan beliefs on to her three children—Samuel, his older sister Mary, and younger brother ph-vs.com://ph-vs.com /us-history-biographies/samuel-adams.
Common Cause: A Novel of the War in America, by Samuel Hopkins Adams (Gutenberg ebook) Brown, Arthur William, Common cause: a novel of the war in America / (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, , ©), also by Samuel Hopkins Adams (page images at HathiTrust)ph-vs.com?key=Brown.
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Ad Choicesph-vs.com Samuel Kennedy studies Escrever, Japanese Buddhism, and Japanese ph-vs.com Imprisoned and tortured by the demoness who tricked him into betraying the Nightkeepers and the woman he loves, Rabbit must endure excruciating pain to protect the diminished Skywatch army as the end-time ph-vs.com The Mystery by Adams, Samuel Hopkins White, Stewart Edward is a Project Gutenberg book, now on Github.