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Before the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, many of the advertised cough syrups contained harmful ingredients with an addictive potential like opium. In November, 1899, a cough medicine recipe, appeared in The Bulletin of Pharmacy under the heading "Formulas: Cough Remedies;” the journal noted the recipe resembled the Boschee’s German syrup and called for 4 drachms of a “tincture of opium.”

Boschee's German Syrup Ardmore Chronicle, v. 28, no. 20, February 17, 1917, p. [3].

Advertising Medicinal Cough Boschee's German Syrup .JPG


Colds  Dr. King's The Chicago Ledger, v. XLIX, no. 1, Saturday, January 1, 1921, p. 13.


Advertising Medicinal Cough Colds  Dr. King's  .JPG


Mother Gray's Sweet Powders for Children Ardmore Chronicle, v. 29, no. 21, February 23, 1918, p. [2]. 

Gray’s departs from this formula in concocting something special for children and the powder is sold to unsuspecting mothers with the active therapeutic agents, Sulphur, licorice and senna greatly reduced in quantity and the sugar content nearly doubled.” [Michigan 24]


Advertising Medicinal Cough Mother Gray's.JPG



Catarrh The Chicago Ledger, v. XLIX, no. 48, Saturday, November 26, 1921, p. 21.


Advertising Medicinal Cough Catarrh .JPG



 “. . .  PE-RU-NA which was comprised of up to 28% alcohol, water, burnt sugar for coloring and cubeb (a tropical southeast Asian shrubby vine (Piper cubeb) having spicy, berrylike fruits used for flavoring). . . . He hired an individual to travel to places to acquire testimonials from people cured by his tonic and this man later accused the company that the testimonials were forgeries. . . . Hartman’s particular genius was in defining catarrh as the root cause of virtually all known diseases: pneumonia was catarrh of the lungs, as was tuberculosis; canker sores were catarrh of the mouth; appendicitis was catarrh of the appendix; chronic indigestion, catarrh of the stomach; nephritis, catarrh of the kidneys. . . .” written by Maurice Mishkel in the blog, “Samuel B. Hartman MD & The Peruna Drug Mfg. Co., Columbus Ohio.”


The tobacco industry, along with all its accoutrements, and its influence upon America’s social, medical and economic histories was destined with the first harvested tobacco crop. The Second Industrial Revolution brought the invention of the Bonsack cigarette-making machine, in 1884, as well as the changes in curing and varied selections of tobacco produced a palatable cigarette. The industry, with a foothold in the American psyche, and an expanded market promoted advertisements in the weekly and magazines.

Camel cigarettes The Chicago Ledger, v. XLIX, no. 35, Saturday, August 27, 1921, p. 15.

                                   Advertising Recreational Tobacco Camel cigarettes.JPG

Prince Albert Tobacco The Chicago Ledger, v. XLIV, no. 12, March 18, 1916, p. 9.

Prince Albert's Illustration Prince Albert


Prince Albert Tobacco The Chicago Ledger, v. XLIV, no. 16, April 15, 1916, p. 11.

The same weekly newspapers and magazines with cigarette advertisements, in the late 19th to the early 20th centuries, published antismoking advertisements, from a movement comprised of elements from temperance, religious bodies and medical field. Between 1893-1921, succeeded to ban the possession and use of cigarettes in 15 states; however, the ban was later repealed in all the states by 1927.

Below advertisements include:

Tobacco Kills The Chicago Ledger, v. XXXVII, no. 16, Saturday, April 17, 1909, p. 16.

Banish Tobacco The Chicago Ledger, v. XLIV, no. 25, June 17, 1916, p. 20.

Tobacco Kills Banish Tobacco


"Catarrh." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 7 Oct. 2016.

Sullivan, Jack. "The Peruna Story: Strumming That Old Catarrh." Bottles and Extras  v. 18, no. 3, (May-June 2007), p. 29-30. Web. 12 July 2016.

Anderson, Maria.  "Six Cold and Flu Medicines you’re Not Taking Today (And for Good Reason)." Marshall's Med. Cigarettes. Smithsonian Insider. History & Culture. 27 January 2015. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.

"Formulas: Cough Remedies -- German Cough Syrup." The Bulletin of Pharmacy. 13(11) Nov. 1899, p. 481. Google ebook. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

"Facts: Mother Gray's Sweet Powders for Children." Michigan Food and Drug Monthly. The State of Michigan Food and Drug Department. April, 1919, p. 24.  Google ebook. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

Mishkel, Maurice. “Samuel B. Hartman MD & The Peruna Drug Mfg. Co., Columbus Ohio.” AusPostalHistory.com : Health Sciences. Australian Postal History & Social Philately. Copyright 2000-2016. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.

Reid, Roddey. "Tobacco Industry." Dictionary of American History, edited by Stanley I. Kutler, 3rd ed., vol. 8, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2003, pp. 133-137. Gale Virtual Reference Library, Web. 4 Nov. 2016.

Tate, Cassandra. "Antismoking Movement Before 1950." Tobacco in History and Culture: An Encyclopedia, edited by Jordan Goodman, vol. 1, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2005, pp. 45-51. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 4 Nov. 2016.
























































“Catarrh: medical: a condition in which the nose and air passages become filled with mucus” [Merriam-Webster]

Peruna's remedy:

"Hartman’s particular genius was in defining catarrh as the root cause of virtually all known diseases. For Hartman — and his advertising — pneumonia was catarrh of the lungs, so was tuberculosis. . . Peruna, he said [Hartman], would cure them all, even yellow fever, another form of catarrh. The good doctor’s confidence in his product appeared to be boundless." [Sullivan 29]








“In the early to mid-20th century, cigarettes would be produced with medicine in them and given to people with asthma and respiratory issues as a way to get the medicine into their lungs . . ” [Anderson]