And if That Didn't Kill Them
A Guide to Patent Medicines
When mother had exhausted all of her known medical knowledge, there was no shortage of off the shelf, or from the catalogue conconctions, guaranteed to cure everything from drunkeness to venereal disease.  The advertising rhetoric gave them almost mystical powers and images of rosy-cheeked children, beautiful women and virile young men, were all that was needed to convince the unsuspecting public of their medicinal benefits.
A few actually did have such benefits and are still being used today, but most were just plain quackery.  In fact, many were 100% alcohol, so it's no wonder you felt better.  You were drunk.

In this portion of the website, I want to share some of my favourites from the "World of Medicine", that existed during the 19th century when my grandparents and great-grandparents were raising their families in Canada.  Ironically, similar products are making a comeback and can be found in many health food stores; so I guess Quackery is still alive and well, and so long as there are people who believe in their effectiveness, it will never really die.
Well of All the Nerve - It's All in Your Head
Kicking the Habit - Freedom From the Bondage of Victorian Vices
Junk for the Junkies - "Take a Tincture of Opium and Fetch Me in the Morning"
Before Dr. Phil - Fads for Fat Folks
Female Pills for Female Ills - Handling Woman's Complaints
Up in Smoke - Curing the Nervous Troubles and General Debility of Smokers
Now Why Didn't I Think of That? - The Marvels of Modern Medicine
Life Before Viagra - Restoring Sexual Vigour
Dr. Mom and Her Diagnostic Skills - Prescriptions for all Diseases and How to Use Them
The Pitch and Tone of a Child's Cry - The Little Patient
Home Remedies Main Page
Uniquely Canadian Site Map
Victorian Canada Home Page