Monday, November 17, 2008

From the Folks Who Brought You "Lincoln Tea"...

Readers of this blog will remember I posted an entry a few months back about an interesting medical item I had added to my collection: "Lincoln Tea for the Liver and Kidneys,"produced by the "Lincoln Proprietary Company," a division of the "Fort Wayne Drug Company," of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

In doing some research for a future column on the company as well as Abraham Lincoln's own experiences with patent medicines, I came across some advertisements from the early 1900s that might not have made "Honest Abe" very happy; the ads are for another Fort Wayne Drug Co. product known as "Lincoln Sexual Pills"!

This is definitely from the "More things change, the more they stay the same" department. TV - and especially e-mail "inboxes" - are filled with advertisements for "male enhancement" products, etc. Evidently, this is a timeless market as witnessed by some of the ad above, which includes another product aptly named "Cupidene"!

Abraham Lincoln actually has a very interesting association with "quack" medicines from his days in Springfield, to Civil War-era companies that took advantage of Lincoln's popularity, to wartime correspondence in the Lincoln Papers, to Lincoln Tea and Lincoln Sexual Pills. Look for a Civil War News "Medical Department" column on this topic early next year!

Indeed, the Lincoln column will actually be the last part in a three-part series about the interesting role that "nostrums" played in the American Civil War.

No comments: