Old English Patent Medicines in America

by George B. Griffenhagen

Bateman's Pectoral Drops, Godfrey's Cordial, Turlington's Balsam of Life, Hooper's Female Pills, and a half-dozen other similar nostrums originated in England, mostly during the first half of the 18th century. Advertised with extravagant claims, their use soon spread to the American Colonies.To the busy settler, with little time and small means, these ready-made and comparatively inexpensive "remedies" appealed as a solution to problems of medical and pharmaceutical aid. Their popularity brought forth a host of American imitations and made an impression not soon forgotten or discarded.


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