Free and Discounted Ebooks
Join 130,000 readers! Get our ebook deals straight to your inbox.

Old English Patent Medicines in America

Cover image for


Co-author: James Harvey Young
Published: 1959
Language: English
Wordcount: 17,274 / 65 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 52.2
LoC Category: Q
Downloads: 666
Added to site: 2009.10.03 25451
Genres: Science, History

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.

Show Excerpt

require the patentee to furnish precise specifications with his application.[12] When Hooper was called upon to tell what was in his pills and how they were made, he replied by asserting that they were composed "Of the best purging stomatick and anti-hysterick ingredients," which were formed into pills the size of a small pea. This satisfied the royal agents and Hooper went on about his business. In an advertisement of the same year, he was able to cite as a witness to his patent the name of the Archbishop of Canterbury.[13]

[11] John Hooper, "Pills," British patent 592, July 21, 1743.

[12] E. Burke Inlow, The patent grant, Baltimore, 1950, p. 33.

[13] Daily Advertiser, London, September 23, 1743.

Much less taciturn than Hooper about the composition of his nostrum was Robert Turlington, who secured a patent in 1744 for "A specifick balsam, called the balsam of life."[14] The Balsam contained no less than 27 ingredients, and in his patent specifications Turlington



Join 120,000+ fellow readers! Get Free eBooks and book bargains from ManyBooks in your inbox. 

We respect your email privacy

login | register

User ID


reset password

Author of the Day

Elin Barnes
Elin Barnes has done many different things in her life, like being a flight instructor, working for a criminal appeals lawyer and working for many big name technology companies in Silicon Valley (Microsoft, Google etc.). But the one thing that she never thought would actually happen is to write (and finish) a book. Her debut novel, Justification for Murder, has, in the meantime, earned rave reviews and grown into a series. As our author of the day, Barnes reveals why she picked Silicon Valley as the backdrop, her inspiration behind writing a biomedical thriller and how she went for ride-alongs with the San Jose Police Department.
Read full interview...