Saturday, December 12

Why our Great-Grandparents Were Happier

This email came recently; titled "why our great-grandparents were happier than we are." I'm not so sure they were happier, but they were certainly drunker and more doped-up! Look at the array of products featuring heroin and cocaine. Click to enlarge.

Bayer's Heroin. Between 1890 and 1910, heroin was sold as a non-addictive (huh?) substitute for morphine. It was also used to treat children with strong coughs. Yikes!

Maltine was suggested as an accompaniment to a meal; full glasses for adults and half-glasses for children.

Coca wine, anyone? Metcalf's coca wine was one of a huge variety of wines with cocaine on the market.

A paper weight promoting C.F. Boehringer and Soehne (Mannheim, Germany). They were proud of being the largest producer of products containing quinine and cocaine in the world.

Mariani wine was the most famous Coca wine of its time. Pope Leo XIII supposedly carried one with him at all times. He gave the producer (Mariani) a Vatican Gold Medal.

My pediatrician 44 years ago had me using paregoric for my son's colic. Little did I know then what it was.

I've mixed up the photos with the commentary, but here is the rest of it:
Opium for Asthma.

Cocaine tablets (1900)
All actors, singers, teachers and preachers had to have them for maximum performance! Said to be "great to soothe the voice".

Cocaine drops for toothache. Very popular for children.

Opium for newborns. It would make them sleep well; not only the opium, but the 46% alcohol!


mamie said...

We used to take paregoric too - what is it?

Yeah, my grandfather DID smile alot!

Thumper said...

Holy carp...I hope the ingredients of paregoric changed over the years; my OB gave it to me when I was pregnant in '83...

Evil Twin's Wife said...

Now, I think I understand why my paternal grandmother had 10 kids.

Beverly said...

My grandmother loved Hadacol. Quite a bit of alcohol there. I remember the mention of paregoric too.

Kay Dennison said...

They prolly are rolling in theyir graves at healthcare today.

Travelin'Oma said...

My parents gave me paregoric for everything—stomach aches, ear aches, when I was a pain in the neck—and I did the same for my first two kids. I was very ticked when the pediatrician wouldn't give me any more.

I wonder what the next generation will write about our common medicines. "Your mom gave you tylenol? That's pure poison!"

Jen said...

The heroine could make me not care that I wasn't able to breathe...I still find it humorous that the temperance ladies spent the day protesting the sale of alcohol then went and had their daily dose of Coca-Cola's original recipe.

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

I didn't know most of these, but I do know that my mom regularly used Lydia Pinkham's whose tag line was, "A baby in every bottle."

Gilly said...

Its a wonder any of them made it through to old age!

I used to dose my daughter up with a cough mixture that I think is off the market now - too much alcohol - no wonder it helped her sleep!

But I am sure heroin was a marvel for coughs!

I used to take Gee's linctus - anhyone know what was in that??

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Very interesting. No wonder Paragoric made you feel so good...!

Granny Annie said...

My grandpa had to have his daily dose of liquid vitamins. They were prescribed by his doctor. My dad learned the contents and I will never forget the rage that accompanied him when he went to speak to the doctor. "Why do you continue to prescribe this dangerous drug for my dad?" and the doctor explained that my grandpa (in his 80's) was addicted and the withdrawal would be worse on him than taking the drug. Dad came away without pursuing any further. We saw the effects when the product was banned and even the doctor could not prescribe it. My grandpa became a person we hardly knew before he died in a weak and withered state.

Pat said...

I've had my suspicions about Collis Brown's mixture for some time. If it spills it makes quite a mark and some people get very attached to it.