Museum – Open the Bowels with Tamarack

Sometimes when I’m perusing antique patent medicine advertisements, I like to play a guessing game. The object is to guess what type of drugs a given remedy contained. Let’s start with the most basic of drug taxonomies, uppers and downers. Nothing says American Healthcare quite like cocaine and heroin, fellas! Which one do you think Dr. Henley’s Tamarack was more likely to contain?

Hmmm, not much in the way of visual clues, but the slogan does give us some hints. A clean stomach makes a clear head. It seems we may have ourselves a laxative here, folks. Out of body, out of mind, right? My bet is on uppers for this one!

Okay, Dr. Henley, what’s really in the bottle, HUH? It seems like the Docs solution to everything, and I mean everything, is to simply drop trou and take a shit! Will it really make me prettier? Gosh, I think I’ll try eating a handful of chili peppers before forking up the cash for this one! Oh, you only want a dollar instead of the sackful of gold coins you claim this is worth? How generous, Dr. Henley.

. . .  did you think turn-of-the-last-century doctors drug stores actually told you what they put in their magic potions? Hell no! If you want to be sure of something, find out yourself, you sick bastard! For what it’s worth, I think this was probably a cocaine cocktail cheap bottle of liquor, maybe with some herbs in it. Buuuut you never know, do you? It could just be the jackpot of high-fallutin’ medicine water. . Go ahead, it’s only a dollar. . .

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