A contemporary patent medicine empire: Read selections from Dr.  R.V. Pierce's The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser; or, Medicine Explained,  (1895, Buffalo, New York, from Pierce's own press at his World's Dispensary Medical Association: "Spermatorrhea' (loss of semen without copulation, which usually means masturbation), portrait of Pierce, and his hospital.
See also Cardui patent medicine booklet covers, testimonials, examination sheet
See Dr. Grace Feder Thompson's letter appealing for patients, Lydia E. Pinkham's Vegetable Compound, and Orange Blossom medicine, Dr. E. C. Abbey's The Sexual System and Its Derangements, which emphasises masturbation, as does Dr. Pierce, and several small boxes of old American patent medicine for women.
See the Wix tampon, instructions, patent, The Fascinating Story of Wix (and another version) and store instruction sheet. And read an ad in the Sears catalog for Wix and see a Wix tampon store display ad.
Early commercial tampons
Ads for the Kotex stick tampon (U.S.A., 1970s) - a Japanese stick tampon from the 1970s.
Early commercial tampons - Rely tampon - Meds tampon (Modess)
And, of course, the first Tampax AND - special for you! - the American fax tampon, from the early 1930s, which also came in bags.
See a Modess True or False? ad in The American Girl magazine, January 1947, and actress Carol Lynley in "How Shall I Tell My Daughter" booklet ad (1955) - Modess . . . . because ads (many dates).
CONTRIBUTE to Humor, Words and expressions about menstruation and Would you stop menstruating if you could?
Some MUM site links:
homepage | MUM address & What does MUM mean? | e-mail the museum | privacy on this site | who runs this museum?? |
Amazing women! | the art of menstruation | artists (non-menstrual) | asbestos | belts | bidets | founder bio | Bly, Nellie | MUM board | books: menstruation and menopause (and reviews) | cats | company booklets for girls (mostly) directory | contraception and religion | costumes | menstrual cups | cup usage | dispensers | douches, pain, sprays | essay directory | extraction | facts-of-life booklets for girls | famous women in menstrual hygiene ads | FAQ | founder/director biography | gynecological topics by Dr. Soucasaux | humor | huts | links | masturbation | media coverage of MUM | menarche booklets for girls and parents | miscellaneous | museum future | Norwegian menstruation exhibit | odor | olor | pad directory | patent medicine | poetry directory | products, current | puberty booklets for girls and parents | religion | Religión y menstruación | your remedies for menstrual discomfort | menstrual products safety | science | Seguridad de productos para la menstruación | shame | slapping, menstrual | sponges | synchrony | tampon directory | early tampons | teen ads directory | tour of the former museum (video) | underpants & panties directory | videos, films directory | Words and expressions about menstruation | Would you stop menstruating if you could? | What did women do about menstruation in the past? | washable pads
Leer la versión en español de los siguientes temas: Anticoncepción y religión, Breve reseña - Olor - Religión y menstruación - Seguridad de productos para la menstruación.


S. B. Hartman, M.D.  Lectures on Chronic Catarrh, (ca. 1895)
Booklet (selections), Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A.

Catarrh as the cause of many diseases
The cure: patent medicines Pe-ru-na (Peruna), Man-a-lin (Manalin), La-cu-pi-a (Lacupia)

After ignoring this red booklet for years in a box in the MUM archives, I finally opened it and saw great illustrations in a 19th-century style familiar from many patent medicine pamphlets. I figured the author gave medical opinion of the time about catarrh.

You're familiar with a runny nose? You're familiar with catarrh.

But the word Pe-ru-na popped up again and again - and again and again. I looked it up and its history seemed to link it to a Swedish word for pear.

Further looking uncovered the word's historic importance. Pe-Ru-Na helped change American history!

Pe-Ru-Na tricked Americans into thinking it alone was the cure for many maladies. Its maker, this booklet's author, Dr. S. B. Hartman, built a million-dollar empire selling bottles of it for $1 each, a lot of money in that day. He wrote free booklets, gave free written advice, kept patients in his sanitarium for long-time cures although apparently not for free.

Remind you of anyone? How about Mrs. Lydia Pinkham? Dr. Pierce? A thousand others? (To be fair, Mrs. Pinkham didn't operate a sanitarium, just an army of fake Mrs. Pinkhams to answer sick people's letters long after the real one died.)

Both Hartman and Pinkham concocted their medicines from herbs and - the active ingredient - alcohol, a lot of it. That would be the effective part although some would disagree. Many other sham and dangerous medicines of the era contained opium, heroin, cannabis, cocaine and the like.

Dr. Hartman makes a strong connection between health and beauty throughout the booklet. Alcohol often reddens the face of a drinker, giving a white person, his target, the look of health. Drinking his alcohol, Pe-ru-na, thus makes women beautiful - with women mostly believing the cause was medicinal. He scatters pictures of attractive women (and hats) through the Health and Beauty section that is reproduced here.

But in 1905 Collier's magazine exposed this patent medicine duplicity with a searing, very readable series of articles. The following year President Teddy Roosevelt signed the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, a first step in regulating this highly profitable empire.

Also in 1905, stores on Indian reservations were forbidden to sell Pe-Ru-Na to Native Americans because of the alcohol.

(For fun, see if you can find a visual common cause for these ladies' illnesses. I'll tell you as you wend your way through the pages.)

And many - most? all? - of the illnesses the doctor claims Pe-Ru-Na cured would have gone away on their own if given enough time. Tincture of time, just what the hand surgeon told me would cure the pain after an anesthetist's needle impaled my radial nerve. For many people Pe-Ru-Na made that time happier, possibly dangerous or fatal, and expensive. That's the way alcohol works.

I'd call Dr. Hartman a monster.

I've limited these pages mostly to those devoted to women, pp. 65-98.

Read more about Pe-Ru-Na and its history.
SarahAnne Hazlewood generously donated the booklet to this museum.

Below: The booklet measures about 6 x 9" (15.2 x 22.9 cm) with 96 yellowing numbered pages plus a table of contents and a preface.

NEXT page
But first, below, a Pe-ru-na ad to show you what you're dealing with.
(Taken from http://www.bottlebooks.com/Peruna_reprinted_from_collier.htm )
Date and publication (possibly Collier's weekly) unknown.
The case was a Close call!
NEXT page

Cover | contents | preface | introduction | [pp. 2-64 skipped] | 65 female catarrh | 66 female debility | 67 catarrh; vulvitis; catching cold | 68 The working woman; the society woman | 69 pruritis vulvae | 70 catarrh of bladder | 71 [illustration only] "Health and Beauty are Inseparable" | 72 vaginitis; leucorrhea (whites) | 73 bearing-down pains | 74 heavy skirts; a typical case of vaginal leucorrhea | 75 endometritis | 76 pe-ru-na is harmless | 77 catarrhal amenorrhea | 78 menorrhagia; metorrhagia | 79 dysmenorrhea | 80 [illustration only] "Perfect Health Brings Beauty" | 81 salpingitis | 82 barrenness | 83 change of life [menopause] | 84 catarrhal congestion | 85 no narcotics; constipation; your diet | 86 an interesting case continued | 87 the nerves and catarrh; hysteria | 88 nervous prostration | 89 a merchant's wife; a farmer's wife | 90 [illustration only] "The Only Road to Beauty is Health" | 91 catarrh continued | 92 clean skin; massage baths | 93 facial blemishes; mask for face and hands | 94 heredity | 95 false modesty | 96 health and beauty | 97 epidemic catarrh or la grippe [influenza, flu] 98 gentle laxative; after effects of la grippe

© 2013 Harry Finley. It is illegal to reproduce or distribute any of the work on this Web site in any manner
or medium without written permission of the author. Please report suspected violations to hfinley@mum.org