Doan’s Dictionary and Almanack – 1903

Doan’s backache and kidney pills were all the rage 100 years ago. Apparently, they still exist although without any reference to kidneys. For the medically minded the active ingredient is magnesium salicylate which makes these pills non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs.

We have no such medicaments at Market Lavington Museum. What we do have is a marketing item which found its way to the Gye household back in 1903. It is a small paperback book containing a calendar, a dictionary and much propaganda about the benefits of Doan’s pills.

Here’s the front cover of what was an annual publication.

Doan’s Dictionary and Almanack for 1903 can be found at Market Lavington Museum

Inside we can discover that Doan’s pills were made in a modern, hygienic  factory.

Drawing showing the up to date factory where Doan’s pills were made.

And then there is the dictionary from which we pick one entry – the gramaphone.

It’s not how we spell gramophone – but do come and hear a similar aged phonograph at the Market Lavington Museum Miscellany on September 15th

Well maybe the gramophone was spelt that way back in 1903 and maybe across the pond in the USA. But this gramophone is our sneaky advert for the Museum Miscellany, in a few days time on 15th September.

We will be listening to music played on a device of a similar age, but actually a phonograph which plays cylinders rather than discs. Be at Market Lavington Community Hall at 7.30pm on Saturday 15th September to see and hear more of the history of your parish of Market Lavington and Easterton.


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