Posts Tagged ‘medicine’

Clarke’s blood mixture

May 13, 2015

Amongst the many medical items we have in the museum there is a blue glass bottle which once contained Clarke’s blood mixture.

A 19th century Clarke's medicine bottle at Market Lavington Museum

A 19th century Clarke’s medicine bottle at Market Lavington Museum

Clarke’s were a medicaments firm based in Lincoln in England.

Clarke's were based in Lincoln, UK

Clarke’s were based in Lincoln, UK

And apparently the blood mixture was world famed.

The bottle once contained the 'world famed blood mixture

The bottle once contained the ‘world famed blood mixture

Clarke’s blood mixture dates from the nineteenth century and into the twentieth. It was the era for cure-all medicines. These words appeared in an advert for the blood mixture in an 1876 Australian newspaper.

Clarke’s World-famed blood mixture

The great blood purifier and restorer for cleansing and clearing the blood from all impurities cannot be too highly recommended.

For scrofula, scurvy, skin diseases and sores of all kinds it is a never-failing and permanent cure.]

It cures old sores, cures ulcerated sores on the neck, cures ulcerated sore legs, cures blackheads or pimples on the face, cures scurvy sores, cures cancerous ulcers, cures blood and skin diseases, cures glandular swellings, clears the blood of all impure matter.

As this mixture is pleasant to the taste and warranted free from anything injurious to the most delicate constitution of either sex, the proprietor solicits sufferers to give it a trial to test its value.

 With all these alleged virtues it seems amazing that Clarke’s went out of business and his blood mixture vanished. Or perhaps it wasn’t able to live up to the proprietor’s claims!

We love the bottle and you can see it amongst our medical display at the museum.


Mustard Ointment

May 1, 2015

Mustard Ointment was one of those remedies for many things that used to be popular and remain popular. In fact in some ways using unproven remedies is even more common these days. Science and scientists tend to get rubbished in the media. Many scientists are portrayed as the geeks who can’t communicate and get it wrong. And a mass of web sites and blogs, not to mention social media sites pass on unscientific hearsay as facts and people seem to believe that.

Which is not to say that mustard ointment still finds huge favour, except as a museum exhibit.

Mustard Ointment tin at Market Lavington Museum

Mustard Ointment tin at Market Lavington Museum

We know little about this product and have it dated as mid-20th century. Alex Parsons, the manufacturer, not surprisingly thought highly of its ability to create better, more lasting and stronger limbs, joints, neck and muscles.

He also tells us that the product is Blue Cross Quality, a phrase which seems to have little meaning here in the UK being much more widely used across the Atlantic.

Users are not advised of active ingredients.

Some people still use mustard medicinally. It seems to work as a counter irritant. You put some ointment on your skin and it takes your mind off the real problem.

Can anyone expand any further on that? And can anyone give us a more specific date for our tin?

Nasty Stuff

April 24, 2015

We suppose it is almost inevitable that in amongst our medical items at Market Lavington Museum we’ll have some nasty stuff. Coramine certainly falls in that bracket.

Coramine bottle at Market Lavington Museum

Coramine bottle at Market Lavington Museum

Apparently this was widely used in the mid twentieth century as a respiratory and circulatory stimulant. This bottle clearly says not suitable for injection and gives a dose of 1 to 2 millilitres.

This bottle was marketed by CIBA based in Horsham in Sussex.

This substance has been linked with murders, Hitler, and sports stars getting banned for using it. Apparently it is still available in some countries.

At least we can like the little dropper bottle which can be rotated to line up with the bulges in the neck of the bottle to allow drops of the contents to be delivered.

Our bottle is, of course, empty.

Medical Supplies

July 17, 2013

Time was (and still is, no doubt) when households kept stocks of proprietary remedies for many ills and ailments. Here we see a small selection of bottles and tins of household medicaments.

Medicine bottles and tins at Market Lavington Museum

Medicine bottles and tins at Market Lavington Museum

The near bottle contains cresolene, a mixture based on coal tar which was used as a disinfectant or antiseptic. It was not to be taken internally but rather used as an ointment to clean wounds. It could be put in a special heater so that fumes could be breathed. It was manufactured between 1881 and 1950 and was probably, of limited medical value.

The blue bottle once contained blood mixture which was advertised as a cure-all. Again, it probably had very limited medical value.

The Green coloured bottle once held Eclectic Oil.  It was another cure-all. It claimed to cure toothache in five minutes and lameness in two days. Again, it was just about worthless as a medicine. An earlier name had been eclectric oil – a portmanteau word for what clearly claimed to be a portmanteau product.

The brown bottle bears the legend Hardy and Son, Chemist of Salisbury. As this company produced ‘aerated waters’ this is probably a fizzy drink bottle.

The tin contained mustard ointment which, supposedly, gave warmth and relief to aching muscles.

It is often said that ‘The lesson from history is that we don’t learn from it’ Most of our bottles are 100 years or more old. They didn’t do much then but people still persist in buying quack remedies. Your best bet out of this collection was probably the fizzy drink!