Thursday, September 3, 2009

Old Time-y memories, getting zapped, and a cure for what ails ya

When I was a kid in the mid 70's, old time-y decorations from the turn of the century were all the rage. A popular clothing store had decorated its changing rooms with wallpaper that looked like old Sears catalog ads.

A few years later, mom took me to a big flea market in town where she had a booth. I got to wander around looking at all the antiques and misc crap (there was a lot of misc crap.) I was fascinated by the old medicine bottles. At about the same time, at home we had a bottle of some curious liquid that smelled terrible. The label said "Sloan's Liniment." Not sure where it came from, but I was amazed that people used that stuff... even more amazed that it seemed to work. Mom used it as a decoration and brought it out to show people when they came over to visit.

This is unrelated, but somehow whenever I remember the old medicine bottles, these memories merge with a day in the bathroom of our little old house in Washburn when I reached up to the wall sconce turn on the light. It was an old house with bizarre construction and weird nooks and crannies... and I'm sure it had several wiring and other code violations. Maybe it's because the house was kind of old time-y? Maybe it's because we lived there when old time-y things were so popular.

Maybe it's because that's where I lived when I developed my fascination with "all things old time-y?" I'm really not sure.
Anyway, when I touched the metal knob on the wall sconce, I got a huge ZAP! on my fingers that still hurts to this day when I think about it.

(On the upside, that little dose of electrical medicine taught me it's ok to pee in the dark.)

The other day I got an email full of old time-y pictures that made my fingers burn and ache, reminding me of the big shock I got from the light switch.

Maybe if I had been on one or more of these medicines, I wouldn't have minded the electric shock quite so much.

A bottle of Bayer's heroin. Between 1890 and 1910 heroin was sold as a non-addictive substitute for morphine. It was also used to treat children with strong cough. ----------

Metcalf Coca Wine was one of a huge variety of wines with cocaine on the market. Everybody used to say that it would make you happy and it would also work as a medicinal treatment. ----------

Mariani wine (1875) was the most famous Coca wine of its time. Pope Leo XIII used to carry one bottle with him all the time. He awarded Angelo Mariani (the producer) with aVatican gold medal.

A paper weight promoting C.F. Boehringer & Soehne ( Mannheim , Germany ). They were proud of being the biggest producers in the world of products containing Quinine and Cocaine.


Produced by Maltine Manufacturing Company of New York . It was suggested that you should take a full glass with or after every meal. Children should take half a glass.

Cocaine tablets (1900)
All stage actors, singers teachers and preachers had to have them for a maximum performance. Great to "smooth" the voice.
Opium for Asthma
Cocaine drops for toothache
Very popular for children in 1885. Not only they relieved the pain, they made the children happy!
Opium for new-borns
I'm sure this would make them sleep well (not only the Opium, but 46% alcohol!!!!!)

PS: To this day, I still love old bottles.

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