May 27, 2018

Liars, Tall Tales and Boasts, Oh My!

Quack medicine, questionable food claims and beauty supplement benefits!  The American term for quack medicine was “snake oil”, a reference to sales pitches in which the sometimes outrageous claims of medicinal successes were attributed to the exotic ingredients of their product. Those who sold them were called “snake oil peddlers” or “snake oil salesmen”. These opportunists often used enthusiastic and deceptive sales techniques, including “fire and brimstone” sermons, theatrical productions, and confidence tricks. 

Full of alcohol, opium, cocaine and other unregulated substances, it's not surprising that their users felt like the pills and tonics were doing something, even if they became addictive. 

Benefits of certain foods and beauty enhancements were boldly erroneous, as well. It was a time of sensational advertising and claims that were unproven, but enticed the consumer into believing.  Vintage Gal Antiques has a great collection of "quack medicines" dating mostly from the 1910- 1930 era. So fun to read the labels!   Check it out!  

Bust Massage? Hmmmm....
Is Couch Grass what grows when you sit around too much?

Really?  Compared to a chicken sandwich, eggs and veggies?

And some interesting claims about the  healthy and nourishing benefits of Eskimo Pies!