Tag Archives: health

But her carbuncles…

A very old ad for Dr. D. Jayne’s Alterative found in a hardcover copy of Charles Addams’ Dear Dead Days collection.
A very old ad for Dr. D. Jayne’s Alterative found in a hardcover copy of Charles Addams’ Dear Dead Days collection.

Bone shards:

Some very interesting words are used to sell this amazing product. My apologies in advance if you are a Victorian hypochondriac. 

Alterative — a drug used empirically to alter favorably the course of an ailment

Deobstruent — having the power to clear or open the natural ducts of the fluids and secretions of the body

Scrofula — a condition in which the bacteria that causes tuberculosis causes symptoms outside the lungs

King’s Evil — (AKA scrofula) a tuberculous swelling of the lymph glands, once popularly supposed to be curable by the touch of royalty

White Swellings – a swelling seen in tuberculous arthritis, esp. of the knee

Scrofulous — refers to scrofula, or figuratively, morally contaminated and corrupt

Indolent — lazy or slothlike, or a problem that causes no pain, or is slow-growing and not immediately problematic

Mercurial — characterized by rapid and unpredictable changeableness of mood

Neuralgia — a stabbing, burning, and often severe pain due to an irritated or damaged nerve.

Tic-Douloureux — a severe, stabbing pain to one side of the face

Goitre — (you might know this as “goiter”) a swelling of the thyroid gland that causes a lump in the front of the neck

Bronchocele (swelled neck) — impacted mucoid secretions within the bronchial tree

Tetter – any of various skin diseases, such as eczema, psoriasis, or herpes, characterized by eruptions and itching, or possibly ringworm for old-timers

Biles — either something having to do with your bile/liver/gall bladder, or going back even further, either of two bodily humours, one of which (black bile) was thought to cause melancholy and the other (yellow bile) anger  

Carbuncles — a skin infection that often involves a group of hair follicles. The infected material forms a lump, which occurs deep in the skin and often contains pus.

Dyspepsia — indigestion

Dropsical Swellings — (AKA edema or dropsy) swelling caused by fluid retention

Don’t you feel smarter (and a little bit sicker) now?

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A Pandemic Limerick

No matter how nice you were asking,
Karen was totes against masking.
In science she’d scoff
As she said with a cough,
“In Covid I’d rather be basking.”

Stiff Competition

What a lovely and fashionable girl.

What do you suppose the 1913 ad she was featured in was selling?

Go ahead, take a guess.

An upscale department store?


The season’s latest fur styles?


A vacation to exotic Canada?


Embalming fluid?

What are you, some kind of wise guy!?

Oh, wait…

You’re right!

It’s an ad for embalming fluid.

Magazine ad for the Clarke Fluid Company found in the December 1913 issue of The Sunnyside by Charles Addams back in the 1950s.
Magazine ad for the Clarke Fluid Company found in the December 1913 issue of The Sunnyside by Charles Addams back in the 1950s.

D-uh. It’s so obvious now!

Bone Shards:

Ripley’s has a lovely handful of weird embalming stories just waiting for you.

The next time you’re in Houston, don’t forget to stop at the National Museum of Funeral History. Slogan: “Any day above ground is a good one.”

I know! I’m sad I missed out on this auction too.

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Wise up. Mask up.

Wise up. Mask up.
A PSA for y’all.


A 1969 double truck magazine ad for GW Energy, err, GW Sugar
A 1969 double truck magazine ad for GW Energy, err, GW Sugar

Wanna lose weight and get in great shape! Eat a shitload of sugar!

On second thought, don’t do dat.

Fun facts:

In the Middle Ages, rich and royal people would commission giant sugar sculptures called subtleties.

Artist Kara Walker confected us a modern one and called it “A Subtlety“.

Want more sugar trivia? Here ya go. Want ever more. Ok, but pace yourself.

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Rebranding the Virus

I imagine the guys who refuse to wear masks are the same guys who refuse to wear condoms.

Perhaps we should rebrand COVID-19 as Air AIDS.

Earlier, I considered rebranding COVID-19 as Death Breath, but that sounds like something that could be cured with a mint.

And originally, I thought we could change the Coronavirus’ name to Lung Gonorrhea, because Gonorrhea is one of the most awful-sounding words out there, but then I remembered that lung cancer is a very real thing but that doesn’t stop smokers from smoking. Until it does.

This is Sean. Don’t cramp Sean’s style.

1974 magazine ad for Midol.
1974 magazine ad for Midol. 

Fun facts: Midol was originally advertised as a headache, neuralgia and toothache remedy, then later as a cure for hiccups. After that, it headed south.

An anti-spasmodic (antispasmodic these days) drug suppress muscle spasms. Hello, IBS!

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The Snow Job

Ad for Thin Gillettes (I forgot to mark the date.)
Ad for Thin Gillettes (I forgot to mark the date.)

The railroad version of a rotary plow is pretty badass. Imagine shaving with that puppy.
See one in action on Donner Pass.
Yep, that Donner.

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“No longer are pitiful little misshapen, ricket-twisted bodies excusable.”

Rawleigh's Cod Liver Oil
Found in Rawleigh’s 1932 Good Health Guide, Cook Book and Year Book.
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Alternative Juice — A good part of this Kellyanne Conway breakfast.

(Note: It’s actually “alterative juice”, but I’m sticking with alternative juice because it amuses me.)

If you got syphilis, yo, this’ll solve it.
Alternative juice will prolly dissolve it.

Succus Alterans Alternative Juice
Seen at a North Star Auction preview in Bismarck, North Dakota. Alas, I did not win it the next day.

Let’s check out these Succus Alterans Alternative Juice ingredients! According to Wikipedia…

Stillingia sylvatica was used by Native Americans for syphilis and as a cathartic, diuretic, laxative, and emetic. In large doses, it causes vomiting and diarrhea.”

Smilax ornata (sarsparilla) “was a popular European treatment for syphilis when it was introduced from the New World.”

Phytolacca Decandra (pokeweed) is poisonous and was used for skin diseases, rheumatism, weight loss, mumps and arthritis.

Lappa Minor’s (lesser durdock) larger cousin, Arctium lappa, was used as “a diuretic, diaphoretic, and a blood purifying agent” as well as a cancer, skin condition and cold/flu treatment.

Xanthoxylum carolinanium (Hercules’ club) is also known as the “toothache tree” or “tingle tongue” and was used to treat toothache.

Who needs orange juice with a delightful concoction like this!

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