We have it blaring at us from TV but in the late 1800’s, all advertising came in the form of paper goods. Most common was the use of trade cards which would be found on the store counters. If you purchased an article, more than likely it had a counter card that you could pick up that told the history of what was in your purchase.
Case in point: for those aficionados of old time western movies, where the dusty cowboy saunters up to the bar and says,“Bar-keep, give me a sarsaparilla” ,the fact of the matter was that sarsaparilla was a close cousin to root beer and in those days, it was used for medicinal purposes as well as a soothing drink.
A trade card for Hood’s Sarsaparilla claims “Catarrh is undoubtedly a blood disease originating in the blood, therefore in order to purify the blood, one should take Hood’s“. O.K., If you say so!
There were lots of false promises made in order to sell a two-bit bottle of gunk until the Food and Drug people got into it. And people got smart as to what the medicine man was selling out the back of his wagon.
Many people were duped into believing all the ads and there were things sold that actually made people sicker than they already were.
Hard to believe the conditions that existed over a hundred years ago. Think about it: how long would you last or how much would you get done in the course of a day without electricity and the comforts it provides?
Some of us were discussing going off to camp every summer as youngsters and it came to mind that we could be charged with cruelty to animals today, if we sent our kids off to camp that has no air-conditioning and no internet hook-ups!
As hot as it is now, August doesn’t hold too much promise. A cool sarsaparilla is starting to sound pretty good just about now.