Ads touted cures for common ailments

For its first century, The Chronicle remained in business on the strength of its advertising.


For one thing, there was the legal business of the land, and The Chronicle appeared to be the way to keep up with much of it, not only for Richmond County but also for other surrounding counties.

Many of the ads in the 1800s appear to be legal notices or sheriff's sales as plots and plats of local property were bought and sold, some for the first time.

In those more agrarian days, many ads dealt with livestock, some of which had wandered away, and others that were available for breeding.

"Stallions for stud," was a common notice, and the horses were even named "Napoleon," "Big Bishop," and "Burrumpooter."

Not all ads dealt with horses; some Augustans needed the hearth help of "a good house wench."

There were also frequent notices seeking help in locating runaway slaves.

A community newspaper was one of the few media to offer commercial information. Much of the content of The Chronicle's early decades appears to be advertising.

But many of those paid advertisements in the days before grocery stores, department stores and car dealerships touted the benefits of patent medicines.

Augustans in the 1800s had just as many ailments as people have today, but there was no Food and Drug Administration around to regulate cures.

So there were a lot of them.

Take Dr. Tutt's Vegetable Liver Pills, which promised to "purge, purify and strengthen" anyone who would take them.

Maybe Well's Carbolic Tablets were just what you needed.

Like many medicines, they were said to cure almost everything, including: sore throat; the croup; and dryness of the throat, windpipe or bronchial tubes. Even the common cold.

Men of the cloth vouched for some medications.

"We clergymen were cured of chronic and acute rheumatism, neuralgia, lumbago, scistics, kidney and nervous diseases after years of suffering by taking Dr. Fitler's Vegetable Rheumatic Syrup -- the scientific discovery of J.P. Fitler, M.D., a regular graduate physician, with whom we are personally acquainted, who has for 39 years treated these diseases exclusively with astonishing results," says an 1873 advertisement.

If that didn't work, there was the Great South American Jurubera Blood Purifier, which was absolutely guaranteed to work, particularly in summer. The ad promised that sluggish summer days are the worst time for blood to fill with impurities.

There's also Victory Queen's delight: "The concentrated vegetable specific is a true purifier of the human blood. It thoroughly neutralizes and eradicates from the system the specific virus, and every kind of humor and bad taint which causes such a long list of human suffering and imparts perfect health and purity to the entire constitution."

Cholera and other epidemic diseases didn't stand a chance. Bromo-Chlorolum promised to be an odorless and nonpoisonous way to keep such ailments away.

If your tummy hurt, you could try some Tarrant's Seltzer Aperient.

Ever hear of Liquozone?

"We have the names of 1,800,000 people who are users of Liquozone," an advertisement states. "All of these people asked us to Ohio singing the praises of 'Pe-ru-na.'

"Neglected colds lead to catarrh. Neglected catarrh becomes chronic. There are probably 10 million uncured cases of catarrh in the United States alone. What a multitude of victims this is."

For apoplexy or paralysis, Brandeth's Pills are "the only cure," according to an 1861 advertisement. "In all affections of the lungs, chest and bowels, their prompt use saves life and quickly cures."

The pills also cured pneumonia, cholera, ashthmas, St. Vitis' dance, smallpox, epilepsy, depression or spirit, frightful dreams, all obstructions and relaxations. (Only 25 cents a box.)

The common cure to many ailments was alcohol.

But drinking also had its cures for sale.

"White Ribbon Remedy will cure or destroy the diseased appetite for alcoholic stimulants, whether the patient is confirmed inebriate, a 'tippler,' social drinker or drunkard," the ad claimed.


Advertisements claimed extraordinary results for Carter's Little Liver Pills, and there were no regulators around to question such claims. \nFILE

Advertisements made up the majority of content of The Chronicle in the 1800s. \nAugusta's first Methodist, Stith Meade, purchased the Greene Street property for St. John church. \nFILE/STAFF