Quack Medicine Advertisement


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Original 1861 Civil War Ad for

Patent and Quack Medicine

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Patent and Quack Medicine

You are viewing an original 1861 advertisement for Patent and Quack medicine.  It is from an 1861 edition of Harper's Weekly, the most popular illustrated newspaper of the day.  Note that this is not a reprint, and I absolutely guarantee its authenticity.  This leaf is over 140 years old, and the date is clearly marked on the front of print. On the day this leaf was printed, Abraham Lincoln was president of the United States,  and the Civil War was in its opening chapter! 

This is a rare and highly collectible advertisement. The advertisement is for Gardiner's Rheumatic and Neuragia Compound. At the top of the ad is a picture of Angels giving aid to a sick woman.  The medicine is described as a "certain, safe and permanent cure for Rheumatism, Neuralgia, and Salt Rheum.  It is an internal remedy, driving out and entirely eradicating the disease, requiring no change in diet or business, and can be taken by children and the most delicate constitutions with perfect safety".  The advertisement goes on to present a number of Customer testimonials, giving glowing reports of this amazing elixir.  Customer comments include one woman who was completely cured with only one bottle.

The leaf also contains an ad for Sore Throat cure, Horse Disease Cures, Jewelry, and books.  The reverse side of the leaf contains some Civil War political cartoons, and many more advertisements.  

This advertisement would make an excellent addition to your collection, or a wonderful gift for any friend you have working in the heath care industry.  It would make a particularly nice display for a doctors office or waiting room.  It will make a dramatic display wherever it is placed. Original material related to quack and patent medicines from this period are becoming increasingly difficult to find, so don't miss this one!

Unlike newsprint of this century, these older, original pages do not yellow and fall apart.  The reason is that modern newspapers use an acid based process.   Remnant acid in the paper causes the paper to quickly yellow and deteriorate.   A different process was used in the mid-1800's which yielded an exceptional quality paper that will last for centuries. Special acid free mats should be used when you frame this piece to ensure that it will last another 150 years.  Acid free mats are available at most better frame shops.  If you have any questions related to handling or framing this piece feel free to email me. The print is approximately 11x16  inches.  I have been collecting Civil War Newspapers for over 10 years.  It is a fascinating hobby, and I find that these pieces really get noticed when framed and displayed.

The leaf is in  good condition. It has the rich sepia toning that you expect in original material from this period. There are some spots of foxing, which can be seen in the picture above. There are finger smudges in the margins from folks handling the leaf over the last 130 years.  Several very small margin tears have been professionally mended from the back side. The print will display very nicely.




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