Queen Victoria was pregnant at least 17 times ...9 children lived. After her husband's death, she spent 40 years in mourning. For her and her subjects death and illness were constant realities. The uncertainty of life lead no doubt to greater religious devotion. Sometimes it lead to an effort to fight back and even if science was not always up to the battle, the promoters were.
Enter Dr. Chase........
Despite his competitor's efforts, Dr. Chase's remedies remained best sellers for almost a century. "After graduating from the Eclectic College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio", the doctor is said to have travelled widely perfecting his concoctions. As early as 1867 he was selling into Canada and by 1884 was manufacturing here. By 1908 , a box of his Kidney Liver Pills was in one out of three Canadian homes.
Before the enactment of the Opium and Narcotic Control Act in 1908, many concoctions contained opium. That Act started with only two sections and prohibited the sale of opium, but still allowed merchants six months to dispose of their stocks. After 1908, the pharmaceutical companies had to adjust their elixirs, tonics and .- medicines featuring opium, but cocaine and morphine were still acceptable additions until 1911. In 1923, cannabis too was prohibited.
If nothing else these ingredients would surely lead to repeat customers.
No one seemed immune to the "tonic epidemic". Even two time "Miss America", Mary Katherine Campbell, was quoted to villagers touting a remedy called "Tanlac". "Indigestion drives the roses from a woman's cheeks and robs her of that radiant quality of womanhood that is real beauty ... rosy cheeks, sparkling eyes, a well-rounded figure, a lovable disposition, go hand in hand with good health".
Some popular medicine may have more easily created "rosy cheeks" than "good health". Dr. Chase's Medicinal Nerve Food should, it was directed, be taken one pill after each meal and one at bedtime for ten days. The dosage should then be doubled. This would eventually cure Nervous Headache, Pale and Sallow complexion and Irregular Heart Action. Although side effects were not discussed, the box shows that each pill contained both arsenic and strychnine.
More on Deloro Arsenic
By 1901, Deloro was the only arsenic producing plant on the American continent, manufacturing arsenic (99.4-100% pure AS203) on a commercial scale. Production was 50-60 tons per month and 700 tons (valued at $42,000) was sold in 1901 for use in pesti-cides, fertilizer and cosmetics. Somethings have not changed. A recent study of modern Canadian cosmetics found them to contain arsenic, lead and mercury! Click here.