20th-Century Teeth: Dentistry at the Turn of the Century

By Johanna Goldberg, Information Services Librarian

This is part of an intermittent series of blogs featuring advertisements from medical journals. You can find the entire series here.

“How did you learn to be a dentist? Did you go to a college?”

“I went along with a fellow who came to the mine once. My mother sent me. We used to go from one camp to another. I sharpened his excavators for him, and put up his notices in the towns–stuck them up in the post-offices and on the doors of the Odd Fellows’ halls. He had a wagon.”

“But didn’t you never go to a college?”

“Huh? What? College? No, I never went. I learned from the fellow.”

Trina rolled down her sleeves. She was a little paler than usual. She fastened the buttons into the cuffs and said:

“But do you know you can’t practise unless you’re graduated from a college? You haven’t the right to call yourself, ‘doctor.'”1

In Frank Norris’ 1899 novel McTeague: A Story of San Francisco—better known for its depiction of greed than the professionalization of dentistry—the title character loses his 12-year-old dental practice after California requires practitioners to hold a degree in the field. The timing couldn’t be worse for McTeague: he’d only just fulfilled a long-held dream, obtaining and hanging an enormous golden tooth outside his dental parlor.

McTeague’s fictionalized struggle was based in reality: until the mid to late 1800s, dentistry in the United States was not a regulated profession. Alabama became the first state to regulate dentists in 1841, and other states followed suit through the end of the century.2 In 1885, California passed a law requiring practicing dentists to register with a board, which could call up registrants for examination. Diplomas from a licensed dentistry school—the University of California College of Dentistry opened in San Francisco in 1882—also qualified registered dentists to practice. In 1901, a new law made practicing dentistry in California even more restrictive, part of a nationwide move to tighter regulation.3,4 In the novel as it would have been in real life, McTeague’s practice was toast.

Advertisements in dental journals from the era depict the trend toward professionalization, along with other technological advances. In 1840, the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery opened its doors as the first dental school in the world; by 1895, it had some local competition, including the Dental Department of the Baltimore Medical College.4 This school advertised heavily in journals like the American Journal of Dental Science.

Ad for the Dental Department of the Baltimore Medical College in the American Journal of Dental Science, vol. 33, no. 10, February 1900.

Ad for the Dental Department of the Baltimore Medical College in the American Journal of Dental Science, vol. 33, no. 10, February 1900.

Intriguingly, not only dental schools advertised in dentistry journals: The February 1901 volume of Dental Hints includes an ad encouraging dentists to take up a correspondence course in optometry, “on account of the intimate relationship between the eye and the teeth.” Huh?

Advertisement for the Philadelphia Optical College in Dental Hints, vol. 3, no. 2, February 1901.

Advertisement for the Philadelphia Optical College in Dental Hints, vol. 3, no. 2, February 1901.

Dental journal advertisements also reflect anesthetic advances. William Morton, a dentist, performed the first public demonstration of ether as a surgical anesthetic in 1846.2 A similar demonstration of nitrous oxide in 1845 did not go so well: dentist Horace Wells extracted a tooth before administering the proper dosage, and the patient cried out in pain. The drug was tabled for about 20 years; by 1869, it was commonly used either on its own or in conjunction with ether for dental procedures.2,5 Dental surgeries held less risk than other medical procedures, as they were commonly performed either in the patient’s or dentist’s home, locations less teeming with deadly microbes than operating theaters. After advances in antiseptic surgery by people like Joseph Lister, dental surgery became even safer—and Dr. Joseph Lawrence named an antiseptic mouthwash in his honor.5,6

Codman & Shurtleff's Inhaler for Gas or Ether advertisement in Dental and Oral Science Magazine, vol. 1, no. 2, May 1878.

Codman & Shurtleff’s Inhaler for Gas or Ether advertisement in Dental and Oral Science Magazine, vol. 1, no. 2, May 1878.

Listerine advertisement in the American Journal of Dental Science, vol. 33, no. 10, February 1900.

Listerine advertisement in the American Journal of Dental Science, vol. 33, no. 10, February 1900.

Local anesthetics also entered the market around the turn of the century. Some, like Mylocal, contained cocaine—though in the case of Mylocal, that cocaine was to be added by the practitioner prior to use. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the amount of cocaine used in local anesthetics was often poorly controlled, with sometimes dire results.5 Another local anesthetic, Eureka, proudly advertised that it “[avoids] that most dangerous drug that is known to the profession as COCAINE.” A third, Wilson’s Local Anaesthetic, notes that it is “non-secret and positively guaranteed.” Unfortunately, its ads don’t state what these non-secret ingredients are.

Advertisement for Mylocal anaesthetic in the American Journal of Dental Science, vol. 39, no. 1, January 1908.

Advertisement for Mylocal anaesthetic in the American Journal of Dental Science, vol. 39, no. 1, January 1908.

Advertisement for Eureka Local Anaesthetic in Dental Hints, vol. 3, no. 2, February 1901.

Advertisement for Eureka Local Anaesthetic in Dental Hints, vol. 3, no. 2, February 1901.

Advertisement for Wilson's Local Anesthetic in Dental Clippings, vol. 3, no. 6, April 1901.

Advertisement for Wilson’s Local Anesthetic in Dental Clippings, vol. 3, no. 6, April 1901.

Other turn-of-the-century advances include the development of tube toothpaste in the 1880s (previously, toothpaste had only been available in powdered form); awareness of microbial causes of tooth decay, leading to the promotion of flossing and brushing in the 1890s; and the use of gold foil as a cavity filling in the 1850s.2 The ads below reflect these advances and others, and were selected to show the relatively pain-free side of dentistry.

R. S. Williams Toothbrushes advertisement in Dental and Oral Science Magazine, vol. 1, no. 2, May 1878

R. S. Williams Toothbrushes advertisement in Dental and Oral Science Magazine, vol. 1, no. 2, May 1878.

Ney's Gold Plates advertisement in the American Journal of Dental Science, vol. 33, no. 1, May 1899.

Ney’s Gold Plates advertisement in the American Journal of Dental Science, vol. 33, no. 1, May 1899.

Dental Floss Silk advertisement in advertisements in the American Journal of Dental Science, vol. 33, no. 10, February 1900.

Dental Floss Silk advertisement in advertisements in the American Journal of Dental Science, vol. 33, no. 10, February 1900.

McConnell Dental Chair advertisement in Dental Hints, vol. 3, no. 4, April 1901.

McConnell Dental Chair advertisement in Dental Hints, vol. 3, no. 4, April 1901.

Standard Dental Manufacturing Co. advertisement in Dental Hints, vol. 3, no. 5, May 1901.

Standard Dental Manufacturing Co. advertisement in Dental Hints, vol. 3, no. 5, May 1901.

Dentacura toothpaste advertisement in Dental Hints, vol. 3, no. 11, November 1901.

Dentacura toothpaste advertisement in Dental Hints, vol. 3, no. 11, November 1901.

Munson's Standard Teeth advertisement in Dental Hints, vol. 3, no. 12, December 1901.

Munson’s Standard Teeth advertisement in Dental Hints, vol. 3, no. 12, December 1901.

Prophylactic Toothbrush advertisement in Dental Summary, vol. 22, no. 7, July 1902.

Prophylactic Toothbrush advertisement in Dental Summary, vol. 22, no. 7, July 1902.

Antikamnia and Odontoline advertisements in advertisements in the American Journal of Dental Science, vol. 39, no. 4, April 1908.

Antikamnia and Odontoline advertisements in advertisements in the American Journal of Dental Science, vol. 39, no. 4, April 1908.

Baker Coat Co. and Keeton Gold advertisements in the American Journal of Dental Science, vol. 39, no. 4, April 1908.

Baker Coat Co. and Keeton Gold advertisements in the American Journal of Dental Science, vol. 39, no. 4, April 1908.

Bowl Spittoon advertisement in the American Journal of Dental Science, vol. 39, no. 4, April 1908.

Bowl Spittoon advertisement in the American Journal of Dental Science, vol. 39, no. 4, April 1908.

References

1. Norris F. McTeague.; 1899. Available at: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/165/165-h/165-h.htm. Accessed May 9, 2016.

2. History of Dentistry Timeline. Available at: http://www.ada.org/en/about-the-ada/ada-history-and-presidents-of-the-ada/ada-history-of-dentistry-timeline. Accessed May 9, 2016.

3. Newkirk G. California. In: Koch CRE, ed. History of dental surgery: Dental laws and legislation, dental societies and dental jurisprudence, Vol. III. Fort Wayne, Ind.: National art publishing Company; 1910:755–756. Available at: https://books.google.com/books?id=9iE-AQAAMAAJ&pgis=1. Accessed May 9, 2016.

4. Schulein TM. A chronology of dental education in the United States. J Hist Dent. 2004;52(3):97–108.

5. Enever G. History of dental anaesthesia. In: Shaw I, Kumar C, Dodds C, eds. Oxford Textbook of Anaesthesia for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/med/9780199564217.001.0001.

6. From Surgery Antiseptic to Modern Mouthwash | LISTERINE®. Available at: http://www.listerine.com/about. Accessed May 10, 2016.

“Solving Woman’s Oldest Hygienic Problem in a New Way”: A History of Period Products

By Johanna Goldberg, Information Services Librarian

This is part of an intermittent series of blogs featuring advertisements from medical journals. You can find the entire series here.

For the past few weeks, subway-riding New Yorkers have been surrounded by advertisements for absorbent underwear, the latest in a long history of products designed for use during menstruation.

But what did people use before the era of special undies, tampons, pads, and cups? Very little is known about pre-20th century methods, but historians believe (and oral history interviews confirm) that many relied on homemade cloth or paper pads or diapers pinned to belts and strings. Some women reused these items, while others disposed of them after one use.1,2 Other women—even going back to ancient Rome—fashioned their own tampons from absorbent wool, fibers, paper, sponges, and other materials.3

Things began to change in the mid-1800s. Between 1854 and 1921 (the year the Kotex was first marketed), the U.S. Patent Office granted 185 patents for menstrual (or catamenial) devices.1 In her 1994 doctoral dissertation, Laura Klosterman Kidd breaks these patents into six interconnected categories:

(1) Belts or supporters, from which were suspended (2) a catamenial sack, pouch, shield, menstrual receiver, or napkin-holder, into which was placed (3) an absorbent, consisting of cloths, pads, napkins, sponges, or raw waste fibers. Ancillary categories of menstrual patents were (4) attaching devices used to secure or connect the catamenial sack to the supporter, (5) catamenial garments or appliances that aided in protecting the wearer’s clothing, and (6) vaginally inserted menstrual retentive cups.1

One of these patented products is advertised in the 1884 American Druggist. Despite claims that it is “the grandest invention for the convenience and cleanliness of ladies,” it certainly gives the modern audience pause. A soft rubber cup gets inserted into the vagina, and fluid flows into a “receptacle” attached to a belt. “At night, before retiring, the fluid can and should be removed [from the receptacle], simply by removing a cap, without removing the instrument.”

"Farr's Patent Ladies' Menstrual Receptacle," advertised in American Druggist, January 1884.

“Farr’s Patent Ladies’ Menstrual Receptacle,” advertised in American Druggist, January 1884. Click to enlarge.

There’s a reason these never caught on. But they aren’t such a far cry from today’s (much less cumbersome) menstrual cups.

The real shift in feminine hygiene products came in the 1920s and 1930s. During World War I, nurses at the front lines used absorbent Cellucotton, a Kimberly-Clark product made from wood pulp, both to bandage soldiers (as intended) and to absorb menstrual blood. After the war, Kimberly-Clark developed Cellucotton into Kotex, introducing the product in 1920.4 These napkins were held in place using belts; adhesive napkins only became available in the late 20th century.2

This was not the first commercial sanitary napkin; earlier brands appeared for sale through mail-order catalogs. But it was the first to get a hard-won advertising campaign, which began in 1921. As Lara Freidenfelds relates in her book The Modern Period, advertisements for Kotex appeared in Ladies Home Journal once its editor’s secretary “declared the ads to be in good taste and of great benefit to women.” After Ladies Home Journal agreed to run the ads, other magazines, including the American Medical Association’s Hygeia, followed.2

Below are two early advertisements for Kotex, which appeared in Hygeia in 1924 and are both geared to nurses. We love that the coupon from the September 1924 ad has been clipped and, presumably, mailed in for a free sample.

Kotex ad in Hygeia Magazine, September 1924.

Kotex ad in Hygeia Magazine, September 1924. Click to enlarge.

Kotex ad in Hygeia Magazine, November 1924. Click to enlarge.

Kotex ad in Hygeia Magazine, November 1924. Click to enlarge.

While Hygeia does not appear to have run ads for Kotex prior to 1924, it did advertise an absorbent cotton on the back cover of its volumes in 1923. Bauer & Black Absorbent Cotton touted its many uses in these advertisements, noting that “Women use it to meet personal emergencies.” Even after the advent of commercially available sanitary napkins, some women preferred a more do-it-yourself approach.

Bauer & Black Absorbent Cotton ad in Hygeia Magazine, August 1923. Click to enlarge.

Bauer & Black Absorbent Cotton ad in Hygeia Magazine, August 1923. Click to enlarge.

Kotex wasn’t alone in the marketplace for long: Gauzets and other, often cheaper, brands came along soon after, and also advertised heavily.

Gauzets ads from Hygeia Magazine, published in January and November 1933. Click to enlarge.

Gauzets ads from Hygeia Magazine, published in January and November 1933. Click to enlarge.

The first widespread commercial tampon arrived in the 1930s: Physician Earle Cleveland Haas received a patent for his applicator tampon in 1933, which he named Tampax. He distributed his product beginning in 1936.2,3 Prior to Tampax, tampons had widespread use as medical devices dating as far back as the 18th century.2,3 Soon after the development of Tampax, other commercial tampon brands, like Wix and B-ettes, became available and also advertised widely.

These early ads show the hurdles Tampax had to overcome to win wide acceptance from consumers and doctors. In fact, Tampax spent $100,000 on advertising in its first nine months alone; by 1941, the company was “one of the one hundred largest advertisers in the United States.”2 The ads worked: a 1944 survey showed that one quarter of women in the United States used tampons, even as doctors debated their safety.2,3 These ads, spanning the first 10 years of commercial tampon availability, emphasize the safety, comfort, convenience, and invisibility of the products.

Click on an image to view the gallery:

Despite the worries of physicians, early tampons were safe. In fact, our main concern with tampon use today, Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), was only linked to tampon use about 40 years after their debut. In 1978, Procter & Gamble released Rely, a super-absorbent tampon made from synthetic fibers. This new kind of tampon led to 55 cases of TSS from October 1979 through May 1980. But non-synthetic, less absorbent tampons pose little threat, and the bacteria that causes TSS is present and active in only a small percentage of people.3,5

Other options entered the marketplace in the 1930s: several menstrual cups received patents, including the first commercially available cup in the United States, patented by actress Leona Chalmers as a “catamenial appliance” in 1937.6 This cup’s design looks much the same as those on the market today.

Image from Leona Chalmers' 1937 patent for a "catamenial appliance." Source: https://www.google.com/patents/US2089113

Image from Leona Chalmers’ 1937 patent for a “catamenial appliance.” Source: https://www.google.com/patents/US2089113

In less than 100 years, menstrual supplies have moved from mostly homemade affairs to mass-market items available in stores, from products hidden away at the back of mail-order catalogs to some of the most commonly advertised goods in the United States. The advances of the 1920s and 1930s still impact our lives, as sanitary napkins, tampons, and cups remain go-to products, improved upon over time but not abandoned.

References

1.Kidd LK. Menstrual technology in the United States, 1854 to 1921. Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Department of Textiles and Clothing; 1994.

2. Freidenfelds L. The modern period: Menstruation in twentieth-century America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press; 2009.

3. Fetters A. The tampon: A history. The Atlantic. June 1, 2015. Available at: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/06/history-of-the-tampon/394334/. Accessed March 1, 2016.

4. World War I centenary: Sanitary products. Available at: http://online.wsj.com/ww1/sanitary-products. Accessed March 1, 2016.

5. Vostral SL. Rely and Toxic Shock Syndrome: a technological health crisis. Yale J Biol Med. 2011;84(4):447–59. Available at: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=3238331&tool=pmcentrez&rendertype=abstract. Accessed March 1, 2016.

6. North BB, Oldham MJ. Preclinical, clinical, and over-the-counter postmarketing experience with a new vaginal cup: menstrual collection. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2011;20(2):303–11. doi:10.1089/jwh.2009.1929.

The Most Likely Victim…the Busy Man. Ads from Hygeia Magazine

By Johanna Goldberg, Information Services Librarian

This is part of an intermittent series of blogs featuring advertisements from medical journals. You can find the entire series here.

From 1923–1949, the American Medical Association published Hygeia, an educational health magazine for the American public.

Where today you might find Highlights Magazine, Men’s Health, or Prevention at the doctor’s office, Hygiea once filled that role. It frequently included activities to entertain youth, along with health-related articles for their parents. Schools and libraries subscribed—the magazine was a common classroom resource—as well as individuals. In 1950, the magazine became Today’s Health, which continued publication until 1976.1

Along with articles and activities, Hygeia included a wealth of advertisements. Here, we take a look at those focused on men and work. These ads often tie men’s health issues to work stresses (or, in one ad, boys’ health to school posture). One in particular, a Parke Davis and Company ad from March 1936, shows a commuting man reading a newspaper and states, “The greatest problem Medicine faces today is to get the average person to take advantage, in time, of the help it has to offer him.” This problem continues today: Men are more likely than women to smoke, drink, make other choices detrimental to health, and delay seeking medical attention.2 A series of Parke Davis ads—along with ads from other companies—shows the dangers for men who neglect medical problems, often choosing work over seeking care.

Parke Davis Ad in Hygeia Magazine, March 1936. Click to enlarge.

Parke Davis Ad in Hygeia Magazine, March 1936. Click to enlarge.

Other ads show men and boys in need of products that accentuate their manliness (like Ivory soap: “Most men don’t want to smell like ‘beauty shoppes’”) or provide them the energy needed to get through the workday or wartime (like General Mills, which offered materials on teaching nutrition to help prevent military rejections due to malnutrition).

A third stream of advertisements depicts men as trustworthy medical professionals, even in times of war. The lab coat-wearing Walgreen pharmacist is “a specialist in accuracy.” Sealtest Company doctors offer physicals “as rigid as those in the army.” Wartime doctors, says one Wyeth ad, will remain abroad once the war is done to “prevent epidemics” or return home to care “for casualties of the world’s greatest war.”

When women move into the workplace during the war years, the ads that follow show them as competent employees and a feminizing influence on the workplace. “Let’s not ration loveliness,” advises a 1943 ad from Luzier’s, a cosmetic and perfume company. “With more and more women doing the work of men in defense jobs and in the armed forces, not to mention the thousands of women in various branches of OCD, it is desirable that we cling to those nice habits of personal care…which are such an integral part of the loveliness of American womanhood.”

Click on an ad to enlarge the image.

Neglect of medical problems:

Eastman Kodak ad inHygeia Magazine, January 1936. Click to enlarge.

Eastman Kodak ad in Hygeia Magazine, January 1936. Click to enlarge.

American Seating Company ad inHygeia Magazine, June 1936. Click to enlarge.

American Seating Company ad in Hygeia Magazine, June 1936. Click to enlarge.

Metropolitan Life Insurance ad in Hygeia Magazine, December 1936. Click to enlarge.

Metropolitan Life Insurance ad in Hygeia Magazine, December 1936. Click to enlarge.

Parke Davis ad in Hygeia Magazine, April 1945. Click to enlarge.

Parke Davis ad in Hygeia Magazine, April 1945. Click to enlarge.

Parke Davis ad in Hygeia Magazine, August 1945. Click to enlarge.

Parke Davis ad in Hygeia Magazine, August 1945. Click to enlarge.

SoftLite Lenses ad in Hygeia Magazine, December 1945. Click to enlarge.

SoftLite Lenses ad in Hygeia Magazine, December 1945. Click to enlarge.

Metropolitan Life Insurance ad inHygeia Magazine, October 1948. Click to enlarge.

Finally, a man who gets medical attention and follow his doctor’s advice! Metropolitan Life Insurance ad in Hygeia Magazine, October 1948. Click to enlarge.

Accentuating “manliness”:

Ivory Soap ad in Hygeia Magazine, January 1932. Click to enlarge.

Ivory Soap ad in Hygeia Magazine, January 1932. Click to enlarge.

Lifebuoy Health Soap ad in Hygeia Magazine, May 1932. Click to enlarge.

Lifebuoy Health Soap ad in Hygeia Magazine, May 1932. Click to enlarge.

Energy boosts:

Kellogg's Kaffee Hag ad in Hygeia Magazine, February 1931. Click to enlarge.

Kellogg’s Kaffee Hag ad in Hygeia Magazine, February 1931. Click to enlarge.

General Foods ad in Hygeia Magazine, January 1932. Click to enlarge.

General Foods ad in Hygeia Magazine, January 1932. Click to enlarge.

Bordens Malted Milk ad in ad in Hygeia Magazine, December 1932. Click to enlarge.

Bordens Malted Milk ad in ad in Hygeia Magazine, December 1932. Click to enlarge.

General Mills ad in Hygeia Magazine, August 1945. Click to enlarge.

General Mills ad in Hygeia Magazine, August 1945. Click to enlarge.

Medical professionals:

Sealtest Milk Metropolitan Life Insurance ad inHygeia Magazine, September 1943. Click to enlarge.

Sealtest Milk Metropolitan Life Insurance ad inHygeia Magazine, September 1943. Click to enlarge.

Wyeth ad in Hygeia Magazine, January 1945. Click to enlarge.

Wyeth ad in Hygeia Magazine, January 1945. Click to enlarge.

Walgreen ad in Hygeia Magazine, February 1948. Click to enlarge.

Walgreen ad in Hygeia Magazine, February 1948. Click to enlarge.

Women in the workforce:

General Electric ad in Hygeia Magazine, February 1943. Click to enlarge.

General Electric ad in Hygeia Magazine, February 1943. Click to enlarge.

Luzier's ad in Hygeia Magazine, July 1943. Click to enlarge.

Luzier’s ad in Hygeia Magazine, July 1943. Click to enlarge.

References

1. Hansen K. Newsstand: 1925: Hygeia. Available at: http://uwf.edu/dearle/enewsstand/enewsstand_files/Page4115.htm. Accessed October 30, 2015.

2. Men’s Health. Available at: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/menshealth.html. Accessed October 30, 2015.

Fascinating Mad Men-Era Advertisements

By Anne Garner, Curator, Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health

This is part of an intermittent series of blogs featuring advertisements found in our collection. You can find the entire series here.

In American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 83, no. 3 (1962).

In American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 83, no. 3 (1962).

Nobody conjures the ’60s better than Matthew Weiner and the writers, designers, and stylists of AMC’s Mad Men. We’ll miss the quotidian details: the trash left behind at the Draper family picnic, that unbelievable maternity dress of Trudy’s, the choking smoke of Mohawk’s planes, Metro-North’s trains, and Don’s automobiles. When Sally Draper puts a plastic dry-cleaning bag over her head and her mother scolds her—not out of fear for her safety and only for dumping her dry-cleaning on the floor—we’re gob-smacked. These moments crystallize the seismic shifts that have occurred in cultural expectations over the last fifty years.

The Academy Library has strong holdings in the major journals of the 19th and 20th centuries. Journals were then, as they are now, the primary place of publication for innovations and discoveries. In addition, the advertisements aimed at the professional readers of these journals offer insights into changing cultural beliefs. Most libraries excised the advertisements, especially if they were gathered in a separate section of the journal. The Academy tradition was to keep the advertising, and these ads are now heavily used by historians.

The images and texts in these advertisements provide artists, writers, and historians with richly-textured cultural context. There is much to be learned, for example, from looking at the way antidepressants were marketed to women in the twentieth century, at the early advertisements for the birth control pill, and at tobacco advertising aimed directly at physicians as consumers.  Here, a look at a Flavorwire piece we wrote using ads entirely from our collections and relating them to Mad Men.

What Woodcraft for Women, Taxidermy, and Raising Pigeons Have in Common

By Johanna Goldberg, Information Services Librarian

This is part of an intermittent series of blogs featuring advertisements found in our collection. You can find the entire series here.

Between the covers of our books, you can sometimes find small delights: advertisements.

Most frequently, these ads list an array of other books available from the publisher. Publishers began advertising in their publications as early as 1551. By the 1650s, they included their title lists in the beginning and/or ends of books. These lists could lead to strange juxtapositions of titles, suggesting that the same reader might be interested in a huge range of topics and genres.1

Such a variety of titles can be found in Laurens P. Hickok’s Empirical Psychology; Or, the Human Mind as Given in Consciousness (second edition, 1854), Solon Robinson’s How to Live: Saving and Wasting, Or, Domestic Cookery Illustrated (1889), and John K. Anderson’s How to Heal by Nature’s Potent Methods (1899). Ads promote books as diverse as Ancient Magic, Magnetism and Psychic Forces, Heads and Faces; How to Study Them, and Spencerian Penmanship. Click on an image below to enlarge and view the gallery.

A favorite publisher list appears in Katherine G. Pinkerton’s Woodcraft for Women (1916). Part of the Outing Publishing Company’s Outing Handbooks series, this book ends with a list of all 56 Outing Handbooks titles—80 cents per volume, plus 5 cents for postage. Titles range from Taxidermy to Raising Pigeons to The Canoe—Its Selection, Care and Use.

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But the book with the best ads (in my opinion) is Chilton’s One Thousand Secrets and Wrinkles (187-?). Dick & Fitzgerald, Publishers’ catalog must be seen to be believed, including The Art and Etiquette of Making Love alongside The Amateur Trapper and Trap-Maker’s Guide. Click on an image below to enlarge and view the gallery.

Reference

1. Raven J. The Business of Books: Booksellers and the English Book Trade 1450-1850. New Haven: Yale University Press; 2007:283. Available at: https://books.google.com/books?id=2y9L5ChxDScC&pgis=1. Accessed February 4, 2015.

“Good Cakes Like Us Are Baked With Care and Royal Baking Powder!” (Item of the Month)

By Arlene Shaner, Reference Librarian for Historical Collections

Some of the most engaging materials in the cookery collection of the New York Academy of Medicine’s Library are late 19th and early 20th century advertising pamphlets. Small books of recipes, histories of coffee, tea, spices, and other foods, and brochures touting the health benefits of one product or another offer a window into the changing tastes of the American public, new innovations in the mass production of foods, and the development of mass market advertising. A number of these pamphlets came to us as part of NYAM Fellow Margaret Barclay Wilson’s collection of books on food and cookery, donated to the library in 1929.

RoyalBakingPowderCo_TheLittleGingerbreadMan_1923_cover_watermarkOne charming example is The Little Gingerbread Man, published in 1923 by the Royal Baking Powder Company, located at 108 East 42nd Street in New York. Written in rhyme, the pamphlet tells the story of the land of Jalapomp, where baking has been declared illegal because of the ineptitude of the cook. Poor Princess Posy, whose birthday is approaching, worries that she won’t have a cake. Alerted to the sad state of affairs by a little Flour Fairy, the Queen of Flour Folk sends Johnny Gingerbread and his friends off in a chocolate plane to save the day. Toting a tin of Royal Baking Powder and a copy of the New Royal Cook Book for the cook, the fragrant baked treats convince the king that baking powder and new recipes will set things right before they head back home to Cookery Land.

A tin of Royal Baking Powder features prominently in most of the pamphlet’s illustrations, and the cookbook appears as well. You, too, can try your hand at making some of the Royal treats, as almost every page also contains a recipe for baked goods, including one for gingerbread men. Readers of the pamphlet (or their mothers, since the book itself was clearly meant for children) could obtain free copies of the New Royal Cook Book by writing to the company as instructed on the final page of the story.

Although she is uncredited, the author of the pamphlet was probably Ruth Plumly Thompson, who wrote more than 20 volumes of the Oz series, a continuation the stories told in L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its many sequels. The illustrations are attributed to Charles J. Coll.

Click the images to read the full pamphlet:

Missing: Very Vicious Red Cow

By Rebecca Pou, Archivist

This is part of an intermittent series of blogs featuring advertisements found in our collection. You can find the entire series here.

I recently cataloged a small volume of clippings and manuscript notes. As is common in books of clippings, the clippings were pasted to the pages, with the article of interest facing up and whatever happened to be on the back facing the page, hidden from the reader’s view. In this case, some loose items gave me the chance to look at the back side of the clippings, which contained classified advertisements. Dated 1802, the ads were all intriguing, but one in particular stood out. Between a tailor advertising his services and a help wanted ad for a dry goods store, it read:

Strayed or Stolen, from the Subscriber lately a Red Cow with lofty horns, a white tail, a spot near her udder and very vicious. Any person giving information where she may be had, shall have two dollars reward with reasonable changes by applying to Robert Sleith.

An advertisement for a different lost cow offered three dollars as a reward. I suspect she was of a gentler disposition.

The back of another clipping showed cows were not the only things gone missing:

As amusing as the classified ads are, the clippings and manuscript notes hold the real appeal. The volume was the work of Felix Pascalis Ouviere (1762-1833), a French-born physician. Pascalis, as he is commonly known, studied in Montpellier, lived for a time in St. Domingo, and moved to America. He co-edited the Medical Repository, the earliest American medical journal. He also wrote about yellow fever, commenting on the outbreaks in Philadelphia and New York.1 The clippings in this volume are of his “Advice to the inhabitants of Philadelphia,” a series of nine parts published in the True American and Commercial Advertiser regarding yellow fever.

The volume of clippings will soon be available to readers after a visit to the Gladys Brooks Book & Paper Conservation Laboratory. In addition to this volume, our collection also holds several printed works by Pascalis, as well as considerable other materials (correspondence, manuscripts, diplomas, and more) that are not currently represented in our online catalog. If you are interested in these materials, please email us at history@nyam.org.

Reference

1. Kelly, Howard A. (1928) Pascalis-Ouviere, Felix A. In: Dictionary of American Medical Biography. New York: D. Appleton and Company.

More Music From Your Cash Register: American Pharmacy at the Turn of the Century

By Johanna Goldberg, Information Services Librarian

This is part of an intermittent series of blogs featuring advertisements from medical journals. You can find the entire series here.

Ad published in The Practical Druggist and Review of Reviews, volume 35, number 5, May 1917. Click to enlarge.

Ad published in The Practical Druggist and Review of Reviews, volume 35, number 5, May 1917. Click to enlarge.

By the late 1800s, a pharmacist (or druggist) stood at an interesting intersection in the marketplace. Both business person and medical professional, the pharmacist had to balance the responsibilities of dispensing medicine with the need to keep a business afloat.

This was in part due to changes in the field. As Gregory Higby explains in a Bulletin for the History of Chemistry article, “With most basic preparations now available from drug companies, anyone with enough courage and capital could open up a drugstore. The number of pharmacists grew enormously, and the quality of prescriptions dispensed declined accordingly.”1 Fortunately, this decline led to increased industry regulation.

The first pharmacy school in the United States, the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, opened in 1821, a year after the formation of the U.S. Pharmacopeia.2 By the end 1870s, state laws began regulating pharmacy throughout the Unites States, including state licensing exams for pharmacists.1 Not everyone attended a pharmacy school before taking the exam; a correspondence course option existed, as advertised in The Practical Druggist in 1917.

Ad published in The Practical Druggist and Review of Reviews, volume 35, number 2, February 1917.

Ad published in The Practical Druggist and Review of Reviews, volume 35, number 2, February 1917.

Ad published in The Practical Druggist and Review of Reviews, volume 22, number 2, August 1907. Click to enlarge.

Ad published in The Practical Druggist and Review of Reviews, volume 22, number 2, August 1907. Click to enlarge.

Drugs, too, came under closer scrutiny. In 1848, Congress passed the Drug Importation Act, which aimed to prevent the importation of tainted drugs from abroad. In 1906, Congress passed the Food and Drug Act, setting up the regulatory charge of the Food and Drug Administration and requiring the listing of alcohol and opiates on ingredient labels.3,4 In 1912, the Sherley Amendment prevented drug labels from including false health claims.3 Cocaine was available over-the-counter until 1916; heroin and other opiates could be sold legally in the United States until 1920.5,6

The pharmacy had “developed the warmth and hospitality of a country store,” with tobacco counters, home goods for sale, and, beginning in 1835, soda fountains.7 The soda fountain business turned pharmacy shops into social centers; as they grew in popularity, store owners added seats and tables, devoting large parts of the store to the soda fountain business (a trend that lasted into the 1960s).7

Enjoy these ads showing the wide variety of merchandise available to pharmacists, presented chronologically. Click on an ad to enlarge the image.

Ad published in Omaha Druggist, volume 7, number 1, January 1894.

Ad published in Omaha Druggist, volume 7, number 1, January 1894.

Ad published in Omaha Druggist, volume 7, number 4, April 1894.

Ads published in Omaha Druggist, volume 7, number 4, April 1894.

The cover of The Practical Druggist and Review of Reviews, volume 3, number 1, January 1898.

The cover of The Practical Druggist and Review of Reviews, volume 3, number 1, January 1898.

Ad published in The Practical Druggist  and Review of Reviews, volume 5, number 5, May 1899.

Ad published in The Practical Druggist and Review of Reviews, volume 5, number 5, May 1899.

Ad published in American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record, volume 36, number 2, January 25, 1900.

Ad published in American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record, volume 36, number 2, January 25, 1900.

Ad published in American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record, volume 36, number 2, January 25, 1900.

Ads published in American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record, volume 36, number 2, January 25, 1900.

Ad published in American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record, volume 36, number 6, March 25, 1900.

Ad published on the cover of American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record, volume 36, number 6, March 25, 1900.

Ad published in American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record, volume 36, number 6, March 25, 1900.

Ad published in American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record, volume 36, number 6, March 25, 1900.

Ad published in American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record, volume 45, November 7, 1904.

Ad published in American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record, volume 45, November 7, 1904.

Ad published in The Practical Druggist, volume 22, number 2, August 1907.

Ads published in The Practical Druggist and Review of Reviews, volume 22, number 2, August 1907.

Ad published in The Practical Druggist and Review of Reviews, volume 22, number 4, October 1907.

Ad published in The Practical Druggist and Review of Reviews, volume 22, number 4, October 1907.

Ad published in The Spatula, November 1910.

Ad published in The Spatula, November 1910.

Ad published in The Practical Druggist, volume 35, number 1, January1917.

Ad published in The Practical Druggist and Review of Reviews, volume 35, number 1, January 1917.

Ad published in The Practical Druggist and Review of Reviews, volume 35, number 2, February 1917.

Ad published in The Practical Druggist and Review of Reviews, volume 35, number 2, February 1917.

Ad published in the Omaha Digest, volume 32, number 4, April 1919.

Ad published in Omaha Druggist, volume 32, number 4, April 1919.

References

1. Higby GJ. Chemistry and the 19th-century American pharmacist. Bull Hist Chem. 2003;29(1):9–17. Available at: http://www.scs.illinois.edu/~mainzv/HIST/bulletin_open_access/v28-1/v28-1%20p9-17.pdf. Accessed August 21, 2014.

2. pharmacy. Encycl Br. 2014. Available at: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/455192/pharmacy/35617/History-of-pharmacy. Accessed August 21, 2014.

3. Food and Drug Administration. A history of the FDA and drug regulation in the United States. 2006. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/UnderstandingOver-the-CounterMedicines/ucm093550.pdf. Accessed August 21, 2014.

4. Baker PM. Patent medicine: Cures & quacks. Available at: http://www.pilgrimhallmuseum.org/pdf/Patent_Medicine.pdf. Accessed August 22, 2014.

5. Miller RJ. A brief history of cocaine. Salon. 2013. Available at: http://www.salon.com/2013/12/07/a_brief_history_of_cocaine/. Accessed August 27, 2014.

6. Narconon International. History of Heroin. Available at: http://www.narconon.org/drug-information/heroin-history.html. Accessed August 27, 2014.

7. Richardson LC, Richardson CG. The pill rollers: A book on apothecary antiques and drug store collectibles. Harrisonburg, Va.: Old Fort Press, 1992.

Brighten the Visit With Pepsi

By Johanna Goldberg, Information Services Librarian, with Jarlin Espinal, Technical Services Assistant

This is part of an intermittent series of blogs featuring advertisements from medical journals. You can find the entire series here.

From JAMA, volume 182, number 8, November 24, 1962.

From JAMA, volume 182, number 8, November 24, 1962.

Advertisements in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), have reflected food and diet trends from the start.

In the late 1930s and early 1940s, the journal normally had two pages of ads an issue, often related to food. By the late 1940s, advertising exploded. The May 3, 1947 issue of JAMA has 130 pages of ads, with food-related items amidst the publishers, medical devices, cigarettes, cosmetics, sanitariums, hospitals, and pharmaceuticals.

The advertising boom only increased—“In 1958 the industry estimated that it had turned out 3,790,809,000 pages of paid advertising in medical journals.”1 By this time, ads for pharmaceuticals far surpassed those for food- and diet-related items, a fitting trend as “between 1939 and 1959, drug sales rose from $300 million to $2.3 billion”1

The food- and diet-related advertisements presented here fall into several categories. There are promotions from industry groups—including my favorite, in which the National Confectioners’ Association attempts to convince doctors that candy has health benefits. There are beverages, ranging from baby formula to ovaltine to soft drinks. There are items that remain familiar today and items that seem totally foreign—if someone out there has tried Embo, please let us know. And of course, there’s the intersection of pharmaceuticals and diet, as claims of appetite suppression move from ads for apples and citrus to drugs like Desoxyn.

From JAMA, volume 106, number 20, May 16, 1936.

From JAMA, volume 106, number 20, May 16, 1936. Click to enlarge.

From JAMA, volume 134, number 1, May 3, 1947.

From JAMA, volume 134, number 1, May 3, 1947. Click to enlarge.

From JAMA, volume 134, number 2, May 10, 1947. Click to enlarge.

From JAMA, volume 134, number 2, May 10, 1947. Click to enlarge.

From JAMA, volume 154, number 3, January 16, 1954. Click to enlarge.

From JAMA, volume 154, number 3, January 16, 1954. Click to enlarge.

From JAMA, volume 154, number 5, January 30, 1954. Click to enlarge.

From JAMA, volume 154, number 5, January 30, 1954. Click to enlarge.

From JAMA, volume 154, number 6, February 6, 1954. Click to enlarge.

From JAMA, volume 154, number 6, February 6, 1954. Click to enlarge.

From JAMA, volume 154, number 9, February 27, 1954. Click to enlarge.

From JAMA, volume 154, number 9, February 27, 1954. Click to enlarge.

From JAMA, volume 182, number 7, November 17, 1962. Click to enlarge.

From JAMA, volume 182, number 7, November 17, 1962. Click to enlarge.

From JAMA, volume 182, number 7, November 17, 1962. Click to enlarge.

From JAMA, volume 182, number 7, November 17, 1962. Click to enlarge.

From JAMA, volume 234, number 2, October 13, 1975. Click to enlarge.

From JAMA, volume 234, number 2, October 13, 1975. Click to enlarge.

Reference

1. Donohue J. A history of drug advertising: the evolving roles of consumers and consumer protection. Milbank Q. 2006;84(4):659–699. Available at: http://facultynh.syr.edu/bjsheeha/ADV 604/History of Drug.pdf. Accessed May 30, 2014.

More Doctors Smoke Camels

By Johanna Goldberg, Information Services Librarian, with Andrew Gordon, Systems Librarian

This is part of an intermittent series of blogs featuring advertisements from medical journals. You can find the entire series here.

From the 1930s into the 1950s, medical journals—including the Journal of the American Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine—ran advertisements for cigarettes.1,2 The New York State Journal of Medicine alone published 600 pages of cigarette advertisements spanning more than two decades, starting in 1933.3 Around the same time, advertising agencies created campaigns featuring physicians; these continued until 1954, as concerns about the negative health effects of smoking grew.2

"How mild can a cigarette be?" Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, volume 240, number 17, April 28, 1949. Click to enlarge.

“How mild can a cigarette be?” Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, volume 240, number 17, April 28, 1949. Click to enlarge.

Presented chronologically below are some of the cigarette advertisements—and one cigarette paraphernalia‎ ad—that appeared in medical journals during the 20-year period. Note especially the 1945 series of ads that ran in several medical journals, including the Medical Woman’s Journal, celebrating the work of war doctors and suggesting that a Camel cigarette could be a welcome break.

Notable, too, is that the earliest ad shown here—printed in Preventive Medicine in 1937—comes from a New York Academy of Medicine publication.

For more information on the history of cigarette advertising, including the use of medical professionals in ads, visit SRITA, Stanford Research into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising.

"Let Your Own Experience Guide You." Published in Preventive Medicine, volume 7, number 1, April 1937. Click to enlarge.

“Let Your Own Experience Guide You.” Published in Preventive Medicine, volume 7, number 1, April 1937. Click to enlarge.

"Look this way for more pleasure." Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, volume 218, number 14, April 7, 1938. Click to enlarge.

“Look this way for more pleasure.” Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, volume 218, number 14, April 7, 1938. Click to enlarge.

"How much do you smoke?" Published in JAMA, volume 12, number 11, March 11, 1944. Click to enlarge.

“How much do you smoke?” Published in JAMA, volume 12, number 11, March 11, 1944. Click to enlarge.

"The Army Doctor's Call to Action!" Published in Medical Woman's Journal, volume 52, number 4, April 1945. Click to enlarge.

“The Army Doctor’s Call to Action!” Published in the Medical Woman’s Journal, volume 52, number 4, April 1945. Click to enlarge.

Combat Team in White! Published in Medical Woman's Journal, volume 52, number 5, May 1945. Click to enlarge.

Combat Team in White! Published in the Medical Woman’s Journal, volume 52, number 5, May 1945. Click to enlarge.

"The Flying Capsules." Published in Medical Woman's Journal, volume 52, number 6, June 1945. Click to enlarge.

“The Flying Capsules.” Published in the Medical Woman’s Journal, volume 52, number 6, June 1945. Click to enlarge.

"Welcome Home, Doctor!" Published in Medical Woman's Journal, volume 52, number 12, December 1945.

“Welcome Home, Doctor!” Published in the Medical Woman’s Journal, volume 52, number 12, December 1945. Click to enlarge.

"Recommended by Physicians to Patients who are 'Problem Smokers.'" Published in JAMA, volume 133, number 11, March 15, 1947.

“Recommended by Physicians to Patients who are ‘Problem Smokers.'” Published in JAMA, volume 133, number 11, March 15, 1947. Click to enlarge.

"Some questions about filter cigarettes that may have occurred to you, Doctor." Published in the New York State Journal of Medicine, volume 53, number 12, June 15, 1953.

“Some questions about filter cigarettes that may have occurred to you, Doctor.” Published in the New York State Journal of Medicine, volume 53, number 12, June 15, 1953. Click to enlarge.

"When your patients ask . . . 'Which Cigarette Shall I Choose?'" Published in the New York State Journal of Medicine, volume 54, number 12, June 15, 1954. Click to enlarge.

“When your patients ask . . . ‘Which Cigarette Shall I Choose?'” Published in the New York State Journal of Medicine, volume 54, number 12, June 15, 1954. Click to enlarge.

References

1. Healy, M. (2011, August 4). Cigarette packages in medical journals: New look for a new age. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-cigarette-packages-medical-20110804,0,7658494.story#axzz2rL60QSQm.

2. Gardner, M. N., & Brandt, A. M. (2006). The Doctors’ Choice Is America’s Choice. American Journal of Public Health, 96(2), 222–232. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470496.

3. Blum, A. (2010). When “More doctors smoked Camels”:  Cigarette advertising in the journal. Social Medicine, 5(2), 114–122. Retrieved from http://www.socialmedicine.info/index.php/socialmedicine/article/view/461/0.