Part 6 in a series of 11 articles, all about headaches in Victorian America.
Today’s article takes a look at various “doctoring at home” remedies published in newspapers and books, all from the final decades of the 19th century, United States of America. Each newspaper or book snippet contains complete citations. Some remedies make sense, some seem like wild guesses, and others are simply ODD.
A vintage newspaper (Chicago Tribune, January 1901) sheds light on the dangers of headache powders but also their overwhelming redemptive value. The ‘doctor’ shares formulary details along with ‘life rules’ to prevent headaches (such as remaining sober). After all, Victorian-Americans “self-poisoned”, thus precipitating their headaches.
This piece is number five in a series of eleven articles: Victorian-American Headaches.
Part 4 of an 11-part series: Victorian-American Headaches. Explore five decades’ worth of advertisements for various headache remedies. Powders, capsules, tablets, beverages, and pills. Apparently remedies were gaining traction and becoming popular–though none of them contained a 19th-century chemistry breakthrough–Aspirin.
Victorian-American Headaches: Part 3 continues the 11-part series, adding to two other doctors’ perspectives, opinions, and attitudes about headaches. This 1893 newspaper article explains types of headaches, and the doctor’s urging to mothers and nurses to protect babies’ eyes. He not only mentions headache “specifics”, but he sheds much light on antipyrin, a development that made a big splash in the waters of headache management, circa 1888. Scientists developed the precursors to acetaminophen, aspirin, etc., and use of their remedies exploded. The good doctor explains the urgency of patients in obeying their doctor’s instructions and “taking their prescriptions.”
Part 2 of 11 in a Blog Article Series; May be read in any order. Links between each are provided for ease in reading.
Victorian-era American doctors faced the challenge of diagnosing headaches, relying upon intellect, experience, and deductive reasoning. After all, physicians couldn’t order a blood panel and read the results to assist in diagnostic work. This 1890 newspaper article contains a variety of types of headaches in 1890 language. I’ve provided translations where possible.
Victorian-Americans had several ideas about the common trouble of headaches– what caused the malady, what might help once a headache became entrenched, and perhaps why women suffer headaches differently than men.
Because I suffer from severe chronic headaches, I’ve often wondered what our Victorian-American ancestors did when they suffered a headache (migraine, tension headaches, etc.). What was science’s answer in the late nineteenth century? With so much primary historical information to share, I’ve prepared an eleven-part blog article series covering this fascinating subject.
This is Part 1: Why I write about headaches in in the Victorian Era United States and why hats may be to blame.