Did Victorian-era Americans partake of tobacco products with ignorant bliss? Or were they aware of health dangers? And were those health dangers remotely accurate (compared to today)?
Join me for a look at various newspaper articles, medical journal pieces, vintage photographs, and more. I’ll allow you to draw your own conclusions.
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.
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.”