Patent Medicine Advertising - Balms & Salves
Vermonters like other Americans in the nineteenth century, sought cures for their ailments, real and imagined, through “patent medicines.” These ready-mixed nostrums were self-prescribed and vigorously marketed by their creators. Although their benefits were dubious, consumers clung to the hope that, in an era of rapid technological and social change, patent medicines would cure the stresses of modern life. Vermont was home to an untold number of patent medicine companies, many of which are documented by advertisements, publications, and bottles in the collections of the Vermont Historical Society. This exhbit includes a sample of the paper advertisements for patent medicines that are at the Leahy Library.
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