This is a Matching Set of Six
Antique Drug, Narcotic & Medicine Bottle Labels
They are from the stock of:
J.A. McDonald's - Wholesale & Retail Druggist - Pharmacist, & Chemist and his Central Penn's Chemical Works of Reedsville, Pennsylvania.
Labels Included are:
Laudanum - (Opium) Poison!
For Adults = 10 to 25 drops
Children 5 to 10 years = 5 to 10 drops.
Paregoric (Opium) Label
(Paregoric is an old time synonym for Opium)
Directions show :
For a child 2 days old = 2 drops
for Adults - 1 teaspoonful.
And Matching Set Labels for:
& Pure Extract Vanilla.
The Laudanum label shows 65% Alcohol and 48 grains Opium to the ounce (and ounce appears to have been misspelled to read "onnce"). The Harrison Narcotics Tax Act outlawed the sale of Laudanum in 1914, so this label could only have been in use between 1906 and 1914. (Unless they have been sold, I also have other types of laudanum-opium label for sale.)
The labels measure approximately 2.75 inches by 1 inch each and they are in Excellent Unused Condition.
Background on Laudanum and Opiates:
While experimenting with Opium in the 16th Century, Paracelsus coined the term Laudanum from the Latin word "laudare" meaning to praise and from the word "labdanum", meaning a plant extract. Laudanum was widely used from the 16th Century to the 19th Century by both Adults and Children and was found in many Patent Medicines. It was commonly used for colds, meningitis, yellow fever, pain, sleep, irritation, check secretions, and to produce the general feeling of "well being." It was frequently sold "over the counter" and in "medicine shows" and it was commonly found in the medicine chests of many "proper" Victorian families.
Medical officials in the late 1800s were convinced that one of the major causes of infant mortality was the widespread practice of giving children narcotics (especially opium) to quiet them. An ounce of Opium cost about the same as a pint of beer and its sale was totally unregulated until the early 1900s. The use of opium was widespread in small towns and in large cities and among all classes of citizens. According to some accounts, five out of six working-class families in one town used it habitually. It has been reported that Opium killed far more infants through starvation than from overdose. While they were in a state of being "stoned" the children had little desire for food, and proper nourishment. That is why Opium has been referred to as the great baby killer.
Laudanum was later branded and sold under such names as: Paregoric, Opii, Opium, Godfrey's Cordial, Steedman's Powder, Atkinson's Royal Infants Preservative, Poppy Tea, Camphorated Tincture of Opium, Brown Mixture, etc.
One fluid ounce of American Laudanum was made with one tenth ounce of powdered Opium and equal parts of Alcohol and Water. One fluid ounce of English Laudanum had 10 grains less of Opium.
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