14th century Traveling charlatans promote curing products and
services through street performance.
mounted the bench (hence, the name: mountebank) , a stage, table or
box, at fairs, street corners, in market squares or wherever they could find an
audience, to convince the crowd of its desperate need for his medical miracle
1449 King Henry VI grants Flemish-born
John Utynam a patent for making stained glass.
Dictionary defines a patent as:
The exclusive right to make, use
or sell an invention for a specified period.
1552 King Edward VI grant Henry Smyth a patent for making
1608 Mountebanks appear in
To draw the largest crowd and to keep its attention fixed as
long as possible, the mountebanks resorted to a wide variety of entertainment
including, among others, jugglers, musicians, magicians, and clowns.
Small scale spectacles alternated with their lectures that demonstrated
how their tonics and services would surely cure any ailment his spectator had,
whether he was aware of it or not.
1618 A Paris
mountebank inspires the work of Molière.
In England, nostrum
makers succeed in obtaining Royal Patents for their curing tonics
1683 Thomas Sydenham publishes
Treatise on the Gout.
Sydenham argued gout was the result of
ease, voluptuousness, high living, and too free an use of wine and other
He thought bleeding and purging could be
counterproductive driving peccant humours further into the
Sydenham recommended a light diet, plenty of fluid, and
regular doses of a digestive remedy he called bitters - distilled alcohol
infused with watercress, horseradish, wormwood, and angelica root.
1698 First patent medicine - Epson Salts.
sulfate is an inorganic salt with the formula MgSO4X where
It is often encountered as the heptahydrate sulfate
mineral epsomite, commonly called Epsom salt.
The overall global annual
usage in the mid-1970s of the monohydrate was 2.3 million tons, of which the
majority was used in agriculture.
Ammonium carbonate is a salt with the chemical
As it readily
degrades to gaseous ammonia and carbon dioxide upon heating, it is used as a
leavening agent and also as smelling salt.
Richard Stoughton patents Stoughton's Elixir.
The first patent medicines
to appear in America came from England.
In the eighteenth century
medical theorists believed that disease could be driven from the body only by a
substance as appalling as the illness. Therefore, the worse a medicine tasted
or smelled, the greater its corrective power. These foul-tasting, foul-smelling
products had ingredients that had an effect on the body, thus giving the
illusion of a cure in action. Bateman's Drops, Dalby's Carminative, and
Godfrey's Cordial contained the sedative opium. Hooper's Pills purged the
digestive system and induced menstruation. British Oil and Steer's Opodeldoc
were both liniments containing ammonia that irritated the skin.
1858 Erasmus Bond receives a patent
Quinine-laced Tonic Water is one outcome of three centuries of
military and medical efforts to overcome malaria.
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