Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dr. Chase's Cholagogue

Dr. A. W. Chase was a successful Ann Arbor entrepreneur famous for his do-it-all compendium "Dr. Chase's Recipes, or, Information for Everybody." The book contained tips for everyone from grocers to jewelers that included how to detect counterfeit money, preserve eggs, calculate interest, and make ink. The style is authoritative, friendly, and chatty, creating the impression that there is nothing the knowlegable Dr. Chase wants more than to offer you useful tips for daily life.

The book also contained medical information, much of it useless, and Dr. Chase manufactured a range of medicines of dubious worth. Here is one. A "cholagogue" is the name for a substance that allegedly removes bile from the system. Dr. Chase's Cholagogue promised that it "absolutely cures malaria and all bilious diseases."

"Every man, woman, and child ought to take some SPRING medicine, ought to "clean house" as it were. A prominent Detroit banker says 'I take one or two bottles of Cholagogue every spring, and have not missed a day's work since 1869.'"

At any rate. Spooky picture, ad saved in "Halloween" file, miraculously remembers to post it, attempts and then deletes forced tie-in between Halloween and the history of patent medicines. So anyways, happy Halloween.

The ad appeared in the October 15, 1888 Ypsilanti Commercial.

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