Cannabis as an Ingredient in Patent Medicines

The turn of the twentieth century brought great technical innovations, including the light bulb, radios and mechanical bottle making. Glass products went from being hand blown and precious to stamped out and cheap. The apothecarist, custom formulating each individual prescription from his shelves of bottled ingredients, gave way to the modern druggist selling pre-packaged, branded products. Branding brought on the age of advertising. Though few of these early formulations were actually patented, early publications supported themselves with ads for the "patented" medicines, thus naming this the Patent Medicine Era. These new medicines were sold to a public enthralled with scientific progress. Unfortunately, few of the products promoted in this era were actually innovative. The new industry was unregulated and anyone who could hawk a great sales pitch could succeed in the emerging pharmaceutical industry. Wild West Shows were popular sales events. Most patent medicines were alcohol-based. Few contained their claimed ingredients; most were proven to have no active ingredients whatsoever. Some contained opium or morphine, often failing to include these ingredients on the label. In 1905, muckraker Samuel Hopkins Adams published an exposé entitled "The Great American Fraud" in Collier's Weekly. Public furor led to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, requiring the labeling of alcohol, narcotics, and stimulants in medicines. This law banned misleading, overstated, fraudulent claims in the labeling and promotion of products. This quickly ended the era of patent medicines and forced the pharmaceutical industry into adopting scientific methods and standards. Pronto Grippe, Colds, Coughs, Nervous or Bilious Headaches and Sore Throat, Alcohol not over 11%. National Drug Products, Inc., Atlanta Georgia "Contains a good laxative." The bottle has significant residue on the sides and bottom. 2 1/2" x 1 1/2" x 7". Bees Laxative B Cough Syrup, E.C. Dewitt & Co., Chicago. "Pleasant to take for coughs, colds, spasmodic croup, whooping cough, etc. Contains tincture Cannabis, Directions: Adults take one teaspoonful, repeat in 30 minutes if necessary. Children: In proportion to age, for babies, dilute in milk or syrup if desired." The corked bottle is almost full of dark liquid. 7" x 2 1/2" x 1". Security Cough, Cold and Distemper Remedy, Bottle and Box. "Contains Cannabis Indica. Guaranteed under the Food and Drug Act, June 30, 1906. Serial # 1595. Will relieve the worst cough, chill or fever. Influenza or mucous membranes affections of the animal’s throat, nose, eyes, mouth or air passages. Price One Dollar." Security Remedy Co. Minneapolis, MN. Cork with wax seal, intact with some chips. Contents almost full. 6 1/2" x 2 1/2" x 1 1/4". Dr. Hands Pleasant Physic for Children. Embossed bottle with label and box. Remedies for children. "In time of need cough and croup teething lotion, general tonic, chaffing powder. The little one’s friend. Diarrhoea Mixture. Colic Remedy." Hand Medicine Co., Philadelphia, PA. 6" x 2" x 1". Gray’s Balsam for the Throat and Lungs. "Contains: tincture of Cannabis for coughs, colds, asthma, bronchitis, la grippe, tickling in the throat and all throat and lung troubles. Affords immediate relief in the severest cases of croup and whooping cough." S.K. Pierson, Leroy, NY. 2 1/2" x 1 1/4" x 6 3/4".

Image at left is available in any one of the product types listed below. Images are faithfully reproduced at high resolution without watermarks.


12 x 18 Chroma print

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The smooth satin finish recalls the porcelain signs of the early twentieth century. Light and durable, the fade resistant images should last for generations. They are an excellent choice for high traffic, public areas. Easy to maintain, they can be wiped clean with a damp cloth and a hidden back support and attached wire, make hanging simple. With no need for mats or glazing, the sturdy metal seems to float an inch off the wall. These aluminum prints are available in 12” x 18” and 20” x 30” inch formats.

Unit Price: $137.50

20 x 30 Chroma print

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The smooth satin finish recalls the porcelain signs of the early twentieth century. Light and durable, the fade resistant images should last for generations. They are an excellent choice for high traffic, public areas. Easy to maintain, they can be wiped clean with a damp cloth and a hidden back support and attached wire, make hanging simple. With no need for mats or glazing, the sturdy metal seems to float an inch off the wall. These aluminum prints are available in 12” x 18” and 20” x 30” inch formats.

Unit Price: $279.50

12 x 18 Fine Art Print Only

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Our fine art digital prints are produced to museum quality specifications. All printing is done on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag cotton fiber paper.

Unit Price: $49.50

Framed Print - 12 x 18 image in a 16 x 22 maple finish frame

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Our hand finished picture frames are available in two natural hardwoods, ½” wide and 1 ⅜” tall. The frames are certified as sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council. FSC certification ensures that wood products come from well managed and harvested forests that provide lasting environmental, social and economic benefits. The American natural maple contemporary profile has minimal but durable finish that allows the wood's natural beauty to show through.

Unit Price: $219.50

Framed Print - 12 x 18 image in a 16 x 22 dark brown finish frame

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Our hand finished picture frames are available in two natural hardwoods, ½” wide and 1 ⅜” tall. The frames are certified as sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council. FSC certification ensures that wood products come from well managed and harvested forests that provide lasting environmental, social and economic benefits. A richly finished burnt brown hardwood moulding that marries old world charm with modern elegance. The moulding finish is inspired by the medieval town of Cognac in France and is the definition of refinement and design complementing any environment.

Unit Price: $219.50

12 x 18 Art Block - Natural

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Art Blocks are produced from the same high resolution image as our other prints, but mounted to a durable substrate. The optically clear surface lamination means no glass or acrylic to be concerned with. The FSC oak picture frame holds the image two inches off the wall for a dramatic presentation. The small (8” x 12”) or large (12” x 18”) images are excellent for group assemblies, and are favorites for museum visitors. The Art Block offers an affordable modern look with a choice of two sizes.

Unit Price: $105.50

8 x 12 Art Block - Natural

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Art Blocks are produced from the same high resolution image as our other prints, but mounted to a durable substrate. The optically clear surface lamination means no glass or acrylic to be concerned with. The FSC oak picture frame holds the image two inches off the wall for a dramatic presentation. The small (8” x 12”) or large (12”x16”) images are excellent for group assemblies, and are favorites for museum visitors. The Art Block offers an affordable modern look with a choice of two sizes.

Unit Price: $85.50