8Calm Your Cough with Heroin
In the late 19th century people apparently took cough suppression seriously. We're talking "I'm-going-to-take-me- some-heroin-to-calm-this-cough" level serious, here. We know Victorians were sticklers for social etiquette and wheezing your head off was probably considered frightfully rude, but we can't imagine tying off and shooting some horse in the middle of a dinner party would go over terribly well, either.
Well you probably don't need us to tell you how addictive and destructive a drug heroin really is, but just in case ... Heroin? Might want to avoid that stuff. On the upside, it actually does suppress coughs, so if you do decide to become a junkie at least you'll save on buying Halls.
Heroin, by the way, was originally developed by Bayer. You know, those friendly folks behind harmless old aspirin.
Oh, and while we're taking on the man, we should also mention that Bayer used to be called IG Farben, a pharmaceutical and chemical conglomerate that allegedly sponsored experiments by Nazi torturers. How is this not at the center of every single Tylenol ad campaign: the fast acting pain reliever that has never sponsored Nazi torture camps.
7Electrical Impotence Cures
Men have been desperately searching for solutions to their malfunctioning members since Grok the caveman clubbed a cavewoman, drug her to his cave only to drag her back out again a half hour later with an embarrassed look on his face and muttering excuses about how tired he is. In the late 19th century, the wonders of electricity became to be known to the common person. Surely this marvelous new technology could be used to heat things up in the boudoir, right?
Electrified beds, elaborate cock shocking electric belts and other strange devices were advertised as being able to return "male power" and prowess by making your penis rise to electrified attention like Frankenstein's 6-inch-tall monster.
Photo courtesy of The Museum of Quackery.
What's fascinating is that you can find ads for more than one brand of electric dick-shock belt. That seems to indicate that the dick-shock belt industry somehow survived the negative word of mouth from the first dick-shock belt.
By "word of mouth," we mean the incoherent screams of the first customer which could presumably be heard in the next town.