Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Web Exhibit: “Quack Cures and Self-Remedies: Patent Medicine”

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), in collaboration with the Minnesota Digital Library, has mounted an on-line exhibit on "Quack Cures and Self-Remedies: Patent Medicine." As the introduction says, "The story of patent medicine is multi-layered. It is about the phenomenon of Americans self-medicating with opiates, alcohol, and herbal supplements, as well as women’s health and healthcare options. It follows the evolution of advertising in America and the rise of chromolithography printing techniques and newspaper advertisements." The well-illustrated site contains brief essays on various aspects of the role of patent medicines in American life in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
    The DPLA itself is the home of an ever-growing list of on-line exhibits of interest, including the shoe industry in Massachusetts, the transcontinental railroad, the Gold Rush, and many more.