Explore how vintage drugstores and the pharmacy apothecary once sold not just tonics and elixirs, but also narcotics like cocaine & heroin with ease.
Vintage health & medical
Throughout the 20th century, the nursing profession and vintage nursing uniforms evolved in step with society.
Here’s a look back in time to see some of the popular old bar soap brands from decades past – many long forgotten, and some that still are available to this day!
From suffragettes to scientists, activists, artists & leaders who paved the way for future generations, these women in history have played a key role in shaping our world.
Based on the state of plastic surgery in the 1920s, and with regular improvements in science, one journalist suggested in 1922 that soon women wouldn’t have to age – ‘I mean shriveled or waddling old and all that.’
Back when smoking was considered not only cool, but somehow healthy, television and movie stars had no compunction about promoting the practice, as evidenced by the 18 celebs featured in these vintage cigarette ads.
When Florence Nightingale died, tributes poured in from around the world — including ones from American sources like this one.
In the ’80s, The Incredible Hulk & Courtship of Eddie’s Father actor Bill Bixby was the spokesperson for Dietac diet pills… at least until the over-the-counter medication was taken off the market.
Ayds candy debuted in the 40s, and was basically a piece of caramel or fudge that contained an appetite suppressant. For years, the diet candy called Ayds was a big seller… and then came AIDS.
Before gummy vitamins existed, there were several other chewable supplements for kids – but none was more iconic than Flintstones vitamins.
Everybody’s doing it. Swingers, congressmen, housewives, businessmen, engaged couples, secretaries and kids. They’re all out there jogging.
Back in the 1920s, footwear manufacturers and merchants decided that X-ray shoe fittings could bring in lots of customers – people who would be thrilled to let a recent scientific advance help them find the perfect shoe. There was just a little problem…
This article offers a perspective on “Twilight Sleep” from the year 1915, when there were fewer pain relief options nor as much understanding of labor and delivery.
On the way to today’s super-simple, pregnancy test sticks that give results in minutes, women had to use these chemistry set-style vintage home pregnancy test kits, then wait hours for a result.
Old pregnancy test sticks like these were a huge step forward, and meant that millions of women finally had a way to find out they were pregnant without going to the doctor, and without having to do a more complicated liquid chemistry test.
By the mid-1980s, reasonably accurate home ovulation predictor kits hit the market, simplifying the process of pinpointing peak fertility.
Remember how yummy baby aspirin tasted? Flashback to those fever dreams of yore with this collection of everything vintage baby aspirin.
Though she was born famous, then grew her fame as an actress, Jane Fonda’s workout videos were one of her greatest successes. Here’s how it happened.
Here’s some eye-opening insight into the invention of contact lenses! The contacts were made of glass, and although they worked much like they do today, they were thick, uncomfortable, and even a little dangerous.
Although penicillin was discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming, real research and production started in earnest in mid-1941, thanks to World War II.
Old-fashioned dentistry in the early 1900s had come a long way since the Wild West days, but, compared to what we have available in the 21st century, it might as well have been the Dark Ages. Take a look!
Did Coca-Cola once have cocaine in it? Amazingly, yes. Originally marketed as a health drink when it debuted in the 1880s, Coca-Cola was said to cure everything from a migraine (aka “sick headache”) to physical exhaustion to depression.
In the ’60s, 70s & ’80s, kids across the country competed for the coveted Presidential Physical Fitness award. Here’s a look back at the exercise requirements, the awards, the badges and more!
While Benjamin Franklin may be known for ‘Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise,’ that wasn’t his only insight on the subject of sleep. In the summer of 1786, he wrote this, summing up his advice for better sleep.
Two big questions that have emerged over the years: Did George Washington have wooden false teeth? Did George Washington’s dentures include actual human teeth that came from slaves? Find out here!
What do your dreams mean? How much significance should you give to the symbols in your dreamscapes? See what Sigmund Freud, famously known as the father of psychoanalysis, had to suggest back in 1916.
Here, see what experts then were saying a century ago about how the height of women has changed over the years. They suggested that women were indeed growing taller – and modern data backs that up.
The insecticide DDT was introduced in the 1940s, and originally thought to be safe for people and pets. It was marketed with happy cartoon characters and family-friendly products, but, as we eventually discovered, the poison was bad for people and animals, too.
One of the most unusual ad campaigns of the seventies featured gruff Western star John Wayne pitching Datril, a pain-relief medicine that was competing against Tylenol. Find out more about the ads here.
The old-fashioned benefits of breastfeeding are many, no matter what century you’re living in. Here’s a look back at some of what experts were saying about nursing babies back in the early 1900s.
This vintage ad featured the tagline ‘I had a headache this big… and it’s got Excedrin written all over it.’ That sentence ended up becoming one of the most enduring slogans of the eighties.
If you’ve ever wondered what it might have been like to walk the streets of a major US city a century ago, here, take a peek at the streets of old Washington DC as they were back in the twenties.
Edward Jenner, the discoverer of vaccination – including the smallpox vaccine – and one of the greatest benefactors of the human race, performed his first test experiment in 1796.
When this article was published, touting the wonders of c-section deliveries, they stated that the cesarean rate was one out of 20 births. And that
These old Anacin ads said that making beds, getting meals and driving kids around – the same dull, tiresome work day after day – was ‘a mild form of torture.’ Their diagnosis? Housewife headache.
Vintage Reef mouthwash may be memorable only for the name that calls to mind saltwater and tropical fish — not exactly minty freshness.
Compared to the fitness gear we have today — when you can have gym-quality equipment even at home — a lot of the 1970s exercise
The measles vaccine was invented because it was a common but dangerous disease that could cause inflammation of the brain – and could also be fatal.
In these vintage ads from the ’50s, the message was clear: ‘If you don’t wash with Lysol, you’ll smell bad, and your husband won’t love you anymore.’
The 1918-19 Spanish flu pandemic killed an estimated 50 million people – the majority of deaths from pneumonia following an attack of influenza.
Find out how X-rays were discovered, see the earliest X-rays, learn where the name came from, and meet Wilhelm Röntgen – the man behind the innovation.
Radium earned Marie Curie worldwide fame, and changed the face of medicine. Here, she describes how this historic scientific discovery was made.
What’s the history of Q-Tips – the little cotton swabs found all around the world? This big brand had a little baby-sized beginning. (Also find out their terrible former brand name.)
Through observation, experimentation and genius, scientist Louis Pasteur was able to create the first rabies vaccine – even though he didn’t exactly know what caused the disease.
Companies promoted it. Celebrities touted it. Everyday people paid attention, and then spent hours in the sun, trying to get the perfect suntan.
How the Salk vaccine works to fight polio (from 1955) By Herman N Bundesen, MD – The Plain Speaker (Hazleton, Pennsylvania) May 13, 1955 The
Back in the ’70s, this ‘New Facts About Marijuana’ pamphlet alarmed parents nationwide, telling them ‘Never have so many turned on with drugs and dropped out of society.’
If women of the ’60s needed slimming or trimming for their legs, they might have tried these retro leg exercises, created for maximum leg-watching appeal.
In the ’50s, doctors started testing Thorzaine on patients – a drug capable of powerful, sweeping effects on the emotions, used for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Exercises to take off inches, and diet to drop off pounds – this program was planned for the readers of Woman’s Day by the famous beauty expert Elizabeth Arden.
While the term “early infantile autism” was first coined by Dr Leo Kanner of the Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1943, for decades beyond that, autism
This TV movie debuted in 1973, and played occasionally in reruns at least until the 1980s. The Incredible, Indelible, Magical, Physical, Mystery Trip: Musical fantasy
The expensive facts: Can you afford a baby? (1976) By Richard Flaste NEW YORK — Forget, for a moment, the buzzing confusion that greets infants
Camel cigarettes at Thanksgiving? You enjoy food more — have a feeling of ease after eating when you smoke Camels between courses and after meals.
Every year, hundreds of children were stricken with polio. Before testing iron lung machines on humans, two dozen cats had to die under anesthetic.
What is the average lifespan for men and women in America? Among the curious things shown by the census of 1880 is the new data relative to the US life expectancy.
See a timeline and find out about the life and career of this Ulysses S Grant, best known as a Civil War General and as the 18th President of the United States.
Hot chocolate. Roast beef. Bread with butter. Naps. No, this isn’t the ideal vacation, but tips on how to gain weight from a famous actress of long ago.
True autism is defined by specific characteristics — characteristics guaranteed to have any mother, babysitter, and even many doctors climbing the wall.
Ads for a diet plans seems totally commonplace today, but in the early 1950s — especially so soon after the war, which meant food was
Organic foods: Are they modern-day cure-all elixirs sold by modern-day hokum medicine men? Or are they a more wholesome alternative to the chemically-treated foods we customarily eat?
Below is some parenting advice from more than 100 years ago. Please keep in mind that much of this is information is out-of-date and provided
Around the turn of the century, cigarette smoking was on the increase among the women — and it only became more prevalent after that. Here’s a look back!
The secret past of drug addicts (1974) By Robert Kirsch — The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California) November 8, 1974 “Every generation assumes that
The perfect American woman Measuring 50,000 of her sex to determine a standard The perfect American girl — how big around; how much does she
A dedicated and growing band of people — most of them young — has taken to cooking and serving no-nonsense natural foods.