Sunday, February 2, 2014

Object of the Day: For Worms in Children

Click image to be graceful.

Sometimes, Christianity borrowed the iconography of previous cultures in order to communicate a concept. An example of this is “The Three Graces.” In Greek mythology, the Three Graces (or Charities) represented concepts such as charm, beauty and creativity, among other similar concepts. The graces were typically personified as three diaphanously-clad young woman who would often huddle together. Christianity, having three graces of its own, used a similar depiction to communicate to concepts of Faith, Hope and Charity.

So, what does that have to do with worms? We’re about to find out.

Dating to about 1870, this trade card boasts, on the obverse, a very handsome chromolithograph of “The Three Graces.” And, they don’t look at all Greek, do they? So, you’d think this was a card for something pretty…like silk, or jewelry, or…well, not this.

The reverse is rather shocking, in fact. It reads:

Album picture on the other side, is a new treatment in
for our special use, of the celebrated painting, “The
Christian Graces.” We trust it will prove acceptable, and that
The following suggestions will share your attention, Dr. D.J. & S.

THE BEST TONIC—for grown persons and
children—safe, effective, and reasonable in price, is Dr.
Jayne’s Tonic Vermifuge. In DYSPEPSIA, a disease from which
so many adults suffer, and the prominent symptoms of which
are—a variable appetite, heartburn, oppression and soreness
of the stomach, low spirits, sick headache, fever and languor,
this Tonic is really invaluable. It should be taken in small
doses after each meal, using in connection the Sanative Pills
when needed, as per directions. So also when used

milifuge is exceedingly useful. The presence of these
dreadful pests, which prey on the delicate systems of the young,
until through irritation and general debility, their constitutions
are broken down—may be known by a capricious appetite,
craving of strange articles, weakness of the bowels, swelling of
the abdomen, fevers, sallow complexion, fitful sleep, grinding
of teeth, picking of the nose, flushed cheeks, twitching and a
wasting away. The Vermilifuge should be used according to
directions, remembering that it will not only destroy Worms,
but reason of its excellent Tonic powers (possessed by no
other worm medicine,) the proper action of the stomach will
be restored, and the general health re-established. It will also
be found of much value in Fever and Ague in children.

Adults or Children, such as Colic, Cramps, Cholera,
Morbus, Diarrhœa, and Dyssentery, Dr. Jayne’s Carminative Balsam
is the SUREST CURATIVE KNOWN. No Family or Traveler
should be without it, as by its prompt use, much suffering and
many lives may be saved.
Presented by 

                        Greenwood, McHenry Co.,

Well, that was a treat to type.

I hope you read it all. If you didn't, go back and read it. Because, I'll know...

So, let me understand…worms cause children to pick their noses and grind their teeth and twitch until they die. That’s a lot to pin on a little internal parasite. But, hey—I got to type Diarrhœa again and use my little œ. That’s twice in a week. Pretty good rate for something I’ve never used before.

And, really, thank the stars that someone is finally addressing my Summer Complaints.  

In short, Dr. Jayne hopes you like this card which he commissioned—a copy of a famous painting done FOR THEIR OWN SPECIAL USE!!!! He hopes you like it so much that you’ll read all about worms and loose bowels and maybe buy some Balsam Tonic. It’s enough to make you want to pick your nose until you die.

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