Sunday, May 18, 2014

Object of the Day: A Trade Card for Scott's Emulsion, The Sailor Boy

Scott’s Emulsion was a “medicinal elixir” which, essentially, amounted to cod liver oil. In the true spirit of Victorian elixirs, the people at Scott’s took great pains to make sure that their product claimed to calm, cure, prevent, and otherwise banish any imaginable malady. The advertisements often features a hale and hearty lad dressed in a sailor suit. Both of the Scott’s emulsion trade cards in my collection feature this boy. You’ve seen one. Here’s the other.

In this example, “Our Boy” has been dubbed “Sailor Boy” and it seems that he caught a large ugly fish with his bare hands. He holds it aloft, posing for a nonexistent camera, his bare feet on the rocks. But, bare feet on cold rocks and grappling with sea creatures are no match for Scott’s Emulsion! This plucky lad can enjoy all sorts of dangerous activities—knowing all the while, and his mama, too, that he is protected by this magical cod liver oil. Perhaps he will squeeze the fish that he’s caught to make his own emulsion.

The Scott’s Emulsion folks knew that these cards were collectible, and, so they made certain that each one stated their name as often as possible. The front of this one, under the little fish-catching boy, we see:

Compliments of 
Scott & Bowne


So, let’s see what the reverse says. I’m sure it’s perfectly logical and the claims made therein are wholly truthful and accurate.


     This boy is as proud in catching this large fish as
a man would be in conquering an empire. The great
pleasures of life are in our achievements, in doing
something that we think has surpassed our fellow
men. One of the greatest achievements in medical
science has been accomplished by the manufacturers
SCOTT’S EMULSION, in making this
acknowledged remedy, Cod Liver Oil, palatable and
easily digested, so that everybody, children as well
as adults, can take it without the slightest trouble,
whereas the ordinary cod liver oil is repulsive to
Scott’s Emulsion of Cod Liver
Oil and Hypophosphites
, the remedy so well
known all over the world, is a most wonderful food
medicine. Its power to check the wasting ravages of
disease, and to build up an strengthen the body, is
truly marvelous. For sickly wasted children, for
Anaemia and Emaciation in adults, and for Consump-
tion in various stages, it is really surprising in its
results; and for colds and chronic coughs, it seems to
outrival any other remedy. We desire to impress
upon the minds of mothers the great importance of
using Scott’s Emulsion for their children when they
are weak, sickly and run down, and where the ordinary
food fails to nourish them; it will build them
up with wonderful rapidity, Don’t fail to try it.
     For sale by all Druggists

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