Hell on Wheels at Lady Chatterton’s Hotel in Carleton Place

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Part 1- Tales of the Chatteron House Corset — Queen’s Hotel in Carleton Place- can be found here.

Sensitive subject read at your own risk

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During the Victorian era you had the medical and moral community who actually opposed the use of condoms as STDs were seen as punishment for having sex out of wedlock. On top of that, by the early 1800’s condoms cost $1 to buy. Remember that in that era a dollar was a lot of money, for some folks it could be a quarter of a days pay. Most items were valued in terms of cents, even by the time of the Old West. So a dollar was closer to what fifty dollars or even a hundred dollars is today. How would you like to pay $50 for just one condom? If you were paying a quarter of what you make in a day you weren’t going to just go and buy another each time you used one, you’d go bankrupt fast if you were sleeping around a lot. The rubber condom would drop the cost to six to twelve dollars during the last twenty-five years of the 19th century, making it more affordable but still, you had the moral crusaders of the day to contend with. 

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Then there was douching, which had been around since before the 1830’s as newspaper ads from the 1830’s include ads for what was called a female syringe. This was made up of chemicals such as alum or sulfates of zinc or iron. .

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Doctors used arsenic and mercury to treat syphilis before the introduction of penicillin in the 1940s.

One company sold heroin tablets to relieve asthma symptoms.

Old medicines and antique urinals? 

Cocaine drops for toothache came on the market after doctors discovered its pain-relieving qualities. One Belgian company even promoted cocaine throat lozenges as “indispensable for singers, teachers and orators.” Dentists and surgeons also used cocaine as an anesthetic.

While doctors of the late 1800’s considered these drugs legitimate, a whole range of shady patent medicines, sometimes called “nostrums,” also flourished during that period.! People bought nostrums from traveling medicine shows, and the cures beckoned boldly from billboards and newspaper and magazine ads. “You couldn’t get away from them,” Whorton says. “They were inescapable.”

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Also, as the state of legitimate medicine evolved, new cures replaced the old. When doctors began treating syphilis with penicillin, a grateful generation was spared the toxic effects of arsenic and mercury, including inflammation of the gums, destruction of the teeth and jaws, and organ damage. Opium and other addictive drugs also fell by the wayside once scientists realized their pitfalls. Novocain replaced its predecessor, cocaine, as an anesthetic.WEB MD

The Photos are of actual prescriptions from The Chatterton House (Queen’s Hotel) Carleton Place. The majority are prescription forms or handwritten scraps issued by local physicians Richard F. Preston and Matthew A. McFarlane. Local druggists were: City Dispensary,W.S. Robertson, McEwen’s Drug Store and Muirhead’s Drug Store. When  Peter Prosser Salter was owner of The Chatterton Hotel for a few years and it appears Salter had hired a desk clerk who perhaps also engaged as well in the druggist field.

Photos from the The Chatteron House Register from The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Dr.Preston Was in the House — The Case of the Severed Foot

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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