This is J.G. Lancaster’s Grocery Store in 1947 – now the Eating Place in Carleton Place on Bridge Street. Before Lancaster opened, our dastardly devil of Carleton Place, Dr. Howard, was busy making and marketing his elixirs in that every same building. Knowing of his past history in Carleton Place I have no doubt there was probably some dispute over rent, and he moved on from Lancaster’s to the building once know as Carleton Mill Supplies on Franktown Road. I can bet my last dollar it was somewhere in the back property where the new Tim Horton’s now exists.
In late nineteenth-century physicians were scarce and poorly educated. Treatments were based on the now-discredited theory of the four bodily humors that had to be kept in balance. These might include such treatments as bleeding (sometimes using live leeches), cold baths, blistering agents, and other remedies that were worse than the ailments that they were meant to treat!
Many people placed their faith in patent medicines, pitched by traveling salesmen who never failed to entertain the crowds before offering cure-alls. Modern advertising was born during this area, as patent medicine companies printed almanacs with useful information and humorous quotations mixed with plenty of advertising for mail-order herbal remedies. The newspapers and magazines of the day were crammed with ads for medicines and miracle-cure devices. Most of these medicines were at best harmless; many contained generous quantities of alcohol, opium, or cocaine, ensuring a quick feeling of well-being for first-time customers, followed by the possibility of habitual use. Bayer was the number one producer of heroin for their medicines and arsenic was used for arthritis.
Howard’s popular “Stop That Cough!” – was made at his Orien’s Manufacturing Co in Carleton Place. He had elixirs that cured everything from hair loss to cancer. Consider some of the names of once popular forms of medicine—sugartits (sugary medicine for babies), booty balls (silver mercury pills), cachets (crude precursors to capsules) and folded powders (easier to swallow than pills or tablets). And consider some of the medicines themselves:bat dung (guano), juniper tar, nux vomica, turpentine, hog lard, nutgall, pomegranate, stinging nettle and sarsaparilla..
Howard’s building on Franktown Road that he rented from Mrs. Gillies was painted with huge signs claiming:
“Orien’s Manufacturing Co.”
“Lumbermen and Contractors Supplied at Wholesale Prices”
“Manaca Bitters- guaranteed to cure Dyspepsia–Torpid Liver and Constipation”
“Dr. Howard’s Great Tonic- Only five drops make a dose. 200 Doses for One Dollar”
“Use Oriens Sure Cure for Corns”
“Oriens Linfament relieves Muscular pains, sprains and bruises, frostbites,chilblains and sore joints
and the list went on.
Modern-day medicine has its faults, but it’s is a lot better to be sick today than in yesteryear.I don’t think I could have put my faith in Dr. Howard in anything.