Tag Archives: sneezing powder

A Sneeze of a Tune from St. Andrew’s Church in Carleton Place



It has been said that one of our more prominent late citizens in town was quite a prankster in his youth. Trying to become a good Samaritan and rack up those brownie points he offered to help one of his friends pump the organ one Sunday in St. Andrew‘s Presbyterian Church. In those days the organ was pumped by hand, as the electric motor was not in use then.

After the kind offer was accepted the do-gooder began to sprinkle sneezing powder in and around the organ. As the organ began to play the first hymn the powder began to waft through the air. First the choir began to sneeze, then the minister, and finally the congregation joined in. No mention of what kind of punishment our local lad got when he got home- or from a higher power.


Historical Fact

St. Andrews Presbyterian Church was built on its present Bridge Street site donated by James Gillies, the congregation vacating its previous location in the old stone church building still standing at the corner of William and St. Paul Streets.1887

S. S. Adams liked a prank or two. He eventually amassed a huge fortune selling joy buzzers, flowers and cigarettes that squirted water. To start it all out, though, he marketed sneezing powder. Today, sneezing powder is likely to contain hellebore – an herb found to be an irritant. Adams, however, went all out. He tested his product on rooms full of executives, and blew it into the path of marching bands. Both had to stop for minutes until the sneezing fit cleared up. It’s lucky that Adams made a small fortune with Cachoo sneezing powder in the relatively short time between 1904 when it was put on the market and 1919, when it was banned by the FDA . To make Cachoo, Adams was actually pilfering one of the dyes that he was supposed to be selling–coal tar products. Interestingly I thought that the banning of sneezing powder in *1919* would have been more related to not spreading the Spanish Influenza around.

Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place