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C.O.P.E. Tutorial School Inc.
228 W 2nd Ave
Milan, IL 61264
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3300 5th Ave
Moline, IL 61265

Moline Memorial Park & Mausoleum
5001 34 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

Umthun Trucking

VFC Distribution
525 E 1 St
Milan, IL 61264

Lipid Research Center
2188 West Lawn
Iowa City, IA 52242

Rux Funeral Home
313 Market St
Galva, IL

Rux Funeral Home
507 S Chestnut
Kewanee, IL

Marycrest International University
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Davenport, IA 52804

St. Ambrose University
518 W Locust
Davenport, IA 52804

Palmer College of Chiropractic
1000 Brady St
Davenport, IA 52803

Augustana College
639 38 St
Rock Island, IL 61201

H & R Block
1715 W Locust St
Davenport, IA 52804

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200 24 Ave
Rock Island, IL 61201

American Institute of Commerce
1801 E Kimberly Rd
Davenport, IA 52807

Rock Island County Farm Bureau
1601 52 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

Hempel Pipe and Supply
951 S Rolff St
Davenport, IA 52802

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Davenport, Ia 52801

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Moline, IL 61265

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East Moline, IL 61244

John Deere Pavilion
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Moline, IL 61265

Magic elixir could `cure' all

By Laura Botting, Dispatch/Argus Staff writer

Today, medicines are strictly regulated are prescribed. But in the early days of the century almost anything was legal, and you could `cure' anything according to the ads.

A little of ``this'' and a pinch of ``that'' often make the best recipes.

Turn-of-the-century pharmaceutical ``recipes'' were often concocted just that way, according to Richard Moses, pharmacist and owner of The Medicine Shoppe in Rock Island.

``Anyone could bottle and sell stuff,'' Mr. Moses said.

Patent medicine ads in the early 1900s promoted amazing advances. Medicines on the market claimed to ``cure'' everything from arthritis to headaches. They were sold as ``snake oils,'' ``elixirs'' and ``liniments,'' said to treat everything that ailed.

Mr. Moses said that most of the ads were sincere.

``There were many things out there that were a combination of extracts.|.|.and they had some ingredients that were medicinally active, that could elicit some type of response,'' he said.

``In most instances they had enough alcohol in them that you didn't care,'' he said.

Enter ``beef, iron and wine tonic,'' the remedy used to fortify a person withering in failed health. Take a little beef extract, water, feric ammonium citrate, soluble iron and syrup -- and a lot of sherry. In fact, according to Remington's Practice of Pharmacy, about 27 percent of this turn-of-the- century remedy was alcohol.

``It was almost like brandy,'' said Mr. Moses. ``So, you got a little fortifying -- and a `lot' of wine.''

``Dr. Richter's anchor pain expeller,'' advertised as an ``excellent'' remedy for backache, rheumatism and neuralia, ``was probably turpentine,'' said Mr. Moses.

By rubbing the liniment onto the skin, the remedy succeeded in irritating the skin, which caused blood to flow to the affected area -- which in turn increased oxygen flow into the surrounding tissue, thereby ``rejuvenating'' the area, he explained.

Turn-of-the-century patent medicine ads were often based on testimonials by ``satisfied'' customers.

The Rev. Enoch Hill, pastor of the M.E. Church of Grand Junction, Iowa, was so satisfied with ``Dr. Williams' Pink Pills for Pale People'' that he endorsed the product by lending his testimonial and portrait to a 1900 advertisement.

In the ad, Rev. Hill affirmed that the product gave him energy and relieved his chronic head pain.

``I had taken two or three doses of the pills when I found that they were helping me,'' his testimonial reads. ``I am glad to offer this public recommendation of `Dr. Williams' Pink Pills for Pale People' in the interest of suffering humanity.''

In another ad, Mrs. W.P. Valentine tells of happy results gained by taking ``Lydia E. Pinkham's Vegetable Compound,'' a medicine that claimed to ``calm the nerves and wretchedness of women.''

A 1900 excerpt from Mrs. Valentine's testimonial reads: ``Before I had taken half a bottle of your medicine, I found myself improving. I continued to use until I had taken four bottles.|.|.I am like a new person.''

Mr. Moses said that many of the plant and vegetable substances used in olden pharmaceutical remedies are found in modern medicines.

``They were on the right track,'' said Mr. Moses. The ads were ``genuine, but a little ahead of their time. They couldn't really I.D. what was working.''

Today, drug ingredients are isolated and refined in order to give consumers the proper mix of ``this'' and ``that'' necessary to their ailments, he said.

As early as 1821, a group attempted to begin the standardization of the practice of pharmacy in this country. It wasn't until 1906, when the Federal Food and Drugs Act was enacted prohibiting the sale and manufacture of adulterated food and drugs, that efforts became widespread.

``They were trying to protect the public from getting combinations of drugs that fail to treat an ailment adequately,'' Mr. Moses said. ``Or that would give them more drug than they need, which was totally unintended for the purpose that they needed it for.''

More and more, modern medicine is evolving toward leaving the diagnoses of disease up to the doctors, and putting the decisions about drug treatments into the hands of the pharmacists, Mr. Moses said.

``It is a long way away,'' he said. ``I probably won't see it in my life time, but it is coming.''

He added that right now, scientists are prowling the Amazon for new plants to use in medicines.

``Probably 90 percent of new drug entities are out there,'' he said. ``We just haven't found them yet.''

Copyright 1999, Moline Dispatch Publishing Co.