York Merchant Offers New Cure-All
A recurring advertisement for a new health aid first appeared in the York Press in October, 1851. The ad reads:
“A natural Remedy, Procured, from a Well 400 Feet Deep, and possessing wonderful curative powers, in diseases of the Chest, Wind Pipe and Lungs.
Also, for the cure of Diarrhea, Cholera, Piles, Rheumatism, Gout, Asthma, Bronchitis, Scrofula or King’s Evil, Burns and Scalds, Neuralgia, Tetter, Ring-worm, Obstinate Eruptions of the Skin, Blotches and Pimples on the Face; Biles, Deafness, Chronic Sore Eyes, Erysipelas, Pains in the Bones and Joints, and all that class of diseases in which Alterative or Purifying Medicines are indicates.
Put up by S. M. KIER, Canal Basin, Pittsburg.
For Sale by E.T. MILLER, No. 10 North George Street, York, Pa.
What is this wonderful substance?
The ad is headed:
“PETROLEUM! or ROCK OIL”
I realize that we still use petrolatum (petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline) to soothe skin and as a base for other items, such as Vicks Vaporub, which are also applied topically. Some of the afflictions above, however, would have required an internal dose. I doubt that it was very tasty.