|The Evening News, Friday February 26, 1897 - Page 3|
" 5250 Incurable Discharged from Hospitals and Given Up by Doctors have been CURED by DR. WILLIAMS'S PINK PILLS"
Recently my Aunty Jean was telling me that she was a small, thin and pale young girl, until she started taking Dr Williams' Pink Pills for Pale People, which made her grow.
This intrigued me, so I decided to find out more!
The wonder drug was sold from the 1890s to the 1950s(1) in over 80 countries around the world.
"The Pills, to begin with, give strength purity and richness to the blood, and thus root out a whole host of diseases which depend on poor or viated blood" (2)
There are pages and pages of reported cures! In 1986, a 40 page book was dedicated to the stories of cures. It makes very interesting reading.
Aunty Jean was about 10 years old, when her mother sent a family photo to Grandma Pilgrim. When Grandma Pilgrim wrote back, she commented that Jean was too little and thin!
|Don, Jean, Joy and Rob|
Was this the photo that my grandmother sent to her mother?
Gran promptly took Aunty Jean to the chemist (who was also a trained doctor) and he prescribed Dr Williams' Pink Pills for Pale People.
|A year later, Aunty Jean does look to have grown|
considerably in comparison to her elder brother.
Could the Pink Pills be the reason?
|Source: Science Museum London|
The range of reports is quite impressive; from the soldier who was discharged with "incurable paralysis" who was "made perfectly well by our pills" to the young girl who was "gulping up large quantities of blood" but through "the use of the pills, gradually rose from a bed of suffering and sickness until she once again attained robust young womenhood". (3)
The list of ailments purportedly cured is extraordinary;
Anaemia, Asthma, Chlorosis or Green Sickness, Dizziness, Heart Palpitation, Nervousness, Headache, Loss of Appetite, Indigestion and Dyspepsia, La Grippe, Eruptions and Pimples, Sick Headache, Pale or Sallow Complexion, Swelling, General Debility, Rheumatism, Depression, Insomnia, Paralysis, Muscular Weakness, Shortness of Breathe, Locomotor Ataxia, Neuralgia, Chronic Erysipeias, Kidney Troubles, Catarrh of the Stomach, Nervous Fits, St Vitus' Dance, Consumption of the Bowels and Lungs, Swelled Glands, Scrofula, Fever Sores, Irritability of Temper, Rickets, Fevers, Acute Diseases, All Female Weakness, Tardy or Irregular Periods, Leucorrhoea, Suppression of the Menses, Loss of Vital Forces, Loss of Memory, Ringing in the Ears and Hysteria.
Aunty Jean believes that she took the pink pills for a couple of years. Did they work? She believes that she grew substantially after taking them.
|Jean and Joy in 1953|
Do you think the pink pills made a difference?
|1895 Canadian Advertisement|
So what was in Dr Williams' Pink Pills for Pale People?
The recipe was a secret but according to the Kansas Historical society, it seems they were iron oxide, epsom salts and magnesium sulfate based.
|This post was prompted by Sepia Saturday. Please click to read other posts.|
(1) According to advertisements in Australian newspapers as researched on http://trove.nla.gov.au/
(2) As stated by the Manager of Dr Williams' Medicine Company and reported in the London Newspapers and repeated in the Healesville Guardian and Yarra Glen Guardian, Saturday 20th August 1898, page 3 - Trove
(3) Book: Dr Williams pink pills for pale people - published 1986