Saturday, March 26, 2011

jubilation 76....antiquing

My favorite find of the day was this old leather trunk.  I have absolutely no idea what I am going to do with it, but I will figure something out.  In the meantime, I will just open it up and sniff years yonder and wonder what kind of adventures this trunk had.  So many possibilities.  It did have a name inside.  Maybe that will be a research project for another day.  

This book was published in 1936 and is hilarious.  One quote from his "Green Postures" chapter says, "I wasn't to emphasize the fact that it is not necessary to sit like an indignant dowager at a risque show, or walk like a Prussian goose-stepper to keep correct posture.  When I read through this, I though of all those men and women in the 30's and 40's who always had perfect posture.  I wonder if this book helped straighten them up.

This was perhaps my strangest purchase.: Chamberlain's Colic Remedy (c. 1935).  After reading the ingredients, I had to do some research on the quack medicine.   It was introduced in the 1880s by the Chamberlain Medicine Co. of Des Moines, Iowa. It seems to have been sold into the 1940s.

There are several reports in the early 1900s to this medicine and it is not hard to see why. The ingredients included45% alcohol, ether, chloroform, and chlorbutanol (1930s)...earlier formulations included narcotics such as morphine. This troubling report appeared in the July 1906 issue of the Homeopathic Envoy:

"Up in Vancouver "Chamberlain's Colic, Cholera and Diarrhoea Remedy" was too much for a baby. The Vancouver World published the facts with the coroner's verdict in the case. The Chamberlain people then sent a defense to the World with a large advertisement which was refused. The medicine company then sued the newspaper for libel. The newspaper is now demanding and will probably get such legislative enactment as will in future control the sale of such dangerous medicines...Ella Clark went to the Insane Asylum at Mt. Pleasant in January, 1906. She was a morphine fiend and used the Chamberlain Colic Cure in large quantities. In Shelburne Falls, Mass., there is a man who began to take the same remedy for diarrhoea and now takes from two to four ounces nightly for its sedative effect and his doctor says he is a nervous wreck."

Wow! 45 percent alcohol just for flatulence.  Online I found some persons who are desperately trying to find out if it is still sold because apparently, it was very "helpful".

My cheapest purchase was this post card, also from the 1930s.  I especially loved the letter.  I think I love antiquing because each thing I buy is connected to someone else life that had a story.  It is a mystery or a build your own adventure.  I started wondering what relationship did these women have.  Did the marriage end.  "I hope you and tip don't kill yourselves when you get in a fight," sounds pretty serious.  
It is a small peak into what things were like many years ago.   I would like to write a book tracking down the origins of all my antique finds and then finding out what I can about their lives.  I am sure that it has been done, but I would like to take the same journey.   

So my strange confession is that holding this stuff almost makes me feel like I made a dead friend and that I am helping to pass along a piece of their lives.   Holding something that they help or finding value in something they found value is a small connection to a stranger...and I guess you could say that I have feelings of kinship and may even feel ghost vibes around them.   

And nothing finishes off antiquing better than Pho and my sister in law with whom to share the adventure

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way! That was such a good day, I'm so glad we got to spend some time together. I like thinking about former owners and creators of the treasures I find. For instance, who thought of making a pitcher shaped like an elephant, and what kindred spirit was unable to resist it like I was? I think antiquing is an acceptable form of voyeurism :o)