Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Cough Remedy from 1795

Mary Melville donated this 1795 recipe for a cough remedy to the Sandusky Library’s former historical museum many years ago. Mary was the sister of Charles and William Melville who operated a drugstore in the Cooke block in downtown Sandusky in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

A transcription of the recipe for the remedy reads:

Receipt by Dr. James Malone ; take two tea cupfuls of best linseed; four pence worth ____ licorice and half a pound of sun raisens, put all three in two Scott’s pints of water and boil them slowly till the quantity is reduced to a little more than one pint, then add half a pound of sugar candy and strain the whole through a clean cloth and when cold put in half a gill of old rum and as much best vinegar and cork it up in clean bottles. For use, take a large cupful at going to bed and little when the cough is troublesome, this receipt cures the worst of colds in three of four days and is a most balsomich cordial for the lungs without the least danger in the application, and also the best remedy in all consumptions.

July 11, 1795

It is not known exactly how Mary Melville came to be in possession of this vintage cough remedy, but it is interesting to read  a remedy that some of our ancestors may have used to help cure coughs and colds. 

Here is a picture of downtown Sandusky in 1899, when Sandusky’s soldiers were returning from the Spanish American War. The Melville Brothers drugstore was in business in street level of the Cooke block (the building at the corner in the background) at that time.

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