Carroll’s Yesteryears

15 March 1992

A Nineteenth Century Cold Remedy

By Jay A. Graybeal

*NOTE – Newspaper clipping is missing, copied from Jay’s draft*

Winter is the cold season. A century and a half ago Carroll Countians sought relief from this age-old malady in a variety of ways. A bright yellow broadside provides some information about a popular drug in the late 1840s. The poster is an advertisement for Ephraim Hiteshew’s Pulmonic Cough Syrup. Mr. Hiteshew gave his address at McKinstry’s Mills, Carroll County Maryland.

He described is product: “Recommended by Physicians. Hiteshew’s PULMONIC COUGH SYRUP. This admirable preparation of Medicine was invented many years ago by an eminent and skillful Physician. It being composed of a great variety of the remedies known in Materia Medica, for the Lungs, Throat, and all Diseases of the Pulmonary Organs. Testimonials from hundreds of families could be given, who are entirely dependent upon it, as they have for many years considered it an indispensable article for Coughs, Cold Asthma, Bronchitis, Difficulty of Breathing, Pain and Weakness in the Breast and Side, and the first Stage of Consumption. In all these diseases it will be found a speedy and effectual remedy. It may be given to children in Croup and Whooping Cough and will in all those affections to be a successful and useful remedy. Persons using this Syrup are not required to be any more particular in their diet and drink and under ordinary occasions. This preparation contains: Thirteen Vegetable Ingredients which Nature furnishes from the ample products of hills and valleys, certain roots, and herbs, which possess the highest degree of purifying properties and other ingredients, amounting in all to seventeen.”

Mr. Hiteshew’s was able to secure glowing testimonials from a number of local physicians, clergymen and satisfied customers.

“January 21, 1849, Uniontown

Dear Sir:

Having had an opportunity of witnessing the effects of your Pulmonic Cough Syrup, it affords me great pleasure to say, that I consider it a very safe, prompt and effectual remedy; and I can, therefore, recommend it to the public as the best preparation in the shape of a popular medicine for the diseases in which it is recommended. The ingredients entering into its composition are such, as to render it perfectly safe.

Dr. William Zollickoffer”

“January 21, 1849, Uniontown

Dear Sir:

I take great pleasure in certifying to the efficacy of our Pulmonic Cough Syrup, which has been used in my family for some time. It acted as a charm in cases of Whooping Cough, with which two of my children were affected last winter; in a very short time after they commenced taking it, the cough left them, and during its progress was very much mitigated by its use. It has been used this winter in cases of ordinary coughs, with a great deal of advantage, allaying the Cough almost instantaneously in every instance of application.

Rev. John Morgan”

“December 1, 1848, Sam’s Creek

Dear Sir:

I owe an obligation to you and all those who may have children that are subject to Croup, and I think it my duty to discharge a fact so important as it may be to many, and it is this that causes me to speak of the great good which has followed the use of your Pulmonic Cough Syrup in my family. Some two weeks ago my little boy was taken with a violent attack of Croup, which continued for sometime. At length I discovered the case became more aggravated and alarming, which induced me to purchase a bottle of your Cough Syrup and dministered it according to the directions, at which time our family physician, (Dr. Brown, of New Windsor), was consulted, and after examining the nature of the disease, he, at a word, ordered your cough Syrup to be continued, as he believed it to be an excellent remedy. We accordingly continued its use, which resulted in cutting loose the phlegm, and rendered breathing perfectly free and easy, and has restored the child to perfect health. My wife has also received great advantage from its use in case of a bad cold, attended with an aggravated cough; after taking a few doses she discovered it lessened the attack of coughing and rendered her at all times comfortable, and is now relieved from every uneasy sensation.

Henry Stoner”

The passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906 marked the end of a near of patent medicine. Old flyers and empty bottles are all that remain of these highly touted preparations.