Journey To 1898, When Analgesics Were Advertised With Images of Death

Via the Wash U. School of Medicine's Bernard Becker Medical Library comes a series of whimsically macabre calendar illustrations, created by physician and artist Louis Crusius at the turn of the 20th Century to advertise "Antikamnia," a patent painkiller once used to treat everything from "nervousness" to "sightseers' headache."

From the Library's tumblr:

The Antikamnia Chemical Company used Crusius' images in a series of calendars they published from 1897-1901, which they sent to physicians who could prove their medical standing... The company, whose name means "opposed to pain," was known for manufacturing a patent medicine called Antikamnia tablets. Like most patent medicines of the time, the ingredients in the tablets could have ill effects - the tablets contained acetanilide, which could cause cyanosis (a condition in which the skin becomes blood due to insufficient oxygen).

That last sentence contains a typo, by the way; cyanosis is a condition in which the skin becomes "blue" – not, thankfully, "blood."

Journey To 1898, When Analgesics Were Advertised With Images of Death

Journey To 1898, When Analgesics Were Advertised With Images of Death

Journey To 1898, When Analgesics Were Advertised With Images of Death

See more of Crusius' illustrations at Rare Books At WUSTLmed. More on Antikamnia tablets at the Museum of Quackery.