Health

Photos: Vintage cold and flu ads

Published 6:55 AM ET, Fri November 15, 2013
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Cold and flu remedies get passed down from generation to generation. Sometimes the cure-all is chicken noodle soup, sometimes it's a liquid with a bit more, well, kick. The Cephos Company advertised a powder as a remedy for headaches, colds and cases of the nerves. Each packet contained caffeine and aspirin, to be dissolved in water. Mary Evans/Everett Collection
If you have to be sick, at least use your illness as an excuse to knock back a hot toddy or two. Whiskey has long been lauded as a home remedy, so why wouldn't companies sell it as such? People use it to ease sore throats and kill germs, whether or not there's any scientific evidence to back up their beliefs. Mary Evans/National Magazines/Everett
Dr. Thomas' Eclectric Oil was possibly the most over-achieving of all home remedies. It claimed to be able to cure anything from toothaches and earaches to lameness and deafness. And it only cost 50 cents a bottle. Mary Evans Picture Library/Everett Collection
In the 1930s, Luden's advertised their cough tablets as "quick relief" for annoying hacking. Luden's is still a cold remedy company, although their drops are now marketed to soothe sore throats. Advertising Archive/Courtesy Everett Collection
If Grandma's chicken noodle soup isn't available, Brits can always grab a bowl of Batchelors. You may scoff at the old-school remedy, but science has shown soup is worth a trip to the store when you're sick. Advertising Archive/Courtesy Everett Collection
In this 1920s book illustration, five sick kids sit with their feet in a tub of mustard and hot water. Caregivers used mustard footbaths to draw blood to the feet, which was said to help relieve congestion. Mary Evans Picture Library/Everett Collection
Le Thermogene was a popular European remedy designed to treat coughs, the flu and rheumatic pains. The cotton wadding was treated with capsicum, a type of plant that creates heat when applied to the body. Mary Evans / Retrograph Collection/Everett Collection
Dr. D. Jayne's Expectorant was sold in the late 1880s as a cure for coughs, colds and asthma, as well as a "sure remedy for worms." The tonic concoction was also used to help indigestion. Mary Evans Picture Library/Everett Collection
The Vapo-Cresolene vaporizer was supposed to cure whooping cough, croup, asthma and the common cold. Made with carbolic acid, it was advertised as a germ killer if inhaled. Mary Evans Picture Library/Everett Collection