First One’s Free

Brown's Iron Bitters oct 2 84

This lysergic looking advertisement for Brown’s Iron Bitters appeared in the October 2, 1884 edition of The Chatham Record with these words in bold type:

Brown’s Iron Bitters combines Iron with pure vegetable tonics. It is compounded on thoroughly scientific and medicinal principles, and cannot intoxicate.

On the other hand, many of the resources I visited to learn more about Brown’s Iron Bitters led with this sentence: “This product contained cocaine.”

Maybe it was hard to tell, given that it was delivered in 39% alcohol.


One response to “First One’s Free

  1. Pingback: This Ain’t Denmark, People | Chatham Community Library

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