Trade Card Pike's Toothache Drops

Artist/maker unknown, American

Geography:
Made in United States, North and Central America

Date:
c. 1880-90

Medium:
Color relief print

Dimensions:
Sheet: 5 x 3 inches (12.7 x 7.6 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1989-8-134

Credit Line:
The William H. Helfand Collection, 1989

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Label:
Nineteenth-century commercial toothache drops were usually composed of natural ingredients, with oil of cloves or an opiate derivative as the analgesic agent. Claims for these drops were invariably the same, promising to provide a sure cure and give instant relief. The text on the back of the card at top promises that Pike's drops will "annihilate in one minute the most violent and protracted toothache," as a result of which the "sufferer enjoys unspeakable relief."

Additional information:
  • PublicationPicture of Health: Images of Medicine and Pharmacy from the William H. Helfand Collection

    The drawing of a dentist applying Pike's Toothache Drops to his patient confirms professional acceptance of the product, which, according to the text on the reverse of the card, promises to "annihilate in one minute the most violent and protracted toothache," and to "cure nervous toothache when rubbed behind the sufferer's ears." The drops were made of natural ingredients, the chief of which was probably morphine or another opium derivative. William H. Helfand, from The Picture of Health: Images of Medicine and Pharmacy from the William H. Helfand Collection (1991), p. 119.