A History of Snake Oil…

More intrigue from Atlas Obscura:

“After the introduction of the Food and Drugs Act, some snake oil vendors took an even sneakier approach to marketing that managed to evade the government restrictions. In July 1918, a monthly bulletin from the Boston Health Department reported that dodgy medicine vendor Guy C. Worner was selling snake oil at a shop on Washington Street. “The premises were duly decorated with rattlesnake skins, cages of live snakes, and other curiosities supposedly from the West,” read the bulletin, which also noted that, when conducting business, Worner “appeared in the costume of a cowboy.”

The Health Department’s analysis of Worner’s not-so-snake-ish oil showed that it contained 75 percent petroleum lubricating oil and 25 percent eucalyptol, according to the bulletin. Worner escaped any false-advertising penalties by claiming that the rattlesnake imagery used in his store displays and print ads were intended merely to boost sales of the snake skins he peddled alongside his mystery miracle oil.”

Read the rest here: http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-serpentine-story-of-snake-oil-or-how-i-came-to-buy-snake-oil-from-amazoncom

And here’s your soundtrack:


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