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Vintage Ads: Late 1800s Cocaine Toothache Cure

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Back before the FDA, when cocaine was a standard component of "nerve tonics" for women and an ingredient in Coca-Cola....


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Yeah, and they don't mention the side effects. Rubbing cocaine on your gums isn't a whole lot different from snorting it. Reminds me of the bourbon-flavored toothpaste - 23% more cavities and couldn't care less!


Registered in 1885-15 cents was alot of money back then.


You really got a bang for your buck in those days!


I'm afraid the FDA, created in 1906, would have put a stop to that. They now use caffeine, another addictive drug and a stimulant, and who knows what else.


I wonder if they still put it in Coca-Cola..

great ads...great comments


That's where "Coca-Cola" got its name. Consider that these were the days of the opium dens on the waterfront in London. In fact, the first drug crisis (~1890-1925) grew out of the unrestricted use of narcotics in medicines and food. By the time the government got involved, people had already solved it - through drug education in schools, and open clinics.

When enough people were concerned about it, the government responded by creating the first "drug czar" (1928ish). When it turned out that people had already addressed the issue, and drug use was declining, they made up numbers, ran a scare campaign, attempted to eradicate information about drugs and discussion of them (creating the ignorance of the '50s) and pushed criminalization of drug use - which created a major source of income for organized crime and a major sinkhole of government spending.


Interesting, thanks. It is a sweet looking advertisement for something that sounds a bit scary. And it was an ingredient in Coca-Cola? Oh my giddy aunt!