Rectangular short clear glass bottle (a) with long cylindrical neck, rounded shoulders and white metal screw-top cap full of dark liquid; front and back panel is slightly recessed; front panel with white paper label with decorative design and black text; back panel has embossed lettering of product…
Rectangular short clear glass bottle (a) with long cylindrical neck, rounded shoulders and white metal screw-top cap full of dark liquid; front and back panel is slightly recessed; front panel with white paper label with decorative design and black text; back panel has embossed lettering of product name; tan paper cardboard box (b) with one side with English text and the opposite side in French has flaps at the top and bottom to open and close it; one piece of tan paper has instructions (c) on one side for humans and the other for horses and cattle and is bilingual; the box and bottle appear to be from the design of the 1900-1930s while the bottle label design is noted as 1952.
Number Of Parts
a - bottle - Length 13.5 cm x Width 4.8 cm x Depth 2.3 cm
b - box - Length 14.8 cm x Width 5.3 cm x Depth 3.0 cm
Printed on Box: "Dr. // THOMAS' // ECLECTRIC // FOR // DIRECTIONS // SEE INSIDE CIRCULAR // OIL // S. N. Thomas // CONTENTS 2 OZS NET // Lame Back // Neuralgia // Simple Sore Throat // Bronchitis // Cough // Catarrh // False Croup // Asthma // Loss of Voice // Swelling // Burns // Piles // Frost Bites // Chilbains // Sprains and Wounds // IN HORSES and CATTLE // Colic // Galls // Distemper // Scours // Sweeney // Curb // Corks // Scratches // Garget or Sore Teat // VALUABLE in the TREATMENT OF POULTRY for // Colds, Roup, // Canker Sores, // Flesh Wounds, // etc.”; bottle label : “Dr. // THOMAS' // ECLECTRIC // FOR // DIRECTIONS // SEE INSIDE CIRCULAR // No. 5520 The Proprietary or // Patent Medicine Act. // OIL // 2 FLUID OUNCES // NORTHROP & LYMAN CO., Limited // TORONTO, CANADA // THIS BOTTLE LABEL // ADOPTED SEPT. 1952”; embossed on bottle back panel: “NORTHROP & // LYMAN CO. LIMITED // TORONTO CANADA
Storage Room 0010
(c) 0010-G Instruction Pamphlets and Measuring Aids Binder pg.
Measurement of instruction is open flat
Repaired loose and separated box tabs and flap
Dr. Thomas’ Eclectric Oil was a widely used pain relief remedy which was sold in Canada and the United States as a patent medicine from the 1850s into the early twentieth century. Like many patent medicines, it was advertised as a unique cure-all, but mostly contained common ingredients such as turpentine and camphor oil.
The name of the product was changed several times due to changes in ownership. When Foster- Milburn purchased the medicine in 1880 or 1884, the name was changed to Excelsior Eclectric Oil. In 1906, the name had to be changed to Dr. Thomas’ Eclectic Oil due to the Pure Food and Drug Act which required that sellers must not have misleading information on product labels. In this case, the name was changed because electricity was not a component of the remedy.
Eclectric oil was advertised as an over the counter "cure all" medicine, containing common ingredients that are still used in many alternative medical remedies performed at home. This oil was a "DIY" for many common ailments. While the name suggests the uses of electricity and magnetic forces, leading consumers to believe it to be the new modern medicine, the ingredients in this oil were and still are fairly common. The composition of the oil contained main ingredients such as spirits of turpentine, camphor oil (commonly found in many brands of vapor rub), as well as Eucalyptus, Thyme and a variety of fish oils. Some sources suggest other ingredients as well but the general formula is written on the back of the Eclectric bottle. A recipe said to be similar to Thomas's was published in "Fenner's Complete Formulary" (1889), with ingredients listed as Camphor, ½ oz.; Oil Gaultheria, ½ oz.; Oil Origanum, ½ oz.; Chloroform, 1 oz.; Laudanum, 1 oz.; Oil Sassafras, 1 oz.; Oil Hemlock, 1 oz.; Oil Turpentine, 1 oz.; Balsam fir, 1 oz.; Tincture Guaiacum, 1 oz.; Tincture Catechu, 1 oz.; Alcohol, 4 pt.; Alkanet, sufficient to color."
Because the ingredients are claimed to be natural, Eclectric oil can be used internally and topically as needed. It claims to cure toothaches, wounds, and any kind of pain within minutes of being applied. The bottle suggests consuming 15 drops to half a teaspoon mixed with sugar for ailments such as coughs and sore throat for deeper pain due to wounds or muscle aches, or saturating the area with the oil and massaging the oil in as needed for external pain.