“Was Lydia E. Pinkham the Queen of Quackery?” – Jstor Daily


A selection of Pinkham products via The Smithsonian Institution

“You may not recognize her face, but for nearly a hundred years, the grandmotherly countenance of Lydia E. Pinkham appeared in so many newspapers, advertisements, trade cards, and freely distributed pamphlets that contemporaries compared her to Queen Victoria, the Mona Lisa, and Lady Liberty. Pinkham was the developer of an immensely popular, if questionably effective, herbal remedy for “female complaints” called Lydia E. Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound. From its beginnings in 1875 until today—yes, the compound is still being produced—Pinkham’s cure for all manner of womanly woes, including prolapsed uterus, cramps, hot flashes, and pregnancy-related issues, has earned her both scorn and praise. She probably deserved a bit of both.”

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