10,000 Records

Interment Glossary of Terms and Background Information

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Interment Books (1846-1979)

Helpful Hints – Tombstones – Removals – Spellings – Interment Book Dates

Explanation for Entries in the Interment Books
Specific Terms Definitions

2000-2007 Interments

Glossary of Ancient Diseases

Nashville City Cemetery Interment Books (1846-1979)

The original volumes of the Nashville City Cemetery are in the collection of the Metropolitan Governmental Archives. These volumes are too fragile to be used by researchers. To make this important information available to the public, the Metro Archives and the Nashville Town Committee of Colonial Dames sponsored a joint project. The Dames provided funding to the Friends of Metro Archives so that an intern could be engaged to prepare a completely new transcription of the Interment Books. Ken Fieth, Director of the Metro Archives, set up the computer database. Sarah Meacham, a graduate student in the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation, was engaged for this database entry work. Her endeavors were supported by Metro archivists Debie Cox and Linda Center. The final proofing for corrections and additions to the entries was provided by Colonial Dames volunteers Fletch Coke and Bertie Shriver. The proofing was completed in December 2006. Because of the very large size of the entries, Ken Fieth asked the Nashville Public Library to post the 19,745 interments on its web site. With special thanks to Donna Nicely, Director, Nashville Public Library, and to Suliang Feng, head of Technical Services, the Interment Books went online on the Nashville Public Library web site in November 2007.

Helpful Hints to Using the Interment Books

Burials prior to 1846. The City Cemetery opened in 1822, but no Interment records exist prior to 1846.

Tombstones. Every person listed in the Interment Books does not have a tombstone at the City Cemetery. Of 19,745 burial entries, there are only 3,000 tombstones in the cemetery today. Wooden markers did not last long. Other stone markers have been destroyed by weathering or lost over time. Visit Inscriptions on this web site for tombstones with legible inscriptions.

Removals. Occasionally graves and monuments were relocated to other cemeteries. The Interment Books did not report these removals. Visit Interments on this web site and click-on Removals for a list of some of these re-interred to other cemeteries.

Spellings. In this new transcription, entries were transcribed exactly as spelled in the Interment Books. Often there were misspellings of even the names of Nashville’s most prominent citizens such as “Eweing” for Ewing  and “Rutlege” for Rutledge. In using the search engine to look for a family name, it is advisable to try various spellings.

Interments 1846 – 1979. Burials were recorded in the City Cemetery Interment Books from 1846-1979. Beginning in 1979, 30 burials have been listed in the records at the Metro Historical Commission.

Diseases. There are many diseases listed in the Interment Books which are unfamiliar to us today. To learn more about 19th century diseases, visit the web site of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia or see the Ancient Diseases section of this website. In the Interment Books, there were different spellings of the same disease.

Glossary of Abbreviations & Terms. To understand the meanings of abbreviations and terms, Visit the Specific Terms in this section.

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Explanation of Entries in the Interment Books

Volume.  City Cemetery Interment Book for this burial

Number.  Number on the computer data base for this burial

Date.  Date of burial. Not the date of death

Name.  Name of the deceased. Children under 6 years of age were usually called “Infants”.

Age. The age of the deceased at the time of death

Sex. Male or Female

Race. White. Mulatto. Negro. Colored. Indian. These terms were used by the Sextons.

Residence. Permanent residence of the deceased at the time of death. City meant City of Nashville. Country meant outside the City of Nashville limits. County meant Davidson County. Other towns, counties & states were also listed. Note: In the 19th century, people were sent to the Insane Asylum for many reasons other than mental illness, such as serious head injury, old age, senility and no means to care for the person at home.

Disease. Cause of death of the deceased.

Location. The burial site was identified by the nearest Avenue on the City Cemetery map of the interior carriage roads or hearse roads.

Lot. Sexton recorded “Lot” if the burial took place on a private lot. In this column, other places were also identified: Vault for public vault, Shelby Vault or other named family Vault (these were above ground mausoleums or underground vaults), old grave for a burial on a former grave site, pauper lot for person unable to pay for a grave site,  $50 for payment of a 50 cents lot, $200 for payment of a $2.00 lot.

Remarks. The Sexton added information about the deceased, such as family connections, the occupation of the deceased, local official office or military rank, the place of an accidental death such as on a steamboat.

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Specific Terms Definitions

Avenueburial lots were located by the nearest “Avenue” on cemetery map
bespoke by J. Corbitt, Esq.burial fees to be paid by J. Corbitt, Esq.
boxwooden burial box
bpbox paid
brickbrick lining to grave
brick vaultbrick vault above and around the grave
brick workbrick work for base of tombstone
brought from belowexact meaning not determined
burial in Catholic Cemeterylocated on 5 acres at southwest corner of City Cemetery
buried by Odd Fellowsburied by Independent Order of Odd Fellows  IOOF
buried by Temple of Honorspecial services provided by fraternal organization
buried in a boxburied in a wooden box
cadet Western Military InstituteWestern Military Institute opened in Nashville 1855
Catholic Asylumrenamed St. Mary’s Orphanage in 1863
charge to C. R. Corneliusburial fees to be charged to undertaker C. R. Cornelius
charge to Father Scatchburial fees to be paid by Catholic Church ( Father Schacht))
charge to Grooms & Combsburial fees to be charged to undertakers Grooms & Combs
charge to R. H. Groomsburial fees to be charged to undertaker R. H. Grooms
charge to Sons of Temperanceburial fees to be paid by Sons of Temperance
charge to Tennessee HospitalSee Tennessee Hospital for the Insane
charged to Relief CommitteeProvided by City or Corporation which operated the cemetery
Cnr.abbreviation for “Junior”
contryabbreviation for “country”;
cooperperson who made or repaired casks and barrels
corenera spelling for “coronor”
Corporation handperson employed by City Cemetery Corporation
Cumberland Lodge No. 8Masonic Lodge. Established in Nashville 1815
Dec’dabbreviation for “Deceased”
deposited in the Currin vaultdeceased interred in Currin vault at City Cemetery
deposited in vaulttdeceased deposited in vault. City Vault burned 1878.
died belowexact meaning not determined
dug the grave themselvesSexton was not paid to dig the grave
E.N.abbreviation for East Nashville (also called Edgefield))
EdgefieldCity across Cumberland River from Nashville
Esylama spelling for “Asylum”
Fees to be paid by Wm.Jenningsburial fees to be paid by a particular personn
freeAfrican-Americans who were free before Civil War
free child of colorInterment Books used this term until 12-31-1867
free man of colorInterment Books used this term until 12-31-1867
free woman of colorInterment Books used this term until 12-31-1867
Freeman’s LotMasonic Lot at City Cemetery. Reserved for Masons
Freemasonmember of a Masonic Lodge
from Blind Institutionestablished in Nashville in 1846
from Medical Collegeopened by University of Nashville in 1851
from Memphis, to be removeddeceased to be removed for reburial in Memphis
from steamboat Bolivardeceased was brought from steamboard “Bolivar”
from the collegeUniversity of Nashville opened 1824
from work housedeceased died in work house
G. L. of Tenn. OOFabbreviation for Grand Lodge of Tennessee IOOF
Grand Lodge of TennesseeMasons. Established in Nashville 1813
grave on Turner lotburial lot identified by name of lot owner
Infant slave to J. Brownburial fees paid by owner J. Brown
IOOFIndependent Order of Odd Fellows. Instituted in Nashville 1839
Knowles Home for the Agedburial lot on Central Avenue, City Cemetery
L & N RRLouisville & Nashville Railroad
L. A.abbreviation for Lunatic Asylum
lic burial groundabbreviation for Catholic burying ground, adjoining City Cemetery
lot 10 x 40measurement of the size of a family lot
Masonic LotLot reserved for burials of Masons
member of Macani Assoc.Mechanics Association formed in Nashville 1831
Memphis & C RRMemphis & Chattanooga Railroad
military studentsee Western Military Institute
N & C RRNashville & Chattanooga Railroad
Nashville Fire Companyfirst Fire companies organized in Nashville 1829
Nashville InnOriginal Inn opened on the Nashville Public Square in 1796
Negro Ground/ Negro Lotburial area set aside for African-Americans
Odd FellowsSee IOOF
old graveburied in a former burial site
old groundburied in former burial area
on Cornelius lotlot owned by undertaker Cornelius
ordered by MayorMayor ordered burials of paupers and wayfarers
Orphans Lotburial area set aside for orphans
p.abbreviation for fees “paid” for burial
P.O.A. or P.O.abbreviations for Protestant Orphan Asykum. Est. Nashville 1845
pauperno means of support, dependent on charity
Pest HouseIn Nashviille mid-1800s for care of people with infectious diseases
poisonuremic poisoning or poisoning by suicide
public vaultdeceased interred in vault at City Cemetery
Refugeeperson seeking shelter in Nashville during the Civil War
removed from Calvary vaultdeceased was re-interred from Calvary Cem vault to City Cem.
removed from Greenwood vaultdeceased was re-interred from Greenwood Cem vault to City Cem.
removed from Memphisre-interred from Memphis to Nashville City Cemetery
removed from Mt. Olivetdeceased was re-interred from Mt. Olivet Cemetery to City Cem.
removed from New Orleansdeceased brought from New Orleans for burial
removed from the countrydeceased to be re-buried in City Cemetery from family graveyard
returned soldier from MexicoMexican War 1846-1847.  U.S. vs. Mexico
Robertson Assoc. will pay 6.00possibly connected to local philanthropist Duncan Robertson
S of T No. 30abbreviation for Sons of Temperance No. 30
S.N.abbreviation for South Nashvillee
saddlerperson who made saddles and other equipment for horses
same grave, mother & infantmother and infant buried in the same grave
sent out by the CorporationCorporation operated the City Cemetery
servantBeginning 11-20-1852, slaves were called servants in interments
Sextonssee separate listing of Sextons of the City Cemetery
sextons fees paidSexton at City Cemetery in charge of burials & Interment Books
Slave of J.Brown & Union Hallburial fees paid by owners J. Brown & Union Hall
Smiley Lodge IOOFOdd Fellows. Smiley Lodge instituted in South Nashville 1854
Snr.abbreviation for “Senior”
Soldier GroundGravesites of former Federal soldiers re-used after 1869 for new burials
son of Daniel Watkins, freechild was son of a freeman before the Civil War
Son of TemperanceIndependent Order of Good Templars (Temperance) Est. Nashville 1847
Southern Soldiers Groundburial area set aside for Confederate Soldiers
spoken for by J. Morrow, D.D.fees to be paid by Pastor Morrow
spoken for by McCombsfees to be paid by undertaker McCombs
St. Cloud Hotelwell known hotel located on Church Street
stone cutter from Capitol Hillstone cutter employed to build State Capitol, Nashville
Strangers Groundburial area set aside for wayfarers to the city
sutlerperson who followed an army and sold provisions to soldiers
Syluma spelling for “Asylum”
taken to the countrydeceased to be re-interred in family graveyard in country
Tenn. Hospital for the Insaneon Murfreesboro Pike. Opened in Nashville 1852
to be taken to Mill Creekdeceased to be reburied at Mill Creek Baptist Cem., Nashville
to be taken to Mississippideceased to be reburied in Mississippi
to be taken to Mt. Olivetdeceased to be reburied at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Nashville
Trabue No. 10 IOOFOdd Fellows. Trabue No.10 instituted in Nashville 1845
undertakersSee separate listing of undertakers in Nashville
vaults (family)Vaults owned by Shelby, Currin, Johnson, McNairy & other familiea
vpvault paid
Weakley’s Tavernlocal tavern where person died
wishes a lot 20 x 40person wished to purchase a burial lot measuring 20 ft. x 40 ft.

Prepared by Fletch Coke 12-10-2007

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Interments 2000 -2007


– Mary Humes Meadors July 1, 1913 – Sept. 14, 2000
Section 18. Boyd Lot. Lot 8
– Harlan Perry Howard September 8, 1927 – March 3, 2002
Section 20  Lot 21


– Gaytha Lamb-Luck May 4, 1944 – Aug. 30, 2007
Section 4. Martin C. Cotton Lot. Lot 2

Glossary of Ancient Diseases


Abscess: A localized collection of pus buried in tissues, organs, or confined spaces of the body, often accompanied by swelling and inflammation and frequently caused by bacteria. See boil.

Addison’s disease: A disease characterized by severe weakness, low blood pressure, and a bronzed coloration of the skin, due to decreased secretion of cortisol from the adrenal gland. Synonyms: Morbus addisonii, bronzed skin disease.

Ague: Malarial or intermittent fever characterized by paroxysms (stages of chills, fever, and sweating at regularly recurring times) and followed by an interval or intermission of varying duration. Popularly, the disease was known as “fever and ague,” “chill fever,” “the shakes,” and by names expressive of the locality in which it was prevalent–such as, “swamp fever” (in Louisiana), “Panama fever,” and “Chagres fever.”

Ague-cake: A form of enlargement of the spleen, resulting from the action of malaria on the system.

American Plague: yellow fever

Anasarca: Generalized massive dropsy. See dropsy.

Apoplexy: paralysis due to stroke

Aphthae: See thrush.

Aphthous stomatitis: See canker.

Ascites: See dropsy.

Asthenia: See debility.

Bad Blood: Syphilis

Bilious fever: A term loosely applied to certain intestinal and malarial fevers. See typhus.

Biliousness: A complex of symptoms comprising nausea, abdominal discomfort, headache, and constipation–formerly attributed to excessive secretion of bile from the liver.

Blood Poisoning: Septicemia

Boil: An abscess of skin or painful inflammation of the skin or a hair follicle usually caused by a staphylococcal infection. Synonym: furuncle.

Brain fever: See meningitis, typhus.

Bright’s Disease: Glomerulonephritis (kidney inflammation)

Bronchial asthma: A disorder of breathing, characterized by spasm of the bronchial tubes of the lungs, wheezing, and difficulty in breathing air outward–often accompanied by coughing and a feeling of tightness in the chest.

Camp fever: See typhus.

Cancer: A malignant and invasive growth or tumor. In the nineteenth century, cancerous tumors tended to ulcerate, grew constantly, and progressed to a fatal end and that there was scarcely a tissue they would not invade. Synonyms: malignant growth, carcinoma.

Cancrum otis: A severe, destructive, eroding ulcer of the cheek and lip. In the last century it was seen in delicate, ill-fed, ill-tended children between the ages of two and five. The disease was the result of poor hygiene. It was often fatal. The disease could, in a few days, lead to gangrene of the lips, cheeks, tonsils, palate, tongue, and even half the face; teeth would fall from their sockets. Synonyms: canker, water canker, noma, gangrenous stomatitis, gangrenous ulceration of the mouth.

Canker: An ulcerous sore of the mouth and lips, not considered fatal today. Synonym: aphthous stomatitis. See cancrum otis.

Catalepsy: seizures/trances

Catarrh: Inflammation of a mucous membrane, especially of the air passages of the head and throat, with a free discharge. Bronchial catarrh was bronchitis; suffocative catarrh was croup; urethral catarrh was gleet; vaginal catarrh was leukorrhea; epidemic catarrh was the same as influenza. Synonyms: cold, coryza.

Chlorosis: iron deficiency anemia

Cholera: An acute, infectious disease characterized by profuse diarrhea, vomiting, and cramps. Cholera is spread by feces-contaminated water and food. Major epidemics struck the United States in the years 1832, 1849, and 1866. .

Cholera infantum: A common, noncontagious diarrhea of young children, occurring in summer or autumn. It was common among the poor and in hand-fed babies. Death frequently occurred in three to five days. Synonyms: summer complaint, weaning brash, water gripes, choleric fever of children, cholera morbus.

Chorea: Any of several diseases of the nervous system, characterized by jerky movements that appear to be well coordinated but are performed involuntarily, chiefly of the face and extremities. Synonym: Saint Vitus’ dance.

Colic: Paroxysmal pain in the abdomen or bowels. Infantile colic is benign paroxysmal abdominal pain during the first three months of life. Colic rarely caused death. Renal colic can occur from disease in the kidney, gallstone colic from a stone in the bile duct.

Congestion: An excessive or abnormal accumulation of blood or other fluid in a body part or blood vessel. In congestive fever the internal organs become gorged with blood.

Congestive Fever: malaria

Consumption: A wasting away of the body; formerly applied especially to pulmonary tuberculosis. Synonyms: marasmus (in the mid-nineteenth century), phthisis.

Convulsions: Severe contortion of the body caused by violent, involuntary muscular contractions of the extremities, trunk, and head. See epilepsy.

Coryza: See catarrh.

Croup: Any obstructive condition of the larynx (voice box) or trachea (windpipe), characterized by a hoarse, barking cough and difficult breathing occurring chiefly in infants and children. In the early-nineteenth century it was called cynanche trachealis. The crouping noise was similar to the sound emitted by a chicken affected with the pip, which in some parts of Scotland was called roup; hence, probably, the term croup. Synonyms: roup, hives, choak, stuffing, rising of the lights.

Debility: Abnormal bodily weakness or feebleness; decay of strength. This was a term descriptive of a patient’s condition and of no help in making a diagnosis. Synonym: asthenia.

Diphtheria: An acute infectious disease acquired by contact with an infected person or a carrier of the disease. It was usually confined to the upper respiratory tract (throat) and characterized by the formation of a tough membrane (false membrane) attached firmly to the underlying tissue that would bleed if forcibly removed. In the nineteenth century the disease was occasionally confused with scarlet fever and croup.

Dropsy: A contraction for hydropsy. The presence of abnormally large amounts of fluid. Congestive heart failure

Dysentery: A term given to a number of disorders marked by inflammation of the intestines (especially of the colon). There are two specific varieties: (1) amebic dysentery (2) bacillary dysentery. Synonyms: flux, bloody flux, contagious pyrexia (fever), frequent griping stools.

Eclampsia: A form of toxemia (toxins–or poisons–in the blood) accompanying pregnancy. See dropsy.

Effluvia: Exhalations. In the mid-nineteenth century, they were called “vapours” and distinguished into the contagious effluvia, such as rubeolar (measles); marsh effluvia, such as miasmata.

Emphysema, pulmonary: A chronic, irreversible disease of the lungs.

Enteric fever: See typhoid fever.

Epilepsy: A disorder of the nervous system, characterized either by mild, episodic loss of attention or sleepiness (petittnal) or by severe convulsions with loss of consciousness (grand mal). Synonyms: falling sickness, fits.

Erysipelas: An disease. Synonyms: Rose, Saint Anthony’s Fire (from its burning heat or, perhaps, because Saint Anthony was supposed to cure it miraculously).

Fatty Liver: Cirrhosis

Flux: See dysentery.

Furuncle: See boil.

Gangrene: Death and decay of tissue in a part of the body–usually a limb–due to injury, disease, or failure of blood supply. Synonym: mortification.

Glandular Fever: Mononucleosis

Gleet: See catarrh.

Gravel: A disease characterized by small stones which are formed in the kidneys, passed along the ureters to the bladder, and expelled with the urine. Synonym: kidney stone.

Grippe: an old term for influenza

Hectic fever: A daily recurring fever with profound sweating, chills, and flushed appearance– often associated with pulmonary tuberculosis or septic poisoning.

Hives: A skin eruption of smooth, slightly elevated areas on the skin which is redder or paler than the surrounding skin. Often attended by severe itching. Also called cynanche trachealis. In the mid-nineteenth century, hives was a commonly given cause of death of children three years and under. Because true hives does not kill, croup was probably the actual cause of death in those children.

Hospital fever: See typhus.

Hydrocephalus: See dropsy.

Hydrothorax: See dropsy.

Icterus: See jaundice.

Inanition: Exhaustion from lack of nourishment; starvation.

Infection: In the early part of the last century, infections were thought to be the propagation of disease by effluvia (see above) from patients crowded together. “Miasms” were believed to be substances which could not be seen in any form–emanations not apparent to the senses. Such miasms were understood to act by infection.

Inflammation: Redness, swelling, pain, tenderness, heat, and disturbed function of an area of the body. In the last century, cause of death often was listed as inflammation of a body organ–such as, brain or lung–but this was purely a descriptive term and is not helpful in identifying the actual underlying disease.

Jail fever: See typhus.

Jaundice: Yellow discoloration of the skin, whites of the eyes, and mucous membranes, due to an increase of bile pigments in the blood. Synonym: icterus.

Kidney stone: See gravel.

Kings evil: A popular name for scrofula. The name originated in the time of Edward the Confessor, with the belief that the disease could be cured by the touch of the king of England.

Lockjaw: Tetanus, a disease in which the jaws become firmly locked together. Synonyms: trismus, tetanus.

Lung Fever: pneumonia

Lung Sickness: Tuberculosis

Malignant fever: See typhus.

Marasmus: Malnutrition occurring in infants and young children, caused by an insufficient intake of calories or protein.

Meningitis: Inflammation of the meninges characterized by high fever, severe headache, and stiff neck or back muscles. Synonym: brain fever.

Milk Sick: poisoning resulting from the drinking of milk produced by a cow who had eaten a plant known as white snake root

Mormal: gangrene

Neuralgia: Sharp and paroxysmal pain along the course of a sensory nerve.

Paristhmitis: See quinsy.

Petechial fever: See typhus.

Phthisis: See consumption.

Plague/Black Death: Bubonic Plague

Pleurisy: Inflammation of the pleura, the lining of the chest cavity. Symptoms are chills, fever, dry cough, and pain in the affected side (a stitch).

Pneumonia: Inflammation of the lungs

Podagra: Gout

Potts Disease: Tuberculosis of the spinal vertebrae

Putrid fever: See typhus.

Putrid sore throat: Ulceration of an acute form, attacking the tonsils

Pyrexia: See dysentery.

Quinsy: An acute inflammation of the tonsils, often leading to an abscess. Synonyms: suppurative tonsillitis, cynanche tonsillaris, paristhmitis, sore throat.

Scarlatina: Scarlet fever. A contagious disease.

Scrofula: Primary tuberculosis of the lymphatic glands, especially those in the neck. A disease of children and young adults. Synonym: king’s evil.

Septic: Infected, a condition of local or generalized invasion of the body by disease-causing germs.

Ship fever: See typhus.

Softening Of The Brain: cerebral hemorrhage/stroke

Spotted fever: See typhus.

Summer complaint: See cholera infantum.

Suppuration: The production of pus.

Teething: The entire process which results in the eruption of the teeth. Nineteenth-century medical reports stated that infants were more prone to disease at the time of teething. Symptoms were restlessness, fretfulness, convulsions, diarrhea, and painful and swollen gums. The latter could be relieved by lancing over the protruding tooth. Often teething was reported as a cause of death in infants. Perhaps they became susceptible to infections, especially if lancing was performed without antisepsis. Another explanation of teething as a cause of death is that infants were often weaned at the time of teething; perhaps they then died from drinking contaminated milk, leading to an infection, or from malnutrition if watered-down milk was given.

Tetanus: An infectious, often-fatal disease caused by a specific bacterium that enters the body through wounds. Synonyms: trismus, lockjaw.

Thrush: A disease characterized by whitish spots and ulcers on the membranes of the mouth, tongue, and fauces (the passage between the back of the mouth and the pharynx) caused by a parasitic fungus. Synonyms: aphthae, sore mouth, aphthous stomatitis.

Trismus nascentium or neonatorum: A form of tetanus seen only in infants, almost invariably in the first five days of life.

Typhoid fever: An infectious, often-fatal disease, usually occurring in the summer months–characterized by intestinal inflammation and ulceration. The name came from the disease’s similarity to typhus (see below). Synonym: enteric fever.

Typhus: An acute, infectious disease transmitted by lice and fleas. The epidemic or classic form is louse borne; the endemic or murine is flea borne. Synonyms: typhus fever, malignant fever (in the 1850s), jail fever, hospital fever, ship fever, putrid fever, brain fever, bilious fever, spotted fever, petechial fever, camp fever.

Variola: smallpox

Winter Fever: pneumonia

Yellow fever: An acute, often-fatal, infectious disease of warm climates–caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitoes

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1Blood Purifiers and Nerve Tonics left few claims out if the list of ailments they could cure. Dr. Green’s for example for example, listed scrofula, Rheumatism, Neuralgia, Kidney Complaint, Liver Complaint, Lung Trouble, Salt Rheum, Constipation, Piles, Jaundice, Loss of Appetite, Female Weakness, Dyspepsia and Nervousness. And testimonials from happy users added yet more.

2Herbs, roots, barks and other natural products were sold by the Shakers to support their communities. Capitalizing on their reputation, the A. J. White Company launched several products using their name, the Shaker Soothing Plasters being a representative example. Plasters today are infrequently used, but still are an effective means of providing counter irritation.

3While cocaine has some positive medical indication, it is doubtful that its use in toothache drops is one of them. Lloyd’s Toothache Drops were registered in 1885 and must have been a quick success, for shortly thereafter the firm stated that the product’s “wonderful properties are fully demonstrated by the many recommendations it is daily receiving.”

4Before and after pictures are natural illustration for proprietary medicines, and this 1872 card for Hamilton’s Buchu and Dandelion is a classic example. The ingredients, buchu and dandelion, have excellent diuretic properties, giving patients evidence of some activity, but this does not necessarily mean that they are good for “all diseases of the kidney and liver.”

5 H. H. Warner made his first fortune as a pioneer in the manufacture of safes in Rochester, New York. His company later became part of the Mosler Safe Company, and because of his background, Warner felt it appropriate to use the name “safe” in several of his products, including the Rheumatic Cure. Undoubtedly this word in the title aided sales.

6The reason Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup was effective in calming teething children was that it contained morphine, prompting some physicians and journalists to call it a “babykiller.” In the nineteenth-century, the British public was better protected that the American, since their labels for this product had to be marked “Poison.”

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