Doctor George Stuart's Botanical Syrup and Vegetable Pills, the Greatest Family Medicine in the World


This 1849 advertisement for “Dr. George Stuart's botanical syrup and vegetable pills, the greatest family medicine in the world” features an exterior view of the three-and-one-half story storefront of the Stuart establishment on the 700 block of Race Street in Philadelphia. Signage on the building north of the large central showcase window lists several diseases and ailments cured by "Dr. G. Stuart's Syrup and Vegetable Pills." The infirmities listed include consumption, dysentery, chills and fevers, piles, colds, coughs, bronchitis, cancers, erysipelas, neuralgia, and "general and nervous debility &c. &c." Shadowy views of branches, leaves, and decanters are visible in the showcase window. In front of the store, men of different ages, classes, and ethnicities hold banners inscribed with testimonials; several also hold bottles. The characters depicted include a dandy, a father and son, a Quaker, and an American Indian. The testimonials attest to the personal experience of these men that the syrup and pills of Dr. Stuart are remedies for cancer, dyspepsia, scrofula, and colds. Also seen are laborers loading a crate of botanical syrup onto a horse-drawn wagon. The picture of the Stuart establishment is bordered by paragraphs of advertising text, including a notice of prices ranging from 25 cents to one dollar per box or bottle. The text promotes various medicines, including “vegetable pills,” which are "intended to operate . . . on . . . the whole system"; "rheumatic liniment," to be used for many ailments, including cases of small pox; and "vermifuge for worms,” which has been “made with particular reference to children." This advertisement includes two large-scale details of bottles and containers inscribed with the words: "Dr. Stuart's Rheumatic Liniment," "Cancer Salve," "Botanical Syrup," and "Dr. Stuart's Vegetable Pills."

Last updated: January 8, 2018