Drug Ads Gallery, 1800s-2014


From the direct-to-consumer prescription drug print ads such as those for Viagra (2010) and Latisse (2009), to early unregulated drug ads for Hamlin's Wizard Oil (1890) and Bonnores Electro Magnetic Bathing Fluid (1881), the galleries below illustrate more than 150 years of American print drug advertising.

A history of drug advertising may be found in our "Prescription Drug Ads Background.” Prescriptions for any drugs were not required until 1951 with the Durham-Humphrey Amendments to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act so some ads printed earlier than 1951 are for drugs that may require a prescription now (for example, Smith Bros. Cough Drops, 1914) or would be outlawed for ingredients like cocaine and heroin (for example, Bayer Heroin Hydrochoride, 1901).

For information about and ads for drugs removed from the market, see our "35 Prescription Drugs Pulled from the Market" page.

1800s drug ads
1900s drug ads
1910s drug ads
1920s drug ads
1930s drug ads
1940s drug ads
1950s drug ads
1960s drug ads
1970s drug ads
1980s drug ads
1990s drug ads
2000 drug ads
2010s drug ads
Sources:

Institute for Nearly Genuine Research, "The Nearly Genuine and Truly Marvelous Psychoneuropharmacological Mental Medicine Show," www.bonkersinstitute.org (accessed Mar. 24, 2014)

Kerry McQueeney, "Cocaine for Toothache, Morphine for Your Child's Cough: The Bizarre 'Safe Cures' of 19th Century That 'Work Like Magic'," www.dailymail.co.uk, Sep. 5, 2012

Paula Zargaj-Reynolds, "Found in Mom's Basement," www.pzrservices.com (accessed Mar. 24, 2014)

stylishnoodle, "Vintage Pharmaceutical Ads (Found Online)," www.flickr.com (accessed Mar. 24, 2014)

stylishnoodle, "Vintage Medical Ads (Found Online) - Set II," www.flickr.com (accessed Mar. 24, 2014)

Vintage Ad Browser, "Medicine," www.vintageadbrowser.com (accessed Mar. 24, 2014)