Sloan’s Liniment Advertisement

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Friday, July 24, 1914: Nothing doing.


Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:


I hope that you aren’t doing “nothing” because you’re still in pain from the hay-loading accident two days ago.

If you’re stiff and sore, maybe Sloan’s Liniment would help. It kills all pain in man or beast.

13 thoughts on “Sloan’s Liniment Advertisement

  1. The placebo effect is alive and well in the 21st century. I read just the other day about a double-blind study of acetaminophen, a.k.a., Tylenol. It found that while it is effective for headaches and some other things, it is not effective for chronic back pain. Nevertheless, patients reported significant relief from the pills, whether real or fake. So Dr. Sloan was a little bit right about his products’ pain-relieving quality, but certainly not about the “cure” part.

    1. Diana,I did a search and found that the active ingredient in Sloan’s and other “liniments” is capsaicin. It said this:

      Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chili peppers that makes them hot. Capsaicin is used in medicated creams and lotions to relieve muscle or joint pain.

      Capsaicin used on the body causes a sensation of heat that activates certain nerve cells. With regular use of capsaicin, this heating effect reduces the amount of substance P, a chemical that acts as a pain messenger in the body.

        1. You’re welcome, Diana. You know, it occurs to me that how this works is similar to many other medicinal practices before the time of antibiotics. The more the medicine hurt or tasted bad or burned, the more it was thought to help. In other words, it was a distraction from the ailment. Example: cod liver oil. Ugh. 🙂

  2. Isn’t it interesting how we are all treating your grandmother as if she were alive today — a young woman. I wonder how it would be if one knew her life would be reviewed with such care after she’s gone. You are doing her such an honor.

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