CASE 1

Wistar’s Medicine

In an age before science, people often relied on “patent medicines” to cure their ailments. This bottle of “Dr. Wistar’s Balsam of Wild Cherry” was one such questionable cure. Found during an archaeological excavation of the Lincoln Home, it dates from 1844-1845 and was therefore probably used by the Lincolns.

Image: A 1877 ad for Wistar’s Balsam (Courtesy of the Library of Congress)

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