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a burlesque upon chemistry, the preparation of Alnuine !

One thing more. It seems that “the ablest chemical ability in this country” has been employed by B. Keith & Co., and that “ability” has been puttering over various medicinal plants, with a burlesque upon chemistry, for the last four or five years. The result of all this long labor and this profound “ability” is the production of the same “species of adulteration ascribed” to C. H. Cleaveland, M.D. in the preparation of Alnuine! The chemists of B. Keith & Co., have been puttering with various chemical reagents, producing mixtures and new chemical compounds, which they cannot analyze, and which, therefore, are wholly unknown, both in their chemical and therapeutical properties... Who then can say whether this perpetual puttering with medicinal plants, though with the “ableist ability,” will result in good or evil, in valuable or worthless medicines?

ex “Adulterations Confessed,” in College Journal of Medical Science 1:7 (July 1856) : 265-268 (267) : link (U Michigan copy)
U California copy (via hathitrust) : link

The article quoted here is one salvo in a controversy between two factions of eclectic medicine of the time. One of these took control of the Eclectic Medical Journal and supported the products of B. Keith and Co. The other faction launched a competing College Journal of Medical Science. The controversy is the subject of Alex Berman’s paper, “The Eclectic ‘Concentrations’ and American Pharmacy (1847-1861)” in Pharmacy in History 22:3 (1980) : 91-103 : link (jstor)

endpage and (broken) hinge, detail (90ºccw, inv)
from U Michigan copy of College Journal of Medical Science vols 1 and 2 (1856-57) : link (via hathitrust)

11 June 2023