A notepad from 1911 touting Celery-Fo-Mo: The World’s Bracer! Great name – it tells you from where the product draws its healing property (Celery, natch) and makes the bold egalitarian claim that this substance is now For More. No longer shall the Rockefellers sit in their castles, crunching all the celery they like, sneering at the poor below who stagger along with their sluggish livers and gassy hearts. Celery is now for all!
Here’s the text from the back page. “Aids digestion, acts gently on the liver and bowels, raises gas from and sweetens the stomach. Thus Headaches, Heartburn, Sleeplessness, Brain Fatigue, Depression induced by excessive indulgence in liquor, sour stomach, indigestion, Nausea, Painful Menstruation, etc., are quickly relieved.”
All through the miraculous power of Celery. But wait! There’s more. It’s one of those newfangled medicines that not only cures you, it doesn’t kill you in the process.
“CELERY-FO-MO does not contain any drug that depresses the heart, or dopes the mind: a fact quickly noticed, for it is exhilarating instead of stupefying.”
Translation: pure cocaine. Or not. I don’t know. You have to love the name of the firm that produced the stuff: AMERICAN CHEMICAL. What a sturdy, hearty name. As for that Red Light stuff, it’s self-explanatory. Apparently the Pure Food Law required drug makers to warn people if their scam-sauce as mostly arsenic, with some extract of belladonna thrown in for flavor. Not Celery-Fo-Mo! “It is the one preparation that the people do feel safe in using.”
Right up until the moment when they swoon, hit their head on the cast-iron stove on the way down, and die of “exposure of the blood.”