Sunday, March 19, 2023

Beach Report 3/19/23

Clear and cold, just over freezing, blowing like mad from the NW, and a pretty high tide made for a tough walk (except for Skye, there's no weather here that bothers her. But, in addition to a solitary small tooth, Georgia found something that must be rarer than a Megalodon tooth:

A bit of Googling found Turlington's Balsam of Life

Turlington's Balsam of Life was a patent medicine developed by English merchant Robert Turlington.

He succeeded in obtaining a royal patent from King George II in 1744, which gave him the right to pursue anyone attempting to pass off their own product as his, one of the earliest medicinal patents. In his patent application Turlington claimed that the balsam contained 27 ingredients, and was effective in the treatment of "kidney and bladder stones, cholic, and inward weakness", a list of ailments he greatly expanded upon in a 46-page brochure printed shortly afterwards. Turlington's Balsam quickly became popular in England and in the American colonies. 

And how old is this bottle? We haven't found an exact match, but  

During the 17th and 18th centuries, the manufacturers of patent medicines began to use packaging as a tool to differentiate their products from those of their competitors, as there was often little to visually distinguish between the medications themselves. In Turlington's case that resulted in his changing the shape of the bottle containing his balsam at least four times in the ten years following the granting of his patent, culminating in an elaborately embossed tablet-shaped bottle introduced in 1754.

So it's clearly later than 1754, and it was sold up into the 1920s. The "patent lip" suggest a later, rather than an earlier year.

1 comment:

  1. Best guess with little hard information to go on is probably postdates the Civil War era and more likely to the 1890s when patent medicines were in vogue.