Hoffman and the Headache Powder

All good drugstores, back in 1890, probably had something like Hoffman’s Harmless Headache Powders for sale – though I can’t imagine any remedy having a better name than that, can you? It was, at the time, just the thing to have on hand when a little horned devil got inside your brain and started prodding your facial nerves.

Hoffman also made Hoffman’s Harmless Liver Pills that were “small, sure, and safe” in case you needed a laxative, “as is the case with some headaches,” says another 1890 ad, this one in the Pittsburg[h] Dispatch – featuring the same confused-looking gentleman and his inner demon. According to Home Medicine: The Newfoundland Experience by J.K. Crellin, Hoffman’s powders were among the first headache medicines ever to be sold in Newfoundland, Canada. Hoffman made his medicines both in New York State and Ontario.  However, powders like Hoffman’s usually contained coal-tar derivatives, which were (as you might imagine) rather toxic.  Not so harmless, really. And not so good for your headaches.

Happily, this is no longer the case. There are much better choices for us today, in real and – even more conveniently – in virtual drugstores. At Canada drugs, for example, you can buy over the counter drugs – whether you want to buy lipitor, or any number of other medicines. It’s quick and fully certified by the Canadian International Pharmacy Association. And I’m happy to say that they have plenty of excellent headache remedies, too; ones that would cure Mr. Hoffman’s hapless head in no time at all.

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