Via the Wash U. School of Medicine's Bernard Becker Medical Library comes a series of whimsically macabre calendar illustrations, created by physician and artist Louis Crusius at the turn of the 20th Century to advertise "Antikamnia," a patent painkiller once used to treat everything from "nervousness" to "sightseers' headache."

From the Library's tumblr:

The Antikamnia Chemical Company used Crusius' images in a series of calendars they published from 1897-1901, which they sent to physicians who could prove their medical standing... The company, whose name means "opposed to pain," was known for manufacturing a patent medicine called Antikamnia tablets. Like most patent medicines of the time, the ingredients in the tablets could have ill effects - the tablets contained acetanilide, which could cause cyanosis (a condition in which the skin becomes blood due to insufficient oxygen).


That last sentence contains a typo, by the way; cyanosis is a condition in which the skin becomes "blue" – not, thankfully, "blood."


See more of Crusius' illustrations at Rare Books At WUSTLmed. More on Antikamnia tablets at the Museum of Quackery.

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