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Make Children as Fat as Pig: Disturbing Vintage Ads of Grove’s Tasteless Chill Tonic

These disturbing images of a pig with a child’s head are actually promoting a malaria-related prescription. Edwin Wiley Grove developed a fever remedy containing quinine, suspended in flavored syrup so it didn’t taste bitter in 1878. Between the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Grove’s Tasteless Chill Tonic quickly became a household name. However, the logo and slogan of this product are unsettling and unlikely to be found appealing in advertising today. At the time, obesity was not an issue, and E.W. Grove, who grew up poor, probably thought a fat pig would symbolize the fortune he made with the production of a tasteless tonic for fever and chills. Furthermore, it was believed that children and adults could become “as fat as pigs” after being treated for malaria.

The tonic was equally beneficial to adults and children when taken as directed. For acute malaria attacks, two tablespoonfuls were required three times a day. Two tablespoonfuls were taken morning and evening for eight weeks for recurrent attacks.

From the bottom of the box:

An excellent remedy for Coughs and Colds. Relieves the Cough and also the feverish conditions and Headache, which are usually associated with colds. The second or third dose will move the bowels well within 8 or 10 hours, when the cold will be relieved….

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Written by Jacob Aberto

Sincere, friendly, curious, ambitious, enthusiast. I'm a content crafter and social media expert. I love Classic Movies because their dialogue, scenery and stories are awesome.

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