Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup

I’m sure Mrs. Charlotte Winslow would be a popular woman in any era – who wouldn’t be if they were famous for dispensing a morphine laden medication that was sure to soothe…and get you entirely stoned in the process.  You will find plenty of discussion of opiate addiction in the 19th century – thanks to the institutionalization of the drug into medicines and other products.

Common to bottle collectors are the cylindrical vials marked “Mrs Winslows – Soothing Syrup – Curtis & Perkins – Proprietors” which are about 5 inches tall and about 1-1/4″ in diameter.  They are found with both an open pontil mark as well as with a smooth base.  Earlier examples have an inwardly rolled lip which later became a better formed tooled square lip.

Curtis and Perkins were druggists in Maine who became the agents for this medicine in the 1840s.  They later moved their operation to New York City in the 1850s.

Various agents continued the product into the 2oth century.  No doubt the Pure Food and Drug Act forced its retirement it in short order.

Pacific  Medical and Surgical Journal, 1873 reports a Providence, RI death by ingestion of Winslow’s Soothing Syrup.

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