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Museum treasures

Barrett’s Mandrake Embrocation (ca. 1885–1907)

Barrett’s Mandrake Embrocation (ca. 1885-1907)

Source: JL / RPS Museum

This bottle of Barrett’s Mandrake Embrocation dates from around 1885–1907. It features the product’s trademark image of a literal ‘man-drake’ — a duck with the body of a bearded gentleman wearing a top hat. The gentleman is thought to be the manufacturer, Joshua Barrett, himself.

Barrett’s Mandrake Embrocation was claimed to cure headache from any cause instantly, with each bottle containing enough product to cure 50 headaches.

Of course it’s all just quackery!

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20206767

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