Medicine through time

Medicine through time - content, activities and blog for teachers and learners of medicine through time

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Was taking medicine actually likely to make you more ill in the 19th Century?

Learning Outcomes:

* To understand what patent medicines were.
* To identify the main changes that took place in medicine regulation in the 19th Century due to government regulation and the chemical and pharmaceutical revolution.

Video: Quacks and Cures

The Wellcome Trust provide a series of tasks for students on quackery and accompanying teachers notes which are of use when providing a background. (Both files are in pdf format)

Patent Medicines

Patent Medicines are reedies / cures for any kind of ailment. Some were based on well known, age old, practices whilst others were new creations that had rather mixed results. See this Wikipedia page for a history of patent medicines.


1) Look at the adverts for Patent Medicines below. Design your own advertisement for a patent medicine.

2) Search the internet for images / adverts for patent medicines. Post a brief description / note and an image of the medicine on this sharing site.

Images of Patent Medicines







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