MEDICINE. Advertisement for Doctor Hooper's Female Pills, Published by Virtue of the King's Royal Letters Patent. Butler & Crispe, [no date c. 1850]
4to., single sheet, printed on both sides. A little staining and crinkling, otherwise very good.
Advertising leaflet for Dr Hooper's Femail Pills issued by pharmacists Butler & Crispe of 14 Charterhouse Buildings, Goswell Road, London. With duty paid stamp attached.
John Hooper, an apothecary in Reading, England, patented his ‘Female Pills’ in 1743 – they are among the earliest and most successful ‘patent medicines’ sold in England. Promoted as anti-hysteria pills, they were also used for stomach and period problems. An advertisement from the 1750s describes them as “the best medicine ever discovered for young women, when afflicted with what is commonly called the irregularities”. It was also suggested that pregnant women should not take them, which inevitably led to the pills being used in the hope of ending an inconvenient pregnancy. The pills were still being sold both in England and the United States well into the twentieth century.