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The Whiskey Trust Hates Her for this Simple Home Remedy! 1905

“The reader has very likely seen in the public prints an alleged picture of Mrs. Margaret Anderson of Hillburn, New York, who “cured her husband of drinking,” and wants to tell you how to cure yours, free. “She has nothing whatever to sell,” says the advertisement. True. But the Physicians’ Co-operative Association, a quack organization of Chicago, for which Mrs. Anderson is stool-pigeon, has something to sell. That something is Alcola. “The Conqueror of King Alcohol.” Mrs. Anderson’s correspondents are recommended by her, in a skillful imitation of a hand-written letter, to buy Alcola and be saved. Alcola is the same kind of fake as the rest of the “given in secret” cures.”

Samuel Hopkins Adams, “The Great American Fraud”, 1907

From a subsequent article about Alcola:

“The trial treatment comes swiftly. It is 3 tablets of yellow, chocolate color, and pinkish gray. They can be slipped into a gentleman’s coffee when he isn’t looking . The “complete treatment” costs $5. If you don’t order it in a reasonable time, you get letter after letter from the Physicians Cooperative Association, winding up with a “personal” letter from the “medical director,” Dr. Edward F. Stace, urging purchase of the stuff at specially reduced price. Well, the American Medical Association Journal, which prints the foregoing facts in its May 4 1907 number, has been analyzing the-tablets in its laboratory and has found that they contain poison. Says the Journal: Tablets No. 1 and No. 2 contain strychnine, while Tablet No. 3 contains tartar emetic to induce vomiting.”