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American Health and the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act

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Young Choi

Collection Items

1906 Pure Food and Drug Act
The United States passed the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906 and established federal regulation of food and drug products. It also forbade the manufacture, sale, or transportation of adulterated, misbranded, or poisonous foods, drugs, medicines, and…

The Jungle
Upton Sinclair once said, "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident, I hit it in the stomach." The sensationalist muckraking novel on the plight of the working class and the corruption of the "beef trust" generated immense public concern with…

"The Great American Fraud"
Adams' exposé on the evils of the patent medicine industry revealed that these nostrums were, for the most part, completely ineffective in treating diseases. The drugs themselves comprised of high amounts of alcohol and dangerous substances such as…

Nostrums and Quackery
The American Medical Association reprinted Articles on the Nostrum Evil and Quackery, with Additions and Modifications, in two volumes. They contain reports of the fraudulent nature of patent medicine and the detrimental effect that they have had on…

"Dr. Wiley and the Pure Food Laws"
This editorial describes the famous Dr. Harvey W. Wiley and his influence on the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act. Commissioned by Congress to prove that food preservatives were detrimental to the human body in 1902, Dr. Wiley tested a group of…

Advertisement for Peruna
This advertisement claims that Peruna is a remedy for all catarrh and features testimonials of prominent men and women who have used it. A popular remedy concocted by Dr. Samuel Brubaker Hartman, Peruna was itself a profitable industry because Dr.…

"Upton Sinclair Tells About the Sufferings of the Women in Packingtown"
It is one of the articles in a series published in a newspaper concerning Upton Sinclair's experiences in the Chicago slaughterhouses. After his novel, The Jungle, reached international popularity, Sinclair became outspoken about the horrors of the…

"Women Working For Pure Food"
The author asserts that without pure food, the home is in danger. Women simply cannot raise their families properly if they are feeding them contaminated food. Thus, she tries to convince the reader that a national pure food bill must be enacted in…

Advertisement for the Electric Belt
This advertisement claims that the electric belt can cure illness and "revitalize" the bodies of weak men and women: "If you are a weakling through violating nature's laws, if you suffer from lost strength, prostatitis, varicocele, if you are a…

"Death's Laboratory"
The cover of a 1906 issue of Collier's Weekly, a muckraking journal that published Adams' report on the evils of the patent medicine industry. It furthered the notion that nostrums were the cause of ultimate moral decay, death itself, and caused…
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