Friday, July 10, 2009

July 10, 1909 - Rensselaer's "Liver Cure"

100 Years Ago: From The Rensselaer Eagle [NY 41 Rensselaer 93-32173].


No Need to Go to Germany for Liver Trouble

It will not be necessary for Rensselaerites to
go to Germany to take the celebrated cures there for liver trouble. There is a local cure that almost everyone afflicted with the trouble can take right at home.

Perhaps some of the citizens have noticed it. Those who ride very often in the cars of the Cohoes Railway Co. over the viaduct must have given the matter some attention.

A ride over the viaduct has nothing to lose by comparison to the "Rocky Roads to Dublin." There are more bumps and much more of the sort of exercise that is recommended fo
r liver trouble than one cares to have. Two rides would doubtless cure the most obstinate case while the wonder is that some of the motormen and conductors have not taken out a patent on it before this and chartered a car only to run across the viaduct.

But that is all to be changed now for the company proposes to fix its tracks and straighten out the bumps.
The Cohoes Railway ran a trolley in Rensselaer, which went over the Broadway viaduct. In 1908 the Cohoes Railway carried 1,238,841 passengers across the Hudson to Albany (the extra toll they charged for the bridge led to a 1910 lawsuit - they were ordered to reduce the fare from 6 cents back down to a nickel).

I couldn't find references to a German Liver Cure, although there were plenty of patent medicines advertised, and mineral springs such as Karlsbad were thought to be effective. There's an intriguing listing of a 1911 silent comedy called "Brown's German Liver Cure", a British Kinemacolor film. The movie isn't available, but you can listen to the "Rocky Road to Dublin" (Click "LoFi"). Sounds like a bouncy ride!

This 1905 reference from Chambers's Journal, "A Holiday in Russian Poland" illustrates the idea pretty well
In the country people drive in a bryczka. The simplest form of bryczka is an oblong box on four wheels without springs and having two seats without backs. It is drawn by two horses. The jolting is terrible until one gets used to it and then strange to say one rather likes it. A drive in a bryczka is considered good for the liver.

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