Summer Heat Remedies

Hot. Humid. Sticky. Miserable.

If you’re like me, you’re not a fan of Maryland’s oppressive heat. Ads and information in local papers had remedies and recommendations for dealing with Maryland summers:

The Heat Does All This? We’re In Trouble

The medicine advertised in the August 25, 1880 Herald and Torch Light (Hagerstown) claimed to cure a lot of ailments:

“Summer’s heat relaxes the system and renders us liable to attacks of diarrhoea [sic], dysentery, blood-flux, cholera-morbus, cramps in stomach, colic, and other painful and dangerous affections for which Dr. Pierce’s Compound Extract of Smart-Weed— compounded from the best French brandy, Jamaica ginger, smartweed, or water-pepper, anodyne, soothing and healings gums and balsams, is a most potent specific. It is equally efficacious in breaking up colds, fevers, and inflamatory [sic] attacks. Every household should be supplied with it. Fifty cents by druggists.”

So True!

Dr. J.F. Zacharias had just the thing for sweltering summer weather (though the longevity claims seem to be a bit much). From the Cumberland Evening Times, June 15, 1895:

Summer Heat Requires good soap and plenty of it. Good soap, 5c a cake; best soap, 50c a cake. Try some of it. You will live longer and feel better.

Hungry, Anyone?

Even in 1913 they were aware of food safety during the summer months. Among the recommendations from the Department of Agriculture, found in the July 11, 1913 edition of The News (Frederick), this passage in particular caught my eye. It’s still good advice all these years later:

“The housewife will find eyes and nose the safest practical detectives of bad food in hot weather. People eating in doubtful restaurants should be particularly careful about meats or fish cooked with highly spiced or aromatic sauce which might disguise a bad taste or warning odor. Spotted, green, slimy or frothy raw meat, or meat which is soft in spots should be regarded with suspicion.”

How do you stay cool in the heat? Share in the comments! 

Sources: Herald and Torch Light, August 25, 1880 ; Cumberland Evening Times, June 15, 1895; The News, July 11, 1913

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