Popular Print and Popular Medicine
Almanacs and Health Advice in Early America
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
Table of Contents
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List of Illustrations
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I have been fortunate in having the assistance and support of numerous colleagues, friends, and family members over the course of my work on this book, and it is with pleasure that I acknowledge them here. First, for guidance at early stages, I thank Richard Beeman, Kathleen Brown, the late Edward C. Carter II, and Charles Rosenberg. I am honored to have ...
Introduction - Almanacs and the Literature of Popular Health in Early America
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A historian of early American almanacs once lamented that modern versions of the genre are the “degenerate offspring of respected ancestors whose contents were not primarily advertisements for hair- growing and itch- relieving potions.” Marion Barber Stowell’s critical remarks, expressed in a 1983 article, echo those made almost a century earlier by ...
Chapter 1. Heavenly Guidance
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The introduction to the Methodist Almanac for 1846, in a brief history of almanacs up to that time, lauds almanacs for disseminating much “useful matter.” But the essay also condemns them for conveying “superstitions and injurious trash in the shape of astrological rules.”1 The writer’s scornful opinion of astrology was shared by many in the ...
Chapter 2. Advice for the Afflicted
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In addition to astrological advice, early American almanacs offered remedies for various ailments and regimen prescriptions for health and long life. This chapter examines remedies or “cures” offered by American almanacs for dropsy, dysentery, and rheumatism, three afflictions that were common among Americans between 1750 and 1860, and presents ...
Chapter 3. Prescribing Prevention
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The purpose of therapeutic or remedy advice was to restore a healthy equilibrium to a body that had fallen out of balance. The purpose of regimen advice, however, was to maintain a healthy balance by espousing a way of life that would protect the body from a variety of potential dangers. Of the general almanacs consulted for this study, 16 percent ...
Chapter 4. Health Advice with an Agenda
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The Albany-based almanac maker marveled at the rapid growth of specialization in the trade: “We have religious almanacs, political almanacs, phrenological almanacs, comic almanacs, farmers’ almanacs, ladies’ almanacs, pocket almanacs, and temperance almanacs, which last are distributed at our doors without pay, or so much as the requirement of a nod by ...
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This study examines the dynamic relationship between popular print and popular medicine in pre–Civil War America. This relationship, of course, did not begin with the founding of the American colonies nor was it derailed by the carnage and economic disruption brought about by the Civil War. The tradition that dates to the invention of the printing press ...
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Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2008