‘Take the Cure’ with Ramey’s Medicator, 1890.
Advertisements for Ramey’s Medicator claimed that it would overcome ‘death dealing disease.’
What most customers didn’t know, however, was that the inhaler would never have existed at all if its inventor had not survived a gruesome surgical ordeal.
The Medicator was patented by Alfred H Ramey and Frank D Rollins on 3 June 1890.
Its inner chamber contained wadding that could be treated with the user’s medicine of choice – though once it went on sale it came with its own Compound Inhalant.
The three tubes allowed the vapours to be drawn down into the throat or blown forcefully up into the nose as required, clearing the head of catarrh and the lungs of phlegm.
The handle was hollow in order to provide a home for the instructions, and each tube had a cap that must, of course, be removed before use.
‘Everybody needs one,’ advised an advert in 1895, ‘as by its novel action and wonderful curative power it cures all throat and head diseases.
Diphtheria, that death dealing disease, yields readily to its wonderful cleansing power.