Norman Allan
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Norman Allan : the story for Ezra
book three: towards joy

chapter three:
"Dr. Allan's Medicine Show"


Dr. Allan's Medicine Show

page 2

"Medicine Shows"

  "Medicine Shows" were a not uncommon feature of American culture from around the mid 1800’s to the early 1900’s, often associated (at least in our minds) with the "frontier": a travelling show with entertainment, song and dance, and a pitchman, a sales man, often posing as a Doctor or Professor - for example Prof. Marvel in the Wizard of Oz - selling "patent medicine": {hence sometimes refered to as Patent Medicine Shows}.  


  The most famous of the patent medicines, wiki tells me, was the Kickapoo Indian Medicine Company's "Sagwa" made, they claimed with ‘roots, barks, twigs, leaves, seeds, and berries," and "most beneficial, because they assist Nature in the right way to make her own cure." (a rival company, though, claimed it was really a mixture of stale beer and aloe.)

Buffalo Bill Cody is quoted as saying that, "Kickapoo Indian Sagwa is the only remedy the Indians ever use, and has been known to them for ages. An Indian would as soon be without his horse, gun or blanket as without Sagwa."








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