When I was a kid and I got a scraped knee or a minor cut, out came the mercurochrome. Part of the application included blowing on the wound, to cool off the burn once the mercurochrome was dabbed on. Oucheewawa!
NOTE TO JEANNE::::: Mercurochrome didn’t sting nearly as much as Iodine!!!!! that was a real ouchee!!!!! Love, Curt
Bactine was another item in the medicine cabinet used mainly for sunburn and minor scrapes that didn’t bleed a lot. There was Vicks VapoRub that went on my chest when I had a congested cold and finally a shot of whiskey in some hot tea was the soothing drink I was given when the cramps from my period sent me into the fetal position. (it put me to sleep, the best medicine of all).
But when we had a burn, out came Gramma’s Salve. Well it probably really was Uncle Henry’s Salve. He was Gram’s brother and when my Mom’s Dad died (Grampa), she and her brother and Gram moved into his house. This was their magic cure-all but nobody ever knew what was in it. This past Christmas my Mother (she’s 88) brought over the jar she still has to show my son. Brownish in color, in a Wyler’s Beef Bullion jar, with a hand written label that said,
” SALVE – USE SPARINGLY. COVER WITH A BAND-AID”
It looked nasty. We opened and took a whiff. Sort of medicinal, sort of industrial greasy, sort of animal fatty but not rancid, sort of what????? Hard to identify.
My Mother said when the salve got low Uncle Henry would go down to the butcher shop to get it refilled. That might explain the animal fat smell, maybe. But whatever the butcher added is lost in the past. This jar she brought at Christmas must have been over fifty years old because Uncle Henry is long gone and my Mom is no spring chicken. But she swears by it, says it has taken the sting out of burns and healed them quickly. Cuts and scrapes too. I do remember, far in the back of my brain, situations where I was the recipient of its healing powers but I am not able to give you any details.
After the holidays Curt went off on one of his junking days. That’s where he and his friend Carol, spend the day hitting up flea markets and antique stores. He came home with this.
The printed can said:
WONDERFUL DREAM SALVE. Hannah D. McDonald
Prepared only by
Wonderful Dream Salve Co.
Detroit, Mich. U.S.A.
Price 30 Cts.
An effective remedy if used as directed
The Great Healer
FOR MAN or BEAST
For Burns, Scalds, Cuts, Bruises, Fever Sores, Chronic Sores, Chilblains, Felons, Ivy Poison, Bites, Scald Head Barber’s Itch, Etc,
Directions: – Always spread the salve on oiled silk or wax paper and apply. Cleanse the sore and renew every 12 hours – See special directions on circular for various uses.
Wow! Chilblains and felons (those little tears at the edge of your fingernail) and that pesky scald head barber’s itch! And we can only guess at the ‘various uses’ since the circular was no longer in the box. We opened it up and there were tiny traces of something brown, it smelled medicinal, industrial greasy, animal fatty, maybe. Interesting.
So my questions are, did Hannah know the butcher, did they go into business together, or did she seduce him and then run off to Detroit with the miracle formula for salve? Was Uncle Henry really visiting the butcher or was he going to Hannah’s house? Was Uncle Henry and Hannah an item? We will never know but we still have the salve. Lucky us.