We’ve posted a lot about the patent medicines of the 19th century, and now here’s one that’s different: not a scam, not addictive, and not poison -it’s just odd. Atlas Obscura was looking for a Valentine subject, and found Valentine’s Meat Juice.
In the fall of 1870, Mann S. Valentine II, who ran a dry good store, saw his wife fall ill with digestive problems that doctors couldn’t treat. So he spent weeks working on a tonic made of beef juice and egg whites. Mrs. Valentine couldn’t eat solid food, so it provided her with the nutrients she needed, and she rallied. Valentine was so excited about his success that he made more, and started Valentine’s Meat Juice company. His tonic became quite popular, even without heroin or cocaine, or claims to be a cure-all. President James A. Garfield even used it after he was shot in 1881. In fact, the Valentine’s Meat Juice company stayed in business until 1986! Read the story of Valentine and his meat juice at Atlas Obscura.
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