Nebraska State Historical Society Blog

Rough on Rats (and biles, and piles, and corns . . . )

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Old print advertising is weird.  Some may be boring, but if it’s not boring then it’s very weird.    Case in point—Rough on Rats.  Rough on Rats was a poison (arsenic) that was developed and marketed to kill all sorts of vermin by Ephraim Wells of New Jersey.  Mr. Wells, a druggist, advertised his product nationally in large ​amounts and, it’s weird.  Kind of funny.  More than a little bizarre.  Evidentially, used in Nebraska.

The cover

 

The cover Perhaps more disturbing, in this 1886 Rough on Rats Almanac and Dream Book, is the advertising of medicines for human consumption.  Honestly, I think one would be hard-pressed to find a person who feels comfortable ordering their bile, pile, itch or worm remedy from a rodenticide catalog. 

 

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Have fun perusing tidbits from this little book from our collection.  

 

Inside the front cover--a short story featuring the favored product

 

However, if you prefer music to literature, how about a Rough on Rats song?

However, if you prefer music to literature, how about a Rough on Rats song?

 

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  And since it is an almanac and dream book there's some information on moon phases and what your dream imagery means.  Hope it's helpful.

And since it is an almanac and dream book there's some information on moon phases and what your dream imagery means. Hope it's helpful.

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