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

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 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.


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


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



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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History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
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