• "If I am Darwin's Grandpa, it follows don't you see, that what is good for  man and beast, is doubly good for me," ca. 1885. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library via Digital Commonwealth.

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    If I am Darwin's grandpa, it follows don't you see, that what is good for man and beast, is doubly good for me
    • Date
    • 1870-1900
    • Description
    • Title from item. Date supplied by cataloger.
    • Rights
    • No known copyright restrictions. No known restrictions on use.
    • Partner
    • Digital Commonwealth
    • Contributing Institution
    • Boston Public Library

  • “Wilson's Syrup of Tar for coughs, colds & etc. Bennett's Embrocatin the liniment good for man and beast,” ca. 1885. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library via Digital Commonwealth.

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    Use Wilson's Syrup of Tar for coughs, colds &c. Bennett's Embrocation the great liniment good for man and beast
    • Date
    • 1870-1900
    • Description
    • Title from item. Item verso is blank. Date supplied by cataloger.
    • Rights
    • No known copyright restrictions. No known restrictions on use.
    • Partner
    • Digital Commonwealth
    • Contributing Institution
    • Boston Public Library

  • Portrait of Charles Darwin, ca. 1874. Courtesy of the Linda Hall Library via Missouri Hub.

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    Darwin's 187[4?] carte de visite. Obverse side
    • Description
    • Photographic portrait of Charles Darwin.
    • Rights
    • The Linda Hall Library encourages the use of digital images from materials in its general and History of Science collections. Please read our Image Rights and Reproductions Policy at http://www.lindahall.org/imagerepro/terms for details regarding the... more
      The Linda Hall Library encourages the use of digital images from materials in its general and History of Science collections. Please read our Image Rights and Reproductions Policy at http://www.lindahall.org/imagerepro/terms for details regarding the proper use, reproduction, and publication of images before downloading any materials found on this site. less
    • Partner
    • Missouri Hub
    • Contributing Institution
    • Linda Hall Library

  • An illustration of natural selection from Charles Darwin's Journal of Researches, 1845. Closely related finches developed variants in beak size and shape in order to adapt to different diets. Courtesy of the Linda Hall Library via Missouri Hub.

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    Darwin, Charles, 1845, Journal of Researches, 2nd ed. Page 379
    • Creator
    • Darwin, Charles, 1809-1882.
    • Description
    • Finches: Geospiza magnirostris, Geospiza fortis, Geospiza parvula, and Certhidea olivacea.
    • Rights
    • The Linda Hall Library encourages the use of digital images from materials in its general and History of Science collections. Please read our Image Rights and Reproductions Policy at http://www.lindahall.org/imagerepro/terms for details regarding the... more
      The Linda Hall Library encourages the use of digital images from materials in its general and History of Science collections. Please read our Image Rights and Reproductions Policy at http://www.lindahall.org/imagerepro/terms for details regarding the proper use, reproduction, and publication of images before downloading any materials found on this site. less
    • Partner
    • Missouri Hub
    • Contributing Institution
    • Linda Hall Library

"If I am Darwin's grandpapa... what is good for man and beast, is doubly good for me."

—Merchant's Gargling Oil slogan

Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution in 1859. On the Origin of Species was a groundbreaking work that was eventually translated into many languages and widely disseminated to both popular and scientific communities. It became a foundational text in the study of biology, but the work was not without its detractors. Victorian England and nineteenth-century America manipulated Darwin’s work into caricatures and cartoons that lampooned the concept of a shared human and animal ancestry. Animals were shown with human traits and humans were shown with animal traits. For some, this type of imagery popularized Darwin’s theory in an unthreatening way, while for others, these images trivialized Darwin’s serious scientific work.

The use of combined animal/human imagery was leveraged by several patent medicine creators. Merchant’s Gargling Oil (“A liniment for man or beast!”) presented a generic species of great ape as “Charles Darwin’s Grandpapa.” These images promoted the use of some drugs as appropriate for both human and animals based on a pseudo-scientific connection and a distortion of Darwin’s work.