Household Hints

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"Let's Fix up the House" pamphlet, published by the Lydia E. Pinkham Medicine Company in 1920. This pamphlet contains information on a range of topics from marital fidelity and health concerns to home decorating and furnishings. Courtesy of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro via North Carolina Digital Heritage Center.


“Before the baby came, I was very dizzy and had blind spells. One of the neighbors told me to take your medicine. Since taking it, I am not so nervous and dizzy and I can do my work.”

—Mrs. C. Burton, Chesapeake Beach, Maryland (from “Come into the Kitchen” by Lydia Pinkham)

In addition to addressing women’s medical needs, some patent medicine makers also offered a variety of informational pamphlets on home care and household hints. Recipes, advice on manners, home remedies, hygiene, canning, and food preservation were all topics covered in these publications. Interspersed among the pages of recipes were not very subtle product advertisements for herbal supplements, laxatives, and compounds to address "women's concerns."  

These booklets were comprised of three elements: advertisements for the patent medicines, various types of household hints, and consumer endorsements. These consumer testimonials offered enthusiastic and dramatic endorsements of the patent medicine cures.