'Columen Vitae': pharmaceutical packaging, 1750-1850 - British Library Research Repository
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'Columen Vitae': pharmaceutical packaging, 1750-1850



Medical products, predominantly sold by newspaper and book printers, became the most heavily advertised branded good throughout the eighteenth century. Proprietary medicines were big business and so counterfeits were rife; protecting the brand was crucial. Proprietors aimed to convince consumers of the medicine’s authenticity, its reliability and, on occasion, its safety and efficacy. This was in part achieved in the physical fabric of the product and its packaging, as well as through controlled distribution and marketing of the medicine.


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