Snake oil

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat Jan 25 19:09:32 UTC 2014


It isn't "rattle-snake oil", but if you're interested in the
suggested use of salad oil for "the Bite of Rattle Snakes" there is
an article in the Boston Gazette of 1739 Mar. 26, pp. 1--3.  Taken
"From the Philosophical Transactions for the Month of October, 1736",
it's "A Narration of the Experiments made June 1, 1734, before
several Members at the Royal Society, and others on a Man, who
uffer'd himself to be bit by a Viper, or common Adder; and on other
Animals likewise bitten by the same, and other Vipers. Drawn up by
Cromwell Mortimer, M.D. Secr. R.  S."  "Rattle Snakes" appears on
2/2.  My notes say olive oil was mentioned.

Later the BG of 1739 Aug. 27,  pp. 2-3, copies a letter to the New
York Gazette of Aug. 20, 1739, mentioning the Royal Society's
experiments, and asserting that a successful experiment had been made
"here" and "the same medicine will cure a rattlesnake's bite, and may
save many lives."  Also reported is the cure of a dog by the oil.


At 1/25/2014 06:22 AM, Michael Quinion wrote:
>Once again with World Wide Words I've trespassed on the territory of US
>researchers, this time by looking into the history of snake oil:
>A reader has this morning antedated my first example of "rattlesnake oil"
>to the Royal Gazette of New York dated 21 February 1778. If anyone with
>better research resources than mine can find other antedatings, I'd be
>most grateful.
>Michael Quinion
>World Wide Words
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list