In the age of patent medicines, ailments of all sorts were were attributed to poor health of various internal organs. To the citizens of Wiregrass, GA and the rest of the world, The manufacturers of Doan’s Pills declared the key to good heath was treating the kidneys:
The headaches and dizzy feelings that trouble so many persons, are often but symptoms of kidney complaint.
Kidney diseases are very treacherous. They come on. silently, gain ground rapidly, and cause thousands’ of deaths that could have been’ prevented by treatment in the beginning. Nature gives early warnings of every disease. If you would but note and heed them. Backache, twinges of pain when stooping or lifting, headaches, faint spells and urinary disorders are among the first warnings of kidney trouble. If these signals are unheeded, there comes a steady, dull, heavy aching In the back and loins, a noticeable weakness and loss of flesh, rheumatic at tacks, weakening of the sight. Irregular heart action, languor, attacks of gravel, irregular passages of the kidney secretions, sediment, painful, scalding sensation, dropsical bloating, etc.
But there is no need to suffer long. Doan’s Kidney Pills cure all kidney troubles. This remedy has made a reputation for quick relief and lasting cures. It is a simple compound of pure roots and herbs that have a direct action, on the kidneys. It was given to the public by James Doan, a druggist, and is now known and recommended the whole world over.
At the time, kidney function was poorly understood, and renal diseases were lumped into a general condition called Bright’s disease. Little science was employed in backing the claims of patent drug manufacturers. Instead, they relied upon the testimonials of local citizens to hawk their products.
One such testimonial was provided by Ida Sloan Ray, and between 1909 and 1911 newspaper readers were apt to see her endorsement of Doan’s Kidney Pills published in The Waycross Journal.
Ida Sloan (1867 – 1930) was a daughter of Martha Susan Gordon and James Murray Sloan , and sister of Dr. William Sloan. At a very early age she came with her parents to Ray’s Mill, Berrien County, GA where she grew to womanhood. She married James David Ray, son of Ray’s Mill founder Thomas M. Ray, and the couple made their home in various south Georgia towns. The census of 1910 shows they were living in a rented home on Jane Street, Waycross, GA.
The Waycross Journal
August 26, 1910
Tax the Women of Waycross the Same as Elsewhere
Hard to attend to household duties with a constantly aching back.
A woman should not have a bad back.
And she wouldn’t if the kidneys were well.
Doan’s Kidney Pills make well kidneys.
Here is a Waycross woman who endorses this claim:
Mrs. J. D. Ray, 33 Jane St.. Waycross, Ga. My back ached so severely at times that I could not get about to attend to my housework. It was almost impossible for me to get up or down stairs, as every move I made sent twinges through my body. I could not rest well and as the result felt miserable during the day. The kidney secretions were unnatural and proved that my kidneys were at fault. The contents of one box of Doan’s Kidney Pills, procurred from Seals Pharmacy, gave me more relief and in a shorter time than anything I had previously used. I am now free from backache and feel like a different person. I have told several of my friends about the great benefit I have received from Doan’s Kidney Pills.”
For sale by all dealers. Price 50 cents. Foster-Millburn Co., Buffalo, New York, sole agents for the United States.
Remember the name – Doan’s
and take no other.
According to snippets of history published in company advertisements, in 1832 the formulation of Doan’s Pills “was the secret…of an old Quaker lady,” and “was kept a secret for years in a good old Quaker family. The neighbors all knew about it and many a time had reason to be thankful for its existence. Its fame spread and strangers who heard about it wrote for information concerning it, sometimes tried its virtues, and sometimes put a trial off for a more convenient season.” “It was given to the public by James Doan, a druggist, and is now known and recommended the whole world over.” “James Doan was a great Doctor who lived in a town called Kingsville, in Canada, in North America. Sick people took journeys of many days to go to see him, and to get his medicine. He was a doctor who excelled in his neighborhood, because he prepard his medicine with his own hands, so he knew it was well prepared, and good. He used to make it with shrubs, and roots, and herbs, which he gathered in the woods and veld near his home. He made many kinds of medicine; but the most excellent is that which is called Doan’s Backache Kidney Pills.” “To tell how it was dragged from an obscure country village and placed before the general public would be interesting reading, but lack of space compels us to withhold the particulars.”
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