Finding records pertaining to Winnebago County was difficult for this
time period. Most were destroyed such as school, hospital, and police
records. In our search for pharmacist documentation, we were unable to
locate any Winnebago county pharmacist records, therefore, we extended
this part of our investigation to the outside communities in Wisconsin.
We were able to locate the daybook and financial records of Dr. Perry
W. Doughty, a physician who ran a fairly small practice in Stout, Wisconsin
(9). Recorded entries were available for the months of August through
December, 1918 and May through September of 1919. Table 1 lists the number
of prescriptions per month and the profit accumulated each month. During
the peak months of the Spanish influenza, his profit increased by over
|Month and Year
||Numbers of Prescriptions Filled
Records from Graham Drug Company, Portage, Wisconsin portrayed a very
detailed ledger documenting physicians and their prescription dispenser
remarks (10). During the months of October through December, 1918, ten
physicians, predominately prescribed heroine hydrochloride, codeine sulphate,
cocaine hydrochloridum, opium, morphine sulphate, elixer terpin hydrate
(a concoction of terpentine, alcohol, and nitric acid), paregoric elixer
(made with powdered opium, benzoic acid, camphor, oil of anise, glycerin
diluted alcohol, and morphine). The Freeman Drug Company, River Falls,
Wisconsin, financial records and formula books confirmed this with similar
entries and information (11).
The Dispensatory of the United States of America manual used by pharmacists
lists the uses of all of these drugs as a relief for cough and abdominal
pain or as a sedative for the respiratory center (12). Adolf O. Erickson,
a hardware store owner and Sunday School teacher in Winchester, chronicled
the Spanish Influenza in his diary (13). He wrote that a physician injected
eight shots of camphor-oil directly into his brother's legs and arms to
treat the raging temperatures caused by the influenza (13).
The Domestic Health Society published Health Knowledge, A Thorough and
Concise Knowledge of the Prevention, Causes, and Treatments of Disease,
Simplified for Home Use in 1921 (14). It defines Spanish Influenza as
the "Three Day Fever" caused by Pfeiffer's bacillus (14). Treatment
recommendations were 2-4 doses of quinine of 5 grains each, one hour apart.
He or she should also be given a hot mustard foot bath and should have
a hot-water bottle or hot iron at his/her feet, They should drink plenty
of hot lemonade or milk and the bowels should be kept open by Epsom salts
(14). In addition, several recipes were recommended and listed in Table
Table 2. Spanish Influenza Remedy Recipes published
in Health Knowledge (13)
48 grains Aspirin
24 grains Phenacetine
48 grains Salol
Mix, and make into 12 capsules.
Dose: One capsule every 3 hours.
||15 grains Acetanilid
75 grains Aspirin
Mix, and make into 15 powders.
Dose: One powder every 4 hours, with a little water.
||Boil 1 tablespoon of dried raspberries
in 2 teaspoonfuls of water. Boil 10-15 minutes, starin, and drink
as hot as can be tolerated. It can be sweetened if prefered. Repeat
every 3-4 hours
||Add 15-20 drops of spirits of camphor
in a teacup of hot water. Drink as hot as possible, especially on
going to bed. Repeat every hour or two.
||Add one teaspoonful of cayenne pepper
to boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes covered, then strain through
a fine cloth. Add one teaspoonful of this fluid to a teacupful of
hot water, repeat every hour or two.