For sale is a vintage VINTAGE QUACK MEDICINE BOTTLE from the Chattanooga Medicine Company. This large apothecary bottle would have contained McElree’s Cardui Women’s Tonic Bitters. Glass bottle is embossed “CHATTANOOGA MEDICINE CO.” on one side and “MCELREE’S CARDUI” on the other. Bottle is in great condition but has some interior residue. Bottom of bottle is embossed with a “C” in a circle, as well as “44” which may indicate a 1944 manufacture date. Bottle stands about 8 1/2″ tall. A great patent medicine collectible.
This quack medicine product was developed by the Reverend R.I. McElree. Cardui, was based on an herbal concoction used by Indian women to relieve menstrual pain. McElree introduced his Cardui in 1879 and then sold the rights to his product to the Chattanooga Medicine Company in 1882. The company originally marketed it as “McElree’s Cardui, The Woman’s Tonic.” In the 1920s, the product’s ingredients were listed as: Blessed Thistle, Golden Seal, and 19% alcohol (38 proof). Back in the day, taking your “medicine” was the socially acceptable way for mom to get her drink on.