HistoryWired About the Program Help Comments Smithsonian Institution
Back to Map

Enlarge

Alka-Seltzer
1930s-1970s

"Effervescent analgesic alkalizing tablets"
Promising "quick relief," Alka-Seltzer was first marketed in 1931 by Dr. Miles Medical Company of Elkhart, IN. The new product combined aspirin with sodium bicarbonate, citric acid, and mono-calcium phosphate in an effervescent tablet. It was first conceived of as a cold tablet that would relieve headaches, upset stomach, and fever that accompanied the flu. Through ingenious advertising campaigns over the years, Alka-Seltzer became associated with the relief of a broader range of symptoms, especially those resulting from the over-indulgences and stresses of modern life. "Speedy Alka-Seltzer" from the 1950s and "I can't believe I ate the whole thing" from the 1970s are hallmarks of popular American culture.

Notes
3" high x 1.4" wide x 1.5" deep bottle containing eight tablets
Franklin L. Miles founded Dr. Miles Medical Company in 1884.
Alka-Seltzer was first advertised on radio in 1932, on TV in 1949.
Web display only

Learn more!
· Reid Pharmacy, Clifton, IL
· "You Are What You Buy" by Richard and Joyce Wolkomir, "Smithsonian" magazine, October 2000

What do you think?
Would you like to see more objects like this on the site? Tell others by casting your vote.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Fewer More


Start HistoryWired | About the Program | Help | Comments

Smithsonian Institution | Terms of Use | Privacy