A New Year tip from Tatler

Back cover advert for Tacquaru supported by the Church of England Temperance Society

Back cover advert for Tacquaru supported by the Church of England Temperance Society

 

Tatler magazine’s front cover in 1901

Tatler magazine’s front cover in 1901

For those who fancy a drink or two tonight, a New Year tip from Tatler magazine in the shape of this 113-year-old back cover advert for Tacquaru, a cure for alcoholic excess that had the backing of the Church of England Temperance Society in 1901.

In turns out that no less a figure than W.T. Stead – the campaigning journalist who changed the laws of Britain through his editorship of the Pall Mall Gazette, but drowned with the Titanic – wrote about the cure in the Australian Review of Reviews. Stead had done experiments in 1893 after being told of a concoction based on a herb called Tacquaru from South America. The article describes how, in 1893, Stead appealed, in the columns of the Daily Chronicle for half-a-dozen first class drunkards, for the purpose of using them as material for experimental tests:

There came to him shortly afterwards a Mr Edwards, who said that, when travelling in South America, he saved the life of an Indian who, in his gratitude revealed to him the existence of a herb, the leaves of which were an infallible cure for the drink habit. Mr Stead at once took the matter in hand, and found by experiment, that the remedy specified did really create a repulsion to the use of alcohol, but that it possessed no power of invoking miracles, and that though a man might be cured of the physical craving for stimulant, he was always liable, in the absence of further medical supervision and assistance, to succumb to the old temptation.

The advertiser was based at Amberley House in Norfolk Street, just off London’s Strand. I wonder what’s there now?

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