No More Drunkenness, 1909

This is a kind of anti-Rohypnol advert from 1909. It’s a product that you surreptitiously slip into the unaware’s drink in order to sober them up.

“No More Drunkenness” is promised with “the Great Coza Powder”, which has “the marvellous effect of producing a repugnance to alcohol in any shape or form.”

Hull Daily Mail, 14th January 1909

Hull Daily Mail, 14th January 1909

The USP for this product is that the user isn’t aware that they’ve taken it. It’s for other concerned members of the drunkard’s family for administer in “coffee, tea, milk, beer, water, liqueurs or solid food, without the partaker’s knowledge”. 

The troublesome imbiber suddenly doesn’t fancy a drink anymore as the powder “does its work so silently and surely that wife, sister, or daughter can administer it to the intemperate without his knowledge and without his learning what has effected his reformation.”

I’m not sure exactly how it works – you can get a free sample sent out to you, so it’s obviously not a one shot deal. Maybe you have to take it every day.

Annoying as the drunkard is, I suppose it’s not technically moral behaviour to secretly slip them some Coza Powder. Or it wouldn’t be if this remedy wasn’t pure quackery, and easily made in your kitchen right now. One of my favourite publications, The British Medical Journal’s “The Composition of Certain Secret Remedies” of 1909, the very same year as this advert, was a take down of the old Victorian and Edwardian pharmaceutical industry with analyses of all those “never fail” medications. It dismisses Coza by its findings that all it consists of is ordinary bicarbonate of soda, cumin and cinnamon.

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