CORN REMEDIES

THE ANTIQUE CANNABIS BOOK
Chapter 6 - (2nd Edition)
Cannabis Corn Remedies

ANTIQUE CORN REMEDIES
Chapter 6



CANNABIS EXTERNAL
Corn Removers & Lotions:

At the close of the 19th century, almost all corn removers, remedies and plasters, contained Cannabis as one of their key ingredients.   It was used not only for its anti-bacterial properties, but also, at a time when [for psychological reasons] all good corn removers were expected to have a rich green color, served as an excellent (and inexpensive) coloring agent as well.

External Lotions
Newspaper Article
Newspaper Articles
 
Handy Corn Plaster
Handy
 
Zatso
Zatso
 
Booker's
Booker's
 
James Woolly
James Woolly
 
Zonas
Zonas
 
ApexCorn.
ApexCorn.
 
KornPop.jpg
KornPop
 
Dearco
Dearco
 
GreatAmHerb
GreatAmHerb
 
Haywood
Haywood
 
Wyandotte
Wyandotte
 
Da Ka Ta
Da Ka Ta
 
Corn Gaitor
Corn Gaitor
 
Corn Jafnel
Corn Jafnel
 
Bun Yon
Bun Yon
 
Cactus
Cactus
 
Leslies
Leslies
 
Seabury & Johnson
Seabury & Johnson
 
Herzog
Herzog
 
Johnson
Johnson & Johnson
 
Corn Akers
Corn Akers
 
Handy
Handy
 
Sayville
Sayville
 
Generic
Generic
 


ADDENDUM 6a - 2nd Ed.
Rawleigh
Rawleigh
 

Corn Picker
Corn Picker
 
Sure Corn
Sure Corn
 
O-Joy
O-Joy
 
Bauer-Black
Bauer-Black
 
Cushion
Cushion
 
Myaltoe
Myaltoe
 
Elastoplast
Elastoplast
 
Knocker
Knocker
 
Haywood
Haywood
 
Caldwell
Caldwell
 
Montana
Montana
 
Camms
Camms
 
Pfeiffer
Pfeiffer
 
Dill’s
Dill’s
 
Imperial Corn
Imperial Corn
 
Sure Pop
Sure Pop
 
Perrigos
Perrigos
 
DrJohnson
Dr. Johnson's
 
IvyLeaf
Ivy Leaf
 


CENSORED FILES:
Additionally, the museum has been able to obtain pictures of the following Corn Remedies.   However due to lack of permission from the picture takers, we are not able to display them on this website.   They can however be obtained for private viewing via CD-rom,
  • Kramers Corn Remover - Kramer Pharmacal Co. Buffalo, N.Y. Full wrap around bottle label - stating that it contains Alcohol, Ext. Cannabis Indica, and Ether.

  • Great Christopher Corn and Callous Remedy prepared by the Reliable Specialty Corp., Buffalo, New York. Both the box and the tube feature the Great Christopher Trademark of a man pulling a handcart. The sealed tube states on the back "A Safe and Reliable Remedy for Removing Corns and Callouses, each ounce contains 5 grains of cannabis." Box is 3" tall and contains the original instruction pamphlet and a few of the original cotton bandages.

  • Lewis' Safety Corn Remedy manufactured by Lewis Med. Co. Sayre, PA. Contains Canabus ( cannabis ) Indica and Ether.

  • Cook's Nu-Way brand Corn remover - The thomas E. Cook Chemical Co.

  • OMEGA CORN CURE Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This box is in red and blue and has pictures on two sides and writing on all 4 sides and the two end flaps. It also has a paper insert with pictures and writing as well. The Omega Corn Cure Medicine Co. 403 Grand Ave., Milwaukee, Wis. The box is 3" by 7/8" by 7/8" and has a great picture of a devil with a pitchfork on a foot. Listing of the ingrediants 10% alcohol, 82% ether, 2 1/2 grs Cannabis Indica in every 2 1/2 fluid drams.

  • Lewis Bear Drug Co. Montgomery, Ala. Very unusual bottle with colorful bear on label and box. 95% label lists contents as follows: Alcohol, Ether, CANNABIS Indica.

  • Samaritan Remedy - Label reads, Corn Remedy, Contains about 26 per cent. alcohol; 8 3/4 grains extract Cannabis Ind. and 5 1/2 drachms of ether in each fluid ounce. [more]

  • BLASS CANNABIS CORN REMEDY VIAL (with) Label; Original label that reads BLASS CORN AND BUNION REMEDY CANNABIS INDICA 10 grs TO EACH OZ. The auction also includes a second narrow label (loose) that reads EACH OUNCE CONTAINS CANNABIS INDICA 11 GRS. ETHER 72% ALCOHOL 24%. The vial has a diameter of 9/16 and is 2 1/2 high.

  • "Collodion Salicylated Squibb" by E.R.Squibb and Sons drug company. The top of the bottle was corked(not a screw-cap). There is one small chip at the top of the bottle lip. The label is neat and clean for being over 55 years old. Collodion Salicylated contained Alcohol (absolute) 27%, Ether 61%, and extract of cannabis 5 1/3 grains per fluid ounce.
6.0 - Corn Removers / External Lotions:
The use of Cannabis in foot remedies is nothing new, in fact this practice (quite literally) is as old as the pyramids themselves.   According to ancient Egyptian papyrus scrolls dating back as far as . . . [SEE HISTORICAL SECTION - ANCIENT EGYPT]

At the close of the 19th century, almost all corn removers, remedies and plasters, contained Cannabis as one of their key ingredients.   It was used not only for its anti-bacterial properties, but also, at a time when [for psychological reasons] all good corn removers were expected to have a rich green color, served as an excellent (and inexpensive) coloring agent as well.

However, in 1937 (at the height of the great depression) the federal government placed a special $1 an ounce tax on all medical cannabis products.   In the words of one newspaper article:
"Corns Get 'Break' as Law Bars Sale Of Marijuana Cures Without License " . . . under a new federal law effective at midnight last night, druggists must be licensed to sell medicines containing marijuana ---and according to Thomas J. Ryen, secretary of the State Board of Pharmacy, most corn remedies contain this drug.

All dealers must register with a collector of internal revenue," A.D. Stevenson, Narcotic Inspector in Columbus, said yesterday. . . .Meanwhile, Ralph White, past president of the Ohio State Pharmaceutical Association, said here that most retail druggists will not bother to get licenses . . . " The Youngstown Vindicator - Oct. 1, 1937
And unfortunately, few of them did.   Thus the era of Cannabis Corn Remedies was brought to an end.


6.1.0 - Why Cannabis?
Why was Cannabis used in Corn Remedies?   There were several reasons:

6.1.1 - Cannabis the Anti-Bacterial Agent:
By now most readers are fully aware that medical cannabis, when used externally, is an anti-bacterial agent.   This ability to act as a germ killer, as its abundance and low cost, made it a good ingredient to have in external skin lotions.   This was especially true back in the late 19th century when the medical profession began taking germs seriously, noting that fungi and bacteria were in fact the causes of many skin ailments.

6.1.2 - Cannabis the Coloring Agent:
However, Medical Cannabis also had another property that made it such a natural for certain external uses such as corn remedies and liniments and so unnatural for almost all other external uses -- It was GREEN, and had the power to dye things into that color.

And here it may be best to step back and explain that this was a time in which almost everyone, for psychological reasons, expected their corn remedies to be a deep dark green in color.   Why exactly this was so, I do not know, but from the end of the civil war all the way up until the 1930’s, this was just the case.   And this psychological factor helps explain the second reason for the popularity of Cannabis in some external preparations.

Question:   But WHY CANNABIS?
Answer:   Because there was no other practical why of doing it.

Before the advent of modern chemistry, if someone wanted to produce a (let's say) RED paint, one would simply have to find a red rock, pound-it-into a powder, and use it as the coloring agent of a paint mix.   This would be true for any color, Red, Yellow, Black etc., Except for green.

As any geologist can tell you GREEN is a "Rare Earth Color".   Meaning that if you wanted to make a green paint, you just can't go out and find a green rock somewhere, powder it into a paste etc., like you could with a yellow or red rock, for one simple reason.   There are very few green rocks out there.   In fact to our knowledge only three:
  • Green Jade
  • Aventurine
  • Malachite
One of these rocks, can be found only in the middle of Brazil, another only in Zambia, and Jade is too expensive for practical uses.

As for green leafs and plant matter, for the most part, whatever is in them simply doesn't work very well as a dye.   Hard to believe but true, there are only two plants that work well as a green dye; "Lily of the Valley" [a poisonous plant] and Hemp.   As Lily of the Valley is still classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a "Poisonous plant"[A], this leaves only one real dyeing agent -- Cannabis (which at the time was cheap and abundant).   One can easily see how it made its way into almost all corn and callus medicines as well as numerous liniments etc.

AN ASIDE: Anyone who has ever gone to a primitive art store can testify to a total lack of green.   That's because before the advent of modern Chemistry, we simply didn't have any green paints.

6.1.3 - Supposed Localized Pain Killer:
There may have been a third reason.

Whenever possible, the author has tried to distance this book away from the Reefer madness campaign of the 1930's.   However, at times, the subject becomes unavoidable --- perhaps an explanation is in order.

Within the world of debating societies belongs the concept of the strawman.   This is where one side claims that the other side believes in this, that, or some other thing, literally building up the strawman.   Then once the strawman is built, then it is quickly and easily attacked and then torn down (just like a strawman).

This concept is (sort of) key to understanding the third reason that Cannabis was originally included in Corn Remedies: --- As a Local Anesthetic.   Or at least that is what the D.E.A. (than known as the Bureau of Narcotics) was saying throughout the Reefer Madness era.

The only problem was that at the time, no one else outside the DEA was making that claim, at least not any medical personnel.   And while true that Medical Cannabis is indeed a general (body wide) pain killer (and a very good one at that), it certainly CANNOT be used as a local anesthetic.   This is such an established medical fact that at first one is simply tempted to believe that it was just another DEA lie told to us during the Reefer Madness Campaign (a strawman built up by them).   But after extensive research we have been able to established that there was in fact some (but very little) actual truth to the DEA's claims.

For example, in 1883 an article entitled: "Cannabis Indica as a local anesthetic," written by a dentist -- appeared in the "Cincinnati Lancet-Clinic" [1883 vol.122].   But this is the only such article that we have been able to locate.   All other references to the subject, detail the fact that it is NOT any kind of localized anesthetic.   But it seems that the DEA didn't care about those facts.

It is the opinion of this museum that the D.E.A. was simply trying to discredit ALL forms of Cannabis use and thus outlaw it completely.   But as this borders on the subject of conspiracies and away from medical uses, maybe it should be left for another day.


6.2.0 - Corn Remedies / Removers:
According to the 1936 edition of the National Formulary, the following was the official recognized (generic) pharmaceutical formula for Corn Collodium.

“CORN COLLODIUM”
Salicylic Acid, 11 Gr.
Fluidextract of Cannabis 10 Gm.
Flexible Collodion (a sufficient quantity)

The use of cannabis as a standard [officially recognized] ingredient in corn removers continued right up to the year 1942, when it was officially removed from both the U.S. Pharmacopoeia as well as the National Formulary. [B]

National Formulary [1888 pg 8]
Same Formula was in use Until 1942

6.2.1 - Corn Plasters:
In the early part of the 20th Century, Medical Plasters were quite common, but few today even know what they are.   Scientifically Speaking:
EMPLASTRA-PLASTERS -- are pharmaceutical preparations intended for external application, consisting of a flexible material, such as cloth or leather, upon which is spread a tenacious substance of high melting point, but which becomes softer and more adhesive in contact with the body.   The base of plasters is lead plaster, gum resin, Burgundy pitch or rubber, mixed in various proportions by melting. ----- Pharmaceutical Formulas (1929-10th Edition) - pg. 138.
Or in simply baby language: Think of plaster as just being either a medical patch or Band-Aid ® (adhesive strip), but with the cotton part impregnated with medicines.   The idea was simple, instead of applying a lotion unto the skin, one simply applied an adhesive strip which contained the medicine.   Handy's Corn Plaster   [See Pictures] provides an excellent example.


6.3 - Generic External Products:  [See Pictures]
As previously noted, throughout the 19th century and into the 1920s generic (as opposed to brand name) medicines were more the rule than the exception.   In order to increase profits, local pharmacists would make their own medicines as opposed to just selling someone else’s drugs.   This sort of explains why so many whole-sale drug catalogs advertised the sale of pre-formatted 'Blank' labels and containers.

The simplistic chemical formula and straightforward way of making corn removers explains why so many different labels of corn removers can be found in antique stores today.


6.4 - Newspaper Articles:  [See Picture]
Shown here is a typical article. Usually references to such products were made to only in the newspapers “Women’s Section,” or in the “Medical Advice Columns”.

PARTIAL LIST OF NEWSPAPER ARTICLES:
LOS ANGELES TIMES:
[S-May 1, 1897 pp2] "Treatment for Bunions" MED
[S-Jun 27,1922 pp I18] "Diet and Health" Med Corns and Bunions
[S-Mar 13, 1924 ppA6] "Diet and Health"
[S-Mar 22, 1924 ppA8] "Diet and Health" - Corn Remedy
[S-Jun 16, 1924 ppI24] "Care of the Body" Med
[S-Nov 26, 1938 ppA6] "Here's to Health!" (corn remedy)

ATLANTA CONSTITUTION
[ ] - Mar 29, 1906 pg D6 - "Women and the Home: [NWR] Cannabis MED

DECATUR HERALD - Decatur, Illinois
[S]- Sept 20, 1928 pg.14] "Remedies for Foot Trouble; Corns, Bunion, etc." MED

EDWARDSVILLE INTELLIGENCER - Edwardsville, Illinois
[S]- Dec. 30, 1891] "Popular Corn Cures" MED

CHICAGO TRIBUNE:
[ ] - Mar 15, 1916 pg 20 -- "Spring Foot Aches" MED
[ ] - Oct 18, 1917 pg 14 -- "Be Careful, Hazel, When You Treat Corns at Home" MED
[ ] - Jan 23, 1918 pg 10 -- "Those Persistent corns Just Will Not be Ignored"

FORT WAYNE NEWS & SENTINEL - Fort Wayne, Indiana
[S]- May 30, 1919 pg.12] short on Corn Remedies - MED

FORT WAYNE JOURNAL-GAZETTE - Fort Wayne, Indiana
[S]- Feb. 24, 1884 ] "Woman and Home" ("A Sure Cure for Corns) MED -Arthur's magazine

INDIANAPOLIS STAR - Indianapolis, Indiana
[S]- Jan. 21, 1915 pg. 7] Formula for Corn Lotion MED

NEW ERA - Humeston, Iowa
[S]- Sept. 12, 1888 ] "Useful and Suggestive" (a corn remedy) Med.

IOWA CITIZEN - Iowa City, Iowa
[S]- May 20, 1892] "Fireside Fragments" (a Sure Cure for Corns) Med

HELENA (Daily) INDEPENDENT - Helena, Montana
[S]- Feb. 16, 1929 pg. 4] "Personal Health Service" Corn, Callus Company MED

EVENING STATE JOURNAL - Lincoln, Nebraska
[S]- Feb 15, 1929 magazine page] "Can't be beautiful when your feet ache" MED

SYRACUSE HERALD - Syracuse New York
[S]- Feb 13, 1910 ] short about corn remedy - Med
[S]- July 25, 1913 pp10] Med - corn remedy
[S]- Nov (or Dec) 14, 1913 pp1] Med - Corn remedy
[S]- April 12, 1914] "Med - Corn Remedy

LIMA TIMES DEMOCRAT - Lima, Ohio
[S]- Oct. 16, 1919 pg. 4] formula for corn remedy


6.5 - Other External Lotions:

6.5.1 Liniments:
This is rather embarrassing, but try as we may, the museum has NOT actually been able to locate/identify any brand/trade named liniments that made use of Cannabis.   However, as various medical/pharmaceutical articles speak (but only in general terms) about such products, we thus know for-a-fact, that numerous such products did indeed exist.

One formula for such a liniment[C] reads as follows:



Liniment, Methyl Salicylatis:

Menthol
Chloral hydrate
Extract of Cannabis Indica`
Essential oil of camphor
Methyl salicylate to
Rub together the enthol, chloral hydrate, and extract of cannabis Indica, and dissolve in the oil of camphor and methyl salicylate; set aside for seven days, and filter.
OR
Glasgow Formulary of C.F.
Same as above, except In place of ext. cannabis. Indica use alcohol (90 per cent.) + tincture of Cannabis Indica.

6.5.2 - Hemp-seed-Oil:
[See Chapter 19, on Hemp Seed Oil Medicines]


6.6 - Locating Antique Cannabis Corn Remedies:
The “Pure Food and Drug Act” (of 1906), required manufacturers of Medical Cannabis products to list this fact right on the label: Thus (assuming the label or package is still in readable condition) makes it real easy to Identify the numerous Cannabis corn remedies.   But even without the Pure Food and Drug Act, it can safely be assumed that most pre-1937 corn remedies contain cannabis as an ingredient.

According to one (1929) Pharmaceutical formulary book[D]: Fifty (50) out of a total of ninety-six (96) Corn remedy formula’s listed contained Cannabis as a given ingredient.  [See selected page]

6.6.1- General Prices:
In general, prices for old antique Cannabis corn remedies [actually the empty boxes] range from $35 to $150.   But there seems to be little rhyme or reason behind what antique collectors are paying for what product.   Example: A collector may be willing to pay $100 for a corn lotion container in poor condition, but only $35 for one in extremely good condition.   Why? - What is it that Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, once said; "Tell me and we will both know?"

WARNING:   At the present time [late 2009] American is undergoing a sort of mini-Economic depression.   Prices in general have therefore dropped quite a bit, but we suspect that they will pick up as times get better.


FOOTNOTES>
[A]- As per the book, "Magic and Medicine of Plants" (Reader's digest)copyright 1986.
[B]- Many now feel that this was done for political NOT medical reasons, but that is a story all on its own.
[C]- Pharmaceutical Formulas by S.W. Woolley and G.P. Forrester [1929 Edition]
[D] -- Ibid pages 765 -to- 769:

® - Band-Aid is a register trade mark of the Johnson & Johnson Co.




WANT TO KNOW MORE:
=====================

Due to space / download time considerations, only selected materials are displayed.   If you would like to obtain more information, feel free to contact the museum.   All our material is available (at cost) on CD-Rom format.   Please contact: antique_andy@catholic.org



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