Concept

Lydia Pinkham

Summary
Lydia Estes Pinkham (born Estes; February 9, 1819 – May 17, 1883) was an American inventor and marketer of an herbal-alcoholic "women's tonic" for menstrual and menopausal problems, which medical experts dismissed as a quack remedy, but which is still on sale today in a modified form. It was the aggressive marketing of Pinkham's Vegetable Compound that raised its profile, while also rallying the skeptics. Long, promotional copy would dramatise "women's weakness", "hysteria" and other themes commonly referenced at the time. Pinkham urged women to write to her personally, and she would maintain the correspondence in order to expose the customer to more persuasive claims for the remedy. Clearly the replies were not all written by Pinkham herself, as they continued after her death. Pinkham and her "medicinal compound" for feminine disorders became the subject of a bawdy drinking song, "Lily the Pink", of which a sanitized version became a number one hit by The Scaffold in the Unit
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