TexasEscapes.com Texas Escapes Online Magazine: Travel and History
Columns: History, Humor, Topical and Opinion
Over 1600 Texas Towns & Ghost Towns
NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : ARCHITECTURE : : IMAGES : : SITE MAP
HOME
SEARCH SITE
ARCHIVES
RESERVATIONS
Texas Hotels
Hotels
Cars
Air
Cruises
 
  Texas : Features : Columns : "It's All Trew"

Childhood Medications
Were Simple, Gave Relief

by Delbert Trew
Delbert Trew
I probably would not have survived childhood without Vicks, Mentholatum, castor oil and coal oil. These crude medications were economical, the doses simple, and could be applied on a rag warmed over a kerosene lamp chimney. All gave relief if you were patient.

I never caught any of the romantic diseases the big boys bragged about. I only caught measles, mumps, chickenpox and the itch. All were common, caught at school and not worth complaining or bragging about.

Early childhood open wounds were merely painted with iodine, wrapped with a clean rag and the ends ripped in strips and tied. Only serious wounds with bleeding were taken to the doctor's office because the visit required money, which was scarce as hens' teeth at our house.

Most people raised in the country have a story or two telling of spending a lot of time soaking a toe, hand or foot in coal oil from stepping on a nail, chopping a toe with a hoe or like my episode where I split my big toe with a post-hole digger helping mother plant a rose bush. I spent an hour morning and night soaking that toe in coal oil. Today, 60 years later, when I trim the toenail on that toe I imagine I can smell coal oil.

Remember the rolls of adhesive tape and packs of gauze pads? Mother bought them in the commercial-size packages along with a paper sack of Epson salts, which replaced coal oil. All wounds or sprains had to be soaked in a pan of hot water with Epson salts added to reduce swelling and soreness. Between our family members and a number of employees working around farm equipment, there were always skinned knuckles, cuts, bruises and sprains.

Later medications I consider miracles were Campho-phenique and Gray's Ointment. In my mind these medicines rank right up there with duct tape and baling wire on handy inventions. Apply Campho-phenique to any wound or bruise and almost instantly the pain stopped.

I was a busy little boy who ran barefooted most of the time and played out in the junk pile. Goat heads and splinters were my greatest hazard. Place a little dab of Gray's Ointment where the sticker penetrated, add a Band-Aid and the next morning the sticker would be gone.

The Band-Aid, as we know it today, was invented in 1920 by Earle Dickson, a cotton buyer for Johnson & Johnson. The company had long manufactured sterile bandages and adhesive tape. When Dickson combined the little square of sterile gauze to the tape and inserted it into a sterile paper wrapping, it soon became a standard household item. More than 100 billion Band-Aids have been sold in the last 80 years, according to company advertising.

The modern-day mother or grandmother knows never to be without the latest graphic designer Band-Aid in the varied colors and packaging for the little ones. A "boo-boo" of any kind can be ministered with a classic design Band-Aid. I'll admit it sure beats coal oil and iodine.


Delbert Trew

"It's All Trew"
- January 12, 2005 Column
E-mail: trewblue@centramedia.net.
 
TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES
Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South |
West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | MAPS

TEXAS FEATURES
Ghosts | People | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII |
History | Black History | Rooms with a Past | Music | Animals | Books | MEXICO
COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters |
Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators |
Lodges | Museums | Stores | Banks | Gargoyles | Corner Stones | Pitted Dates |
Drive-by Architecture | Old Neon | Murals | Signs | Ghost Signs | Then and Now
Vintage Photos

TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | USA

Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Recommend Us
Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE
Website Content Copyright 1998-2007. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved
This page last modified: January 12, 2007