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BTP The Offseason, Day 15: Try the bitters for general debility

The Celebrated Oxygenated Bitters. Photo by: Picturenow/ Universal Images Group via Getty Images

We get to take for granted that we can go anywhere with a phone in a pocket, but in 1946, the kids were just trying to get a few extra telephones in their dorms. The ratios of people to installed telephones on campus was unfortunate:

It is impossible to imagine 440 people having to share a couple of phones, probably waiting in line to use one every week, and gosh darnit it sounds like Johnny is talking to his best girl again, that’s going to be 10 minutes at least, well I guess I’ll get back to passing the time in line by staring at this wall. Sweet, sturdy wall, you never let me down.


Step right up, step right up for the finest, most “celebrated oxygenated bitters,” circa 1850 or so. It’ll cure what dyspeps you, which, seeing as this was the 1850s, could have been damn near anything you ate.

One might be skeptical of these healing powers, which is why the producers of this concoction created a pamphlet that included endorsements from various “prominent gentlemen,” most of them politicians. If you cannot trust Senator William Upham of Vermont—a noted Whig Party member—then who could you trust?