Analysis of a Group of Nostrums and Patent Medicines in the Henry Ford Museum

Maurice, Shelby, Mark Benvenuto, Danielle Garshott, Andrew Diefenbach, Elizabeth MacDonald, and Thomas Sanday

A series of liquid and solid patent medicines that have been housed at the Henry Ford Museum have been analyzed via X-ray fluorescence and via proton-NMR to determine their composition. In order to evaluate differences in solubility, each sample was examined in both D2O and deutero-chloroform when analyzed via proton-NMR. The two different instrumental techniques used for these determinations were chosen as analytical tools because they possess good complementarity in analyzing organic and inorganic materials. The findings are presented and implications discussed.