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Recipes By Dr. Chase: 'stickumfast' To Babies

Recipes By Dr. Chase: 'stickumfast' To Babies image
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You say you've got cholera, tonsilitis and dysentery, your cow has been short-changing you on her daily milk production, and your wife is about to have a baby? Is that what's troubling you bunkie? Well sir relax, to be found among the pages of one copious volume, laden with facts and information without which no American home would be complete, can be found the solution to all of these problems and countless others. The book? Why Dr. Chase's Recipe Book of course, Ann Arbor's greatest best-seller. If this were a real 1867 sales pitch you wouldn't have to go far to buy one either. Dr. Alvin Wood Chase, a one-time peddler, built his Steam Printing House on the corner of Main St. and Miller in 1864 and produced more than four million of the books. The building still stands today. One of Ann Arbor's more notable pieces of historical trivia, Dr. Chase's Recipe Book r w tained a myriad of formulas and nformation covering about any subject one could dream of - sort of a combination alchemst's handbook and Popular Mechantes. By following the book's recipes, a person could allegedly do sverything from prepare beef soup to cure hog cholera. Dr. Chase himself was a vetaran peddler in the Detroitloledo area, and sold printed "recipe sheets" as a part of liis business. Eventually, he decided that a better living could be made selling recipes than elixir, so he settled here in Ann Arbor in 1856, obtained a medical degree from the Eclectic Medical Institute in Cincinnati, and began to market his famous book in 1864. Actually, Chase didn't dream up all of the concoctions himself, but acted more in the capactiy of an editor. He'd collect all of the formulas, recipes, cures and sundry information he could, and then select the best of them for his book. To be found within the medical section, for example, was an 'infallible cure" íor cholera, j jrescribed by a General Jordán )f the Mining Record (presum-l ibly some sort of defunct peri-l Jdical): "A one half teaspoon of chlor-l rform in about eight times asi much water is an infallible cure I Eor cholera," the general said. 1 "When I went to Cuba to help I Di-ganize the insurgent army, I saw men lying by the roadside I in a state of collapse, almost I Jead. An officer would ride up, I dismount and give the remedy, I and before the column h a d I passed the man would be in the ranks again." About the only t h i n g that could get a sick soldier on his feet that quickly today is an offer of an early discharge. Besides a raft of . able cures for diseases both I trivial and hideous, Dr. Chase's I Recipe Book could increase yourl farm's prosperity by three f oíd i - with a little help f rom yourl milk cows. If you had a feeling that "oíd I Bossie" was holding out on you, I you could slip her a go-power I "mickey" designed to correct! the situation: "Give your cow, three times I a day, water, slightly warm.j slightly salted in which branl has been stirred at the ra te ofl one quart to two gallons of wa-l ter. You will find that your cow ] will gain 25 per cent immediate-J ly under the effects of it, and! she will become so attached tol the drink as to refuse clear wa-l ter. But this mess she will drink! almost at any time, and ask forl more." Be honest. If you were al guernsey, would you drink thatl stuff? As the name of the book im-l plies, Dr. Chase also dealt with the advancement of culinary art, and can be credited with' the popularization of that power-packed drink, "oatmal-aid." "A very good drink can be made by putting about two spoonfuls of oatmeal into a tumbler of water. The western hunters and trappers consider it the best of drinks, as it is at once nourishing, stimulating and satisfying." Other sections of the book covered such timeless subjects as childbirth, hog raising, how i to make hair restorative, how to renovate teather beds, or how II to make fly "stickumfast." In 1869 Chase tired of the ■ ishing business, sold out, and ■ noved to Minnesota, but Rice A. ft 3eal an area businessman at he time, continued to print the! recipe book-with some sales ■ ven extending into the 2Oth century. If all this has sparked yourl imagination and you have al yearning to try a quick relief! for asthma, bake a watermelonl cake, make a sheepskin mat orl I recite the temperance pledge,] you may choose one of two al-l teTnhe Ann Arbor Public Library has two copies of Dr Chases Recipe Bookonit's shelves orl you can piek upa copy of AdeI lalde Hechtlinger's new book L'The Great Patent Medicine ■ Era " by Grosset and Dunlap, lin which she devotes a whole Isectiontogoodol' Dr. Chase and Ihis brainchild. I Either way, if s good for wha1 lails you. ;