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boosterCocaine Cowboys

Back In the Day

When They Used To Market Cocaine

Through the 70s and 80s, one drug rules them all.?That drug was cocaine.

Before it was rendered illegal, the sale of drug paraphernalia was big business.?These vintage commercials show luxurious black sofas, sexy women, and lots of cocaine.

These advertisements, ripped from magazines such as?Head,?High Times,?Rush?and Flash?offer a glimpse of the wide range of flashy gear and accessories offered to the cocaine connoisseur of the late ?70s and early ?80s.

The 1970s were a weird time, not least because you could apparently advertise cocaine in magazines despite this being the first decade of President Nixon?s Controlled Substances Act.

In June 1971, Nixon declared a war on drugs. He said that drug abuse was ?public enemy number one in the United States?. Which is right where all of these ads were published.

The devices and gadgets up for sale include the practical, such as a spray to ease irritated nostrils and products to keep the powder dry and free of clumps. Then there’s more performative and ostentatious gear, including gold-plated razor blades and ornately carved, ivory snorting straws. For a drug as classy and luxurious as coke, a rolled-up dollar bill simply won?t do.

While the War on Drugs was underway???Ronald Reagan popularized that infamous?phrase???and cocaine was still very much illegal, selling and marketing paraphernalia (?Not intended for illegal use!?) was a legitimate and lucrative business.

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Looks legit ... A condition known as female hysteria was treated by doctors using a vaginal massage which was later improved on with the invention of the vibrator.

Looks legit … A condition known as female hysteria was treated by doctors using a vaginal massage which was later improved on with the invention of the vibrator.

Historical Beliefs and Practices

I?m fascinated by vintage medicines, cure alls and lifestyle… ?And not just because they often did more harm than good. It?s the idea that anyone could be a snake-oil salesman, and that charisma, charm, and coming up with a good claim were once more important to a medicine?s commercial success than actual medical knowledge.

It is amazing how much the human perspective has changed in the last hundred or so years. Before the expansion of modern medicine and psychiatric care, people were exposed to brutal procedures and morbid beliefs. In the last 500 years, many strange political ideals have been adopted all over the world. In many countries they still are.

Government officials have enacted shocking policies and medical procedures. We can now look back upon some of these moments and wonder what exactly our ancestors were thinking? Many of these ideas were developed in a time when racial and female segregation was a problem, and the accepted social behaviour was different from what we experience today.

Female hysteria was a once-common medical diagnosis, found exclusively in women, which is today no longer recognized as a disorder. The diagnosis and treatment of female hysteria was routine for hundreds of years in Western Europe and America. The disorder was widely discussed in the medical literature of the Victorian era (1837-1901). In 1859, a physician was noted for claiming that a quarter of all women suffered from hysteria. One American doctor cataloged 75 pages of possible symptoms of the condition, and called the list incomplete. According to the document, almost any ailment could fit the diagnosis for female hysteria. Physicians thought that the stresses associated with modern life caused civilized women to be more susceptible to nervous disorders, and to develop faulty reproductive tracts.

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