What's the Future Ever Done for Me?

Yonge and Richmond/Then and Now

pictures-r-4573pictures-r-1624The N/W corner in 1899. Hats were very popular back then….

I just noticed something very interesting in the first photo.

 The Carbolic Smoke Ball Company made a product called the “smoke ball”. It claimed to be a cure for influenza and a number of other diseases, in the context of the 1889–1890 flu pandemic (estimated to have killed 1 million people). The smoke ball was a rubber ball with a tube attached. It was filled with carbolic acid (or phenol). The tube would be inserted into a user’s nose and squeezed at the bottom to release the vapours. The nose would run, ostensibly flushing out viral infections.

The fact that it failed to work was followed by a lawsuit that for many law students is the first case that they lean about in law school and forms the basis for their understanding of contract law.


Screen Shot 2012-12-21 at 12.40.57 PM


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s