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Prescription for an opium-based medicine, c. 1865. Opiates were the most widely prescribed medicines of 19th century America. Courtesy National Museum of Civil War Medicine
Medical staff of the 164 NY Infantry pose with medical equipment, c.1863. The image evokes the centrality of medicine to the saga of the Civil War era.
Clipping of a classified advertisement for a patent medicine “cure” for opiate addiction, c.1880. Civil War veterans’ opiate addictions helped birth this segment of the Gilded-Age patent medicine market.
Lithograph of an opium poppy, c. 1840. Opium has been cultivated for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, and has historically been a staple of western medicine.