We may all, at one time or another, have a moment or two of being upset with government regulating foods and drugs via the FDA but when I read some of the ingredients pedaled to the common people in yesteryear, you can see where there had to be some form of oversight.
Professor Dill, (He was 21 when the Civil War ended) and he then started calling himself Professor Dill . I have no idea if he went to any college or taught. It doesn't appear so. He started his business right after the war ended in 1865.
WW DILL'S cough syrup had a claim (patent since 1907) to use his signature WW DILL on his label. You can see the actual paper label online at www.antiquemedicines.com or on Ebay or in my slideshow.
The label reads:
Dill's, Cough Syrup, WW Dill, 2 1/2 M. Chloroform in 1 OZ. Fluid of Alcohol 1%. A useful preparation for colds, coughs, hoarseness. Directions: Doses for adults 3/4 to 1/2 teaspoon every 1 to 2 hours. Doses for infants 5 to 10 drops. 5 to 10 years old 10 to 20 drops. SHAKE WELL BEFORE USING, Prepared by The Dill CO. Norristown, PA.
Gee, honey, the kids are sleeping like logs! (CHLOROFORM! & Alcohol!)
Noted online at www.werelate.org for WW DILL. (born 1844, died 1923)
During the Civil War, W. W. enlisted as a private with the 28th New Jersey Infantry for a nine month term. It was mustered in at Freehold, New Jersey and spent some time in the defense of Washington D.C.
W. W. fell ill there and was treated in "Lee House Hospital" for four months. On April 16, 1863 W. W. received a disability discharge for severe rheumatism from exposure. (I note he was only 19 years old in 1863)
After the war he became a patent medicine man, and marketed himself as "Professor W.W. Dill." Later he started the "Dill Medicine Company" of Norristown, Pennsylvania, and sold products like Dill's Pills, Healing Salve, Balm of Life, and Royal Cough Cure from which he built a fortune.
The Professor is mentioned in Appendix 2 of Bean's 1884 History of Montgomery Co, PA. The Chief Marshal listed the order of the parade for the honor of the centennial of Montgomery county on Thursday, September 11th, 1884. At the very end of the parade was Prof. Dill's Balm of Life wagon with red tent and blue banner.
He also advertised in a Montgomery County Directory as a "Patent Medicine Manufacturer" at Marshall and Stanbridge
Prof. W. W. Dill was involved with a splinter Mennonite group called Evangelical Mennonites (later renamed to the Bible Fellowship Church).
On a personal note: I have to mention, in having researched numerous bottles, I come across these deeper types of religious affiliations that several of the bottlers of 'cures' had... ever so tightly religious connections as they accumulated massive wealth.