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Copyright 2013 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

Fleming’s Fistula And Poll Evil

 Cure Canister

 By Dorinda Troutman, RMR Staff Writer

 

July 2013 issue  

 

 

This cardboard and tin medicine container may by as old as the 1880s, as the Fleming company produced the concoction from at least that early and into the 1900s. Jehnet Carlson, of Belgrade , Montana , collected it some years ago with other memorabilia when she was dressing as Calamity Jane and competing in the Heritage Class at Appaloosa Horse Club shows (she came in sixth at the World Show one year).

The Fleming Company published a small book in 1904 to accompany the “cure,” and according to publicity at the time, had printed and given away 900,000 copies by 1906. The booklet can be read online through Google books and archive.org, and is included in the Washington State University book, “Five Centuries of Veterinary Medicine.” Sadly, no reference as to what the cure was made from is available (the booklet describes it as a pinkish-colored liquid). Many thousands of cans must have been sold in the era of working horses and mules.

 Fistula withers is much more rare now. It is caused by injury to the withers with an infection of the bursa, sometimes (more seriously) caused by Brucella.  Modern treatment includes surgery, antibiotics and rest. Poll evil is a fistula of the poll (between and in back of the ears).

Antique medicine containers, tins and bottles (with labels) are still very reasonable to collect. Most can be purchased for under $25.

 

Each month, Rocky Mountain Rider will feature a Western collectible or antique. If you have an item that you would like featured, please contact RMR at 888-747-1000 or info@rockymountainrider.com.

    

Copyright 2013 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

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