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~Also called ‘tincture of opium’, laudanum was used primarily as a sedative and painkiller. Girls as young as fourteen were prescribed laudanum. Even infants were spoon fed laudanum. Physicians cited its benefits as not only helping to calm nerves and quiet the disposition, it was prescribed as an aid for childbirth, menstruation and menopause. If one was not careful, taken in large doses, it caused unconsciousness. Many women, particularly prostitutes, used laudanum to commit suicide~

Three children eat American cheese sandwiches at an emergency feeding centre in Liverpool. Behind them, a man can be seen cooking at a Soyer boiler or field cooker. One girl is laughing as she eats. 1941.

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It’s as strong as whiskey and contains a spoonful of opium for good measure. So it makes perfect sense that this explosive cocktail was a treatment for babies as young as five days old. What exactly it cures, I’m not sure.