Advert for Scott's Emulsion, medicine, reverse side
Medium: Print on paper
Illnesses that are now regarded as treatable, if not avoidable, were among the most common causes of death in the Victorian era. Measles and scarlet fever both accounted for hundreds of deaths in Britain each year. The poor were the most likely group to suffer, due to overcrowding in slums and poor municipal hygiene, but even those who could afford a visit from a doctor could very often not save their loved ones. In the absence of cures for infectious diseases, the emphasis lay very much on prevention.
The manufacturers of non-prescription remedies such as Scott's Emulsion exploited this situation to a large extent, using melodramatic and sensationalist adverts to drum up business.