Advert for Vigor & Co's Hercules Horse-Action Saddle, reverse side
Printer: Dalziel & Co
Medium: Print on paper
Sport and exercise were heavily encouraged by both schools and businesses at the end of the 19th century. Employers encouraged their workforces to take part in team sports such as football and rugby to satisfy and contain aggressive instincts among staff, and also to build teamwork and cooperation.
The Hercules Horse Action Saddle was a Victorian version of the exercise bike, and both men and women were encouraged to use it. It purported to alleviate 'hysteria' and insomnia, cure gout and rheumatism, and reduce obesity. This side of the advert has a host of press clippings in praise of the saddle. Esteemed medical journal The Lancet notes: "Both the expense and difficulty of riding on a live horse are avoided."