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Bottle of Fennings' Fever Mixture, England, 1950-1960

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One wineglassful of the clear ‘Fennings' Fever Mixture’ was recommended to be drunk by adults to help ease fevers; young children drank a quarter of a glassful. This particular bottle originally cost 1shilling and sixpence. Alfred Fennings (d. 1900) opened his first shop in 1840 in London and produced a large and popular range of ‘over the counter’ treatments. On his death, trustees took over running the business and the profits went to a children’s charity. Among some of Fennings earlier products were ‘cures’ for diseases such as cholera. As with all such products, some treatments were more effective than others.

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Glossary: Fennings' product

Alfred Fennings opened a pharmacy in London in 1840 which sold treatments for serious illnesses. A ‘Fennings product’ is from this company, which distributed its wares across Britain.

Glossary: fever

A rise in body temperature above normal. Fever usually occurs as a natural response to infection.