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Box of Fennings' indigestion tablets, England, 1940-1980

Fennings’ indigestion tablets were taken to ease hiccoughs, excessive gases in the gut and intestines, heartburn and nausea. The tablets were also recommended for similar complaints during pregnancy. Alfred Fennings (d. 1900) opened his first shop – the Golden Key pharmacy – in London in 1840. Highly adept at advertising and marketing, he went on to create a very successful business producing a range of products which became popular ‘over the counter’ medicines bought by generations of shoppers. Although several Fennings’ products are still sold today, some of his earlier claims – including ‘cures’ for cholera and whooping cough – were highly dubious. On his death, trustees took over the running of the business and the profits went to a children’s charity. (Pictured here with other Fennings’ products).

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Glossary: indigestion

No description.

Glossary: heartburn

No description.

Glossary: nausea

A feeling of sickness felt in the stomach and often leading to vomiting. Nausea is particularly associated with seasickness and motion sickness.

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.