Antique Poison for Sale!

An alert reader pointed out this item for sale on eBay–an unopened bottle of mercury bichloride in tablet form. (Can you read the label, I hope?) This was the poison that killed Olive Thomas (Jack Pickford’s wife) in Paris, although her case involved a liquid version. It was used all too often in the Roaring Twenties for suicides. Note that it says For External Use Only. How do you use a pill for external use only? Dissolve in water. This drug was commonly used as treatment for syphilis. 

I wanted to buy the bottle for my collection of Twenties memorabilia that I’m planning to take with me when I do book signings for THE IMPERSONATOR, but I didn’t handle the eBay bidding correctly and missed my chance. Someone else got it for $10! I’d have paid more than that. Oh well, maybe another bottle will surface before I need it. The mystery doesn’t come out until fall of next year, 2013, so I have plenty of time to add to my collection. 

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Published in: on August 25, 2012 at 8:11 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I happen to have some but in a cobalt blue bottle

    • Interesting. Is it Eli Lilly or another brand?


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