An energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence study of the composition of patent medicines and nostrums archived at the Henry Ford Museum

Garshott, Danielle, Andrew Diefenbach, Elizabeth MacDonald, Thomas Sanday, Meghann Murray, Mary Fahey, and Mark Benvenuto

A selected grouping of patent medicines, permanently housed in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI, have been analyzed by energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) spectroscopy as well as proton NMR.  Such materials were manufactured over a century ago under clandestine circumstances, and thus the ingredients and recipes have never been made public.  The findings for metals and organics in these items are presented.