As you know I don't like to sanitize history. It's important to try to understand this advertisement in the context of its 1894 publication. This was the era of European "exploration" of Africa. The famous "Stanley and Livingstone" expeditions were 20 years in the past, and the colonial era wouldn't reach its peak for several decades. It looks like these European "explorers" are being given a pot of the miracle cure by African natives. It's interesting that we're still going to the heart of African and South American jungles searching for the biodiversity which can be used to cure ailments. Unfortunately I can't find any analysis of the ingredients of Hattee's Congo oil.
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
At least the creator of the marketing achieved some sort of accuracy. These are likely Mbenga Pygmies of the Western Congo Basin.
Rick on 17th February 2017 @ 7:15am
From a hard to read August 30, 1892 Oregon newspaper.
"It is distilled from jjlanta growing upon the banks of the Congo River...this wonderful oil is found in some of the writing of Cuvilham, a Portuguese navigator ...who was sent out by the King of Abyssinia the 1488....He speaks of a wonderful penetrating oil that was used by the Zimbos, a remnant of a once powerful African nation, ....in some recent cyphers found upon some ruins in a very ancient city called Zimboe (meaning royal house,) more evidence has been produced of this wonderful oil, or rather of the plants from which it is distilled, thus proving conclusively that the secret was sacredly guarded by these ancient inhabitants of the Dark Continent. As the world has progressed more explorations have been made into Equatorial Africa, and suffering humanity has been greatly benefitted as well as medical science being advanced by the rediscovery of this wonderful Congo Oil.
It was first brought into civilized Europe by a member of the expedition sent out of London in 18?0, under the command of Captain Speke, whose explorations reached far up the Congo River. The secret of its production was jealously guarded until upon the death of the party in whose possession it was, when it was given to a party named Hattee, who formed a company, known as the Congo Oil Company having its headquarters at Zanzibar, South Africa, with a branch in New York City......."
It then goes on to explain the wonderful cures of the oil.
Here is the link, if you want to struggle through it.
L.E. on 17th February 2017 @ 7:42am
L.E., the ocr text is often impenetrable-- read the image instead: http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn94049698/1892-08-30/ed-1/seq-2/
It says it is "distilled from plants". It's probably a mixture of alcohol and some vegetable oils.
Arthur on 17th February 2017 @ 8:24am
As Rick says, the marketing achieved some sort of accuracy. Captain John Hanning Speke was real, and recognized as the first European to reach Lake Victoria, the source of the Nile. He died 30 years before this add was printed.
L.E. on 17th February 2017 @ 5:07pm