Wednesday, May 22, 2019


When they show newspaper front pages in a TV show, I look for more than just the key headline.  Usually it's the masthead for the paper which sometimes I can use to link one series to another.

This time around, it's an advert that filled the corner of the page....

'Father Brown'
"The Great Train Robbery"

I never even heard of Meggazones before, but reading up on them, I realized I just knew them by other names.....

From Caroline's Miscellany
Meggezones are menthol pastilles (they also used to contain peppermint, licquorice, chloroform and benzoin), whose strange name comes from the firm's founder, a Mr Meggeson. He started the company in 1796, and by the early nineteenth century it was making a range of syrups, sweets and lozenges for coughs and colds at its Bermondsey factory. Other products included dyspepsia tablets and lemon barley water. Today, the brand is owned by multinational Schering Plough.

From Wikipedia:
A pastille is a type of candy or medicinal pill made of a thick liquid that has been solidified and is meant to be consumed by light chewing and allowing it to dissolve in the mouth. They are also used to describe certain forms of incense.

A pastille was originally a pill-shaped lump of compressed herbs, which was burnt to release its medicinal properties. Literary references to the burning of medicinal pastilles include the short story "The Birth-Mark" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the poem "The Laboratory" by Robert Browning, and the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. They are also mentioned in the novel McTeague by Frank Norris, when the title character's wife burns them to mask an unpleasant odor in the couple's rooms. In Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon, "a half-filled package of violet pastilles" are among the items found in Joel Cairo's pockets. They were also widely used during the eighteenth century in Western cultures to take herbal curatives and medicines, which eventually were developed into candies.

Pharma News Online
Meggezones pastilles contain menthol. They provide a soothing effect for sore throats through the promotion of saliva secretion. The preparation contains glucose as excipients and therefore should not be recommended to diabetic patients.

George Meggeson was a London chemist (pharmacist), in business as early as the 1790s. One authority says that Meggeson was a “pioneer in sugar-based lozenges and was one of the first to make medicated pastilles” – in other words, he invented the cough drop, by adding menthol to a candy base that, according to a contemporary advertisement, lasts “long enough to release [its] numbing effect on very dry tickles and hoarseness. [This helps] to soothe the inflamed larynx which can be the cause of voice loss.”

For some 50 years, George Meggeson, assisted by his unmarried daughters, lived above his chemist’s shop on Cannon Street, described as then “being so narrow that one could almost shake hands across the street,” dispensing the syrups and pills he manufactured at his factory on Bermondsey. The firm eventually passed out of family hands, but continued to thrive through much of the 20th century. It is now owned by the multinational company Schering Plough, and its lozenges, marketed under the brand name Meggezones, can still be ordered online (I’m wary of linking to online pharmacy sites, but they’re there).


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