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The Real History of Snake Oil

We use the term “snake oil” today to mean something that doesn’t really work as claimed or for a false cure. Snake oil conjures up images of sneaky salesmen selling whatever they could bottle to unsuspecting strangers, and then hitting the road as quick as they could. But, once upon a time, people in need of relief really and truly believed that snake oil remedies could actually cure them (or at least help with the symptoms). As hard as that is to believe, it seems even more unfathomable that snake oil remedies actually contained genuine snake oil when they first made their appearance in the U.S. How crazy is that?! Find out more fascinating history of how snake oil came to be such a huge part of our culture and how it led to creation of new laws and agencies. Have a look below.

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