Profile America: Candied Cough Drops

Wednesday, December 28 — The holiday season is mostly a time of cheer. But it’s also a time for that frequent winter misery — the common cold and the cough that often goes along with it. Seeking treatment for that symptom, let alone a cure for the cold, has a long history.  Before the middle of the 19th century, a restaurant owner in Poughkeepsie, New York, concocted a remedy to help sooth the cold sufferers’ coughs. James Smith cooked up the first batch of candy cough drops in 1847. By 1872, the popular “Smith Brothers” remedy was packed in boxes for distribution and sale, becoming one of America’s first factory-packaged candies. The nearly 44,000 drug stores in the country sell some $11.7 billion worth of cough drops, and other nonprescription medicines annually.

You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online here.

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