The first time we sneezed or coughed, out came the old mercury thermometer...to be held under your arm when you were a toddler and under your tongue when you were "a big girl." (My grandsons have something called a Fever Bug that looks like a cartoon caterpillar and sticks on their foreheads.)
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Then at night the vaporizer would come out, and the smell of Vicks would hang in the warm damp air. Vicks VapoRub would also be applied generously to my chest.
|Vicks Vapo Steam|
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|1946 Vicks ad|
I always knew that my mother would give me cherry cough drops...either Smith Brothers or Ludens. I loved those things so much that they almost made it worth being sick.
|Smith Brothers' Wild Cherry cough drops|
Of course, a trip to the doctor for a shot of penicillin was always an option. Why did the metal version look so much more menacing than today's plastic one?
|Old-time hypodermic needle|
If all else failed, however, my mother's potato soup was a general cure-all. She always made a big pot of it when I was sick and administered it with TLC.