By Kimberly GristIn the late 1800s and early 1900s, Dr. Ray Pierce became famous for his patent mail-order medicines. They were advertised widely and sold directly to the public.
Image from Safety First, Dr V M Pierce
Among his many concoctions were "Dr. Pierce's Pleasant Purgative Pellets," "Dr. Pierce's Anuric Tablets," and "Dr. Pierce's Nasal Douche.," For an all-purpose cure, "Dr. Pierce's Favorite Prescription," was marketed for multiple ailments including "for Weak Women" to relieve them of "female illnesses."
A graduate of The Eclectic Medical College of Cincinnati in 1862, Dr. Pierce had the ability to market and sell his medicines by describing illnesses and their symptoms with medical terminology. Many of his elixirs contained opium until the mid-1890s.
The "Dream Book" was one such advertisement that intermingled articles among the cure-all claims which included dream interpretations and bridal superstitions like this:
How To Tell Whether You Will Marry Soon
At the table, if two spoons are accidentally put down together, there will soon be a wedding in the family. If by chance, an unmarried woman or a bachelor is placed between a married couple at supper, that person will soon become engaged. A strange white pigeon flying near a house is a sign that someone there will be married within a year. To see a caged bird in one's dream indicates a forthcoming wedding.
Watch Your Step
Between the calling of the banns and the wedding, the spirits of evil and envy are said to have great power. Therefore at this time the engaged couple should guard against a lovers' quarrel, exercise caution when going downstairs, not to stumble, and they should not be photographed together.
It's the Big Day
On no account should a bride or a bridegroom be handed a telegram on the way to church. The bride must be careful when leaving the church to put her right foot first. It is deemed most unfortunate for a bride to make the first step into the new world with her left foot. To have an unequal number of guests at the wedding breakfast or supper is unlucky.
When to tie the knot
Even before you start following the preceding instructions to a tee, you should ensure that you pick a particularly auspicious date. Here's a helpful guide.
January—If married in January, the wife will live longer than her husband.
February—In February, domestic happiness will prevail.
March—In March, the couple will eventually make their home abroad.
April—The April bride very decidedly rules the roost.
May—May is considered unlucky for weddings.
June—June is an exceptionally lucky month and promises lasting love to its bridal couples.
July—July marriages are apt to be crisscrossed with sunshine and shadow.
August—August is noted for its ideally mated couples.
September—September marriages run a smooth, congenial course.
October—October, either love or money will be lacking in the future for those who join hands this month.
November—November promises prosperity.
December—December a life full of love.
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