Dr Seth Arnold Medical Company produced 'Cough Killer' for curing coughs, whooping cough, colds, pneumonia, asthma, croup, malaria, inflammation of the stomach, and malignant fevers as well as 'Arnold's Anti-Bilious Pills' which were supposed to cure liver complaints, biliousness and headache.
Like many 19th-century over-the-counter medicines, a lot of its effect was due to the fact that it contained a narcotic drug or hallucinogen, in this case morphine, a derivative of opium. People were unwittingly being exposed to habit-forming drugs, something the American Medical Association started investigating about this time. It compiled a list of dangerous 'nostrums' in May 1909, including alcohol, opium and its derivatives, morphine and codeine, cocaine, chloral, and cannabis. Legislation followed eventually.
Dr Seth Arnold was a doctor and a patent medicine manufacturer from Smithfield, Rhode Island. His other popular cures included Dr Seth Arnold's Balsam, for cholera, dysentery, diarrhoea, etc., Soothing and Quiet cordial, for stomach and bowel problems and Indian Vegetable Sugar Coated Bilious Pills which were supposed to purify the blood and cure headaches. In 1892, Dr Seth Arnold died leaving his sons in charge of the firm, which they sold about 15 years later to Gilman Brothers of Boston, Massachusetts.