Bile Beans Laxative Pills
The most well-known old advertisement, painted in York on a brick wall, is this one.
This ad has been repainted and preserved, the last time in 1986.
It tells us that "Nightly BILE BEANS Keep You HEALTHY BRIGHT EYED & SLIM". I think it's the name of the product that makes it such a memorable advert.
It is obviously from a different time, when you could make such claims about health-related products. If it was painted now it would have to say something like "Bile Beans, as part of a healthy lifestyle, may reduce your cholesterol and decrease your risk of heart disease. It may also help with weight loss as part of a calorie controlled diet" - which doesn't grab the attention quite so effectively, and would need a much bigger wall.
While Bile Beans were initially pitched as a cure for biliousness, the influenza epidemic of 1899 was too good an opportunity to miss. Horrible though the 'flu was, a lot of people would recover after a week or so anyway, and it was an easy matter for quacks to point to cases where the recovery coincided with the taking of their medicine.
To view the story behind the re-painting of this advert, please click this link here.
For more information on printed wall adverts in York, click this link here.