Let’s play, “Guess the 1950s (women’s) tranquilizer”

The folks in Tulsa, Oklahoma recently dug up a car that was buried as a time capsule in 1957. They put a few things in the car before they buried it:

In the trunk, workers meticulously pulled out some of the objects buried with the two-door hardtop to celebrate Oklahoma’s 50 years of statehood a 5-gallon can of leaded gasoline, which went for 24 cents a gallon in those days, and rusted cans of Schlitz beer.

The contents of a “typical” woman’s handbag, including 14 bobby pins, lipstick and a bottle of tranquilizers, were supposed to be in the glove box, but all that was found looked like a lump of rotted leather.

Tranquilizers: the solution to all women’s ills in the days before men took them seriously. Dysmenorrhea? Have some Valium. Bad day? Valium. Kids acting up? Valium. Dinner didn’t come out right? Sprinkle some Valium on it.

Valium! Valium! Valium!

So let’s see. If I were a bottle of tranquilizers back in 1957, what would I be?

The first benzo approved was Librium, which was discovered in 1954, and re-discovered again in 1957. So it’s probably not Librium. Valium, of course, is newer, having been approved in 1963.

The other possibility might be methaqualone (Quaalude), which was discovered in 1955, but wasn’t popular until the 60’s.

My guess would have to be phenobarbital which was approved back in 1912. What’s your guess?

[tags]History, women’s issues, tranquilizers[/tags]

6 thoughts on “Let’s play, “Guess the 1950s (women’s) tranquilizer”

  1. HmmmMMMmmmm, that hadn’t even occurred to me. I wonder if that was it…

    PS- WTF kind of name is “Miltown”???

  2. apparently it was named after the town in NJ named Milltown, which is where I work oddly enough

  3. I grew up in the 1950s (born in 1940); I remember my Mom saying she was taking her “happy pill,” which probably explains how she was the ultimate stay-at-home Mom who did so much work, helped others, took care of her family, and still managed to look great for my Dad when he came home. No wonder they used helpers like this!! My PR mentor, Frank Long, was part of the team that conceived the “buried car” concept in 1957 when he worked for NYC’s N. W. Ayers PR firm. That’s where they included a tranquilizer in the “contents of a woman’s purse” put into the trink back then to be dug up on 2007 when the Plymouth Beleveder was unveiled. That was the generatoin of perfect homemakers like “Leave it to Beaver” and June CleAVER.

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