Where is Johnson’s Anodyne Liniment When Tiger Needs It?

The cartoon above filled the upper half of a full page ad that appeared in the April 1896 issue of The Golfer magazine. (Notice that “Anodyne” was misspelled. The word “anodyne” means anything that relieves distress or pain.) To sell the product the Johnson’s folks included the following eight line poem that appeared below the cartoon: (Spalding also used poetry to sell golf balls. See the Post called “Golf Ball Poetry.”)

When players versed in golfing lore,
Discuss the technique of their score,
And talk of putting, bunker, fore,
Let us suggest to them one more.

“Tis Golfer’s Elbow…and ten to nine,
We can make a cure
That is prompt and sure,—
A Liniment called Johnson’s Anodyne.

Below the poetry was the following statement:

It soothes every ache, every bruise, every cramp, every irritation, every lameness, every swelling everywhere, and speedily relieves and cures every ailment caused by inflammation. It is for INTERNAL as much as EXTERNAL use. It was originated in 1810, by Dr. A. Johnson, an old family physician, for his own practice. It is used and endorsed by athletes everywhere.

So Tiger, now that you have your MRI results, just get a few bottles of Johnson’s Anodyne, rub some on your neck, drink the rest and you should be hitting them long and straight in no time!

(Actually, according to an entry in the American Medical Association Journal (Vol. 101 # 4), Johnson’s Anodyne Liniment contained ” Alcohol (14.8 per cent), a fatty oil, oils of turpentine and camphor, ammonia, ether and water.” And its advertising claims were found to be fraudulent by the Food and Drug Administration in 1932.  So Tiger, maybe forget the advice and good luck with your treatment.)


  1. First of all I have to say that this is the most fantastic blog – full of interesting anecdotes and weird, wacky, and wonderful information. My late grandfather used to use Anodyne Liniment every day – never went traveling anywhere without a small container. Wonderful post that’s brought back some great memories.


  1. […] Anodyne Liniment (that also targeted “golfer’s elbow” as in the ad above). (See  an earlier Post for details.) Now I have found that Johnson’s went even further to promote its product. The April 1898 […]

Please Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: