Woman taking 'nerve pill', 1953.
© NMeM / Daily Herald Archive / Science & Society Picture Library
A photograph of a woman sitting in a dentist's waiting room, taken for 'The People newspaper' in 1953. The room seems very grand, with a large fireplace, ornate tables and mirrors visible in the background. The woman, Mis Maureen Gothard, is taking a pill said at the time to prevent 'nervousnes'. The introduction of 'wonderdrugs' such as penicillin during the middle of the twentieth century led to a belief that drugs would eventually be able to treat a wide variety of ills, both physical and mental. Although great advances were made, some drugs proved to be of little use whilst others proved to be dangerous or addictive.