Canister of pills, 1950.
© NMeM / Daily Herald Archive / Science & Society Picture Library
A photograph of a canister of Oblivon tablets, taken for the Daily Herald newspaper. Oblivon, manufactured by British Schering Ltd, was a tranquiliser supposed to calm patients. Concerns were raised about the safety of the drug Oblivon, a trade name for Methylpentynol, in 1950. It was withdrawn from sale in chemists shops and was obtainable only with a doctor's prescription. Concerns about the drug continued however and it was withdrawn from use in Britain in 1967. 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.