L’ACQUA DI HUNYADI JÁNOS ED IL SUO USO TERAPEUTICO. Una serie di 12 Studi pubblicati nell’ Italia Termale. dal. Prof. Dr. Schivardi Plinio, Medico-Direttore dei Bagni di Recoaro. [n.p.]
1890. 8vo, pp. 48; with additional loosely inserted pp. 4 pamphlet; with steel engraved image of the hydropathic establishment on final page; title page and final verso somewhat browned, with further light browning throughout due to paper quality; advertisement on rear inside cover; in the original green decorative wrappers, front wrapper with discrete tape and paper repairs visible on inside cover, rear joint with 4cm split at tail, covers a little browned; preserved within protective dust-jacket; a good copy. Scarce brochure promoting the various uses of the health drink ‘Hunyadi János’, a ‘bittersalzquelle’ tonic derived from a spring of bitter waters found in Budapest, Hungary. The spring been discovered by Andreas Saxlehner in 1862, and which he named the ‘Hunyadi Spring’. He was given permission by the Municipal Council of Buda to bottle and sell the waters, creating the trading name of ‘Hunyadi János’ (after the renown 15th century General and Hungarian Governor). Other competitors soon began selling similar products, however, adopting the epithet ‘Hunyadi’, and which quickly became a generic term applied to bitter waters. Though Saxlehner died in 1889, his wife retained the business, and in 1895 the Hungarian courts granted him exclusive use of the word. The tonic was sold world-wide, and indeed in 1900 the firm brought a case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1900, seeking compensation for a trade infringement against the wholesale importer Eisner & Mendelson Co.
The present short treatise is the work of Plinio Schivardi (1833-1908), at the time the Medical Director of the Recoaro Thermal Spa in the Italian province of Vincenza. A pupil of Duchenne, Plinio is best known for having brought to Italy his knowledge of electrotherapy, collecting these experiences in his 1872 work Manuale teorico pratico di elettroterapia. Divided into twelve short chapters, Plinio discusses in turn the benefits of natural purgative water over those from pharmacies; the particular benefits of ‘Acqua di Hunyadi János’; provides general instructions on its appropriate use; the particular benefits for those suffering from constipation, obesity, for those with liver complaints, for tropical diseases, those suffering from nervous and mental complaints, and on use by women and children. Published only a year after Saxlehner’s death, and in the light of competition from other rivals, the work was no doubt an attempt to cement the tonic’s priority over those of other tonics.
A small additional four page pamphlet is loosely inserted by Dr. Riccardo Curti, on Liver Diseases and Mineral Waters, and which had first appeared in ‘Italia Termale’ on March 16th 1890.
Bibliography: Not on OCLC, though a small number of copies located on ICCU.