Emerson Bromo-Seltzer Tower


Bromo-Seltzer (acetaminophen, sodium bicarbonate, and citric acid), is an antacid used to relieve pain occurring together with heartburn, upset stomach, or acid indigestion. Originally produced by inventor Isaac E. Emerson's, Emerson Drug Company, Bromo-Seltzer is sold in the United States in the form of effervescent granules which must be mixed with water before ingestion.

In the days of classic radio, it was known for its slogan which was repeated rhythmically in imitation of a railroad steam engine: "BRO-mo-Selt-zer, BRO-mo-Selt-zer, ..." There is also a clock tower in Baltimore, Maryland, known as the Bromo-Seltzer Tower, and has the name written on the face of the clock. It is based on the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The product took its name from a component of the original formula, sodium bromide; it contained 3.2 mEq/teaspoon of this active ingredient. Bromides are a class of tranquilizers that were withdrawn from the American market in 1975 due to their toxicity. Their sedative effect probably accounted for Bromo-Seltzer's popularity as a hangover remedy.

In Popular Culture

In "Never Give a Sucker an Even Break" (1941) W.C. Fields is suffering from a hangover and a stewardess asks him "Should I get you a Bromo?", to which he answers "No, I couldn't stand the noise!"

In the 1950's, the Emerson Drug Company devoted their talents into creating a tablet that dissolved in water to create a soft drink. The product was marketed as Fizzies.

In the Rodgers and Hart song "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" from their 1940 musical Pal Joey, "Bromo-Seltzer" is mentioned in the opening verse: "After one whole quart of brandy/Like a daisy I awake/With no Bromo-Seltzer handy,/I don't even shake..."

In the Coen brother's film The Hudsucker Proxy the two cab drivers, acting as chorus, in the diner scene order "bromo" for indigestion caused by eating the diner's "Special".

In the Broadway musical Hairspray, "bromo" is mentioned in the song "Without Love". The main character, Tracy Turnblad, along with the ensemble, sings: "...without love Life is like my dad without his bromo..."

In the Dick Tracy comic strip from October 30, 1978, the character Vitamin Flintheart is drinking a glass of "bromo".

In "A Streetcar Named Desire", a play by Tennessee Williams, the character Blanche DuBois rubs her forehead and says, "Sometime today I've got to get hold of a bromo!"

In the 1942 Loony Toons short "Crazy Cruise" we travel to The Swiss Alps to find three St. Bernards. The first carries a barrel of 'Scotch', the second 'Soda' and the puppy carries 'Bromo'.

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