These whimsical images come from the mind of Louis Crusius, a physician and artist who was born in Wisconsin and later moved to St. Louis, Missouri.  The Antikamnia Chemical Company used Crusius’ images in a series of calendars they published from 1897-1901, which they sent to physicians who could prove their medical standing.

The company, whose name means “opposed to pain,” was known for manufacturing a patent medicine called Antikamnia tablets.  Like most patent medicines of the time, the ingredients in the tablets could have ill effects - the tablets contained acetanilide, which could cause cyanosis (a condition in which the skin becomes blue due to insufficient oxygen).

These images are strange and amusing, but are also an unfortunate product of the time period.  Both the September-October and November-December pages play on racial stereotypes, namely of Irish immigrants and African Americans.