BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE – When songwriter Frank Loesser composed that duet in 1944, the cause of the common cold had not yet been identified. Although the word “colds” came into use as early as the 16th century (Dromio said of Antipholus in Shakespeare’s 1594 “The Comedy of Errors” – “Let him walk from where he came, lest he catch cold on ‘is feet”), the cause of the world’s most prevalent infectious disease became known only in the 1950s.
And it was in 1966 that Richardson-Vicks first marketed NyQuil, a medication intended for the relief of symptoms of the common cold. According to urban legend, the name is a portmanteau of ‘nighttime tranquility.’ Pharmacist Lumsford Richardson took over the drugstore of his brother-in-law Dr. Joshua Vick in 1890, and soon compounded a salve to remedy pneumonia that was soon to be re-named the now familiar VapoRub. Proctor & Gamble bought the company in 1985.
NyQuil contains acetaminophen, noted in some medical studies to be liver damage inducing when taken too frequently, and is apparently a “favored” method of suicide.
Will there ever be a cure for the common cold? Chill, baby.