I was curious about the sign showing 666 Cough Syrup in this Batavia/New Chambers Street photo
shorpy had a picture with 666, here are some comments
Roberts Remedies No. 666
I stumbled upon your website while researching a bottle that I found recently. It is an old bottle with a cork stopper and the label (mostly intact) for Roberts Remedies No. 666 from the Monticello Drug Co. It sold for 50 cents. I found the "General Directions" interesting:
One teaspoonful in water every three hours until it acts well, then three times a day. As cure for Malaria, One Tablespoonful in water every three hours for three days, then three times a day for eight weeks. CHILDREN IN PROPORTION TO AGE.
You may scoff at the name, but 666 cough syrup is still hugely popular in the black community. A lot of white people have no idea what it is. The first time someone asked for it at the drug store I work for, I had no clue
Uh, it was actually, uh, probably around the early 1900s, and, uh, one of the founders of the company, apparently they used to write a number of prescriptions at that time, for quinine in Florida for malaria and things, and it was a prescription number, that's all.