One of the historical blights on the soda fountain was the cure all patent medicines that were hocked for every know illness. Some were marketed as health supplements, while others were cures for specific ailments. The one common thread they all shared was their spurious health claims. This didn't go unnoticed and many publications from the period made barbed statements about the nature of the practice.
Some of the illustrations are still relevant today, especially "The Endless Search" with the ghost of Ponce de Leon standing over the shoulder of a old man who is reaching for a tonic saying: "They laugh at me, but they still keep it up!".