300 Tichenor

An ad for Dr. Tichenor's antseptic

Historic New Orleans Collection

Dr. Tichenor’s antiseptic has been used for everything from mosquito bites to “Colic, botts & footevil in horses and mules” as advertised at the turn of the 19th century. It was also used by Dr. George Tichenor, a Confederate Army surgeon, to save his own leg, during the Civil War. After the war, Tichenor practiced medicine in Baton Rouge and filed a patent for antiseptic that was registered in 1882. In 1905, Tichenor founded the Dr. G.H. Tichenor Antiseptic Company in New Orleans where he began manufacturing his formula, which was, and still is 70% alcohol. Peppermint oil has been added to the original formula, which is now used in a mouthwash as well as a topical antiseptic. A toothpaste has been manufactured in New London, Conn., since 1985.

More than 500 million bottles of Dr. Tichenor have been sold since its creation, which for years was pitched by “Cajun Pete,” who promoted Dr. Tichenor: "Jus' wrench yo' mouth wif Tichenor's, you'll have the happiest feet in town."

Dr. Tichenor, though, isn’t just a local product. Chicago was its largest market after a 1970s ad campaign featuring pro football player Gale Sayers. The current ad campaign features the slogan, “Not for the Faint of Tongue. Gargle. Wince. Repeat,” for the concentrated mouthwash that is to be diluted with five parts of water.