Many patent medicines claimed to treat “nervous disorders.” A nervous person, according to one trade card for Carter’s Little Nerve Pills,
“ …is in the least degree nervous; who is easily irritated or disturbed through the day, or who cannot sleep at night; for those whose hands tremble and whose nerves are unsteady, for mothers whose children worry them, and fathers whose business worries them and for all who, from any cause, do not sleep well and fail to get proper strength from their food”
The front of this particular card, seen at the right, shows two women in a field, with a younger woman standing in front of an older one, asking her what is wrong – it is just a cow! If only she were to take Carter’s Little Nerve Pills, she would be much more relaxed. Another Carter’s trade card, seen at lower right, shows two children blowing horns and playing drums with a third telling them “Mamma says stop that noise it makes her nervous” (1000.206.020), with the commentary that while children will always be noisy, those who take Carter’s pills will have no need to be nervous.