Lydia Pinkham, the first woman to user her image to sell merchandise

“You ought to feel solemn… that your face pervades the mind of the nation like a nightmare,” wrote one early hater.

“Some confused newspapers began using Mrs. Pinkham’s face to stand in for other famous women, including Susan B. Anthony and a few presidents’ wives.”

And then, as you could imagine, her bold public stance brought in a tide of haters. If you’ve ever seen flame wars on the Internet, you know what you’re in for with this article.

(If Pinkham and her vegetable compound reminds you of “Lily the Pink”, that’s where the song originally came from–it’s an update of an older folk song called “The Ballad of Lydia Pinkham.” In the original, the lyrics “most efficacious in every case” were “and now all papers print her face.”)