Law & Order
Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co.
One of the most significant cases in English law arose in 1891, the case which established an important precedent in contract law: Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co.
1891 saw an epidemic of influenza which affected all parts of the British Isles. The Carbolic Smoke Ball Company offered:
In an attempt to avoid catching the illness, Ms Carlill bought a Carbolic Smoke Ball as advertised in the Pall Mall Gazette, used it according to instructions and promptly caught influenza. It resulted in long court proceedings before she got her reward and her actions resulted in substantial changes as to what constituted the terms of a contract. Advertisements would never be the same again!
This advertisement for Carbolic Smoke Balls taken from the London Illustrated News of 1891 does not offer any such reward:
¦ Index ¦ Home ¦ Community and Civic Life ¦ Culture and Entertainment ¦ Education ¦ Health Care ¦
¦ Home Life ¦ Law and Order ¦ Social Conditions ¦ Transport ¦ Work ¦
¦ Background ¦ Partners ¦ Sources & Credits ¦ 1891 Timeline ¦ 2002 Timeline ¦