Saturday, 12 October 2013

The Alchemical Properties of the Black Prince Cicada

''Trevor Dallen's comments about fly cages and tormented cicadas have brought back a few childhood memories,'' recalls Gerry Fletcher, of Tamworth. ''As a boy, every summer I would search for a Black Prince cicada, as the rumour at the time was that if you found one you could sell it to the local chemist for two shillings - a fortune in those days when Cobbers were four for a penny. Apparently, the chemist used the cicada in the making of some form of medicine."

Source: Sydney Morning Herald, 8 August 2013

"When I first started my pharmacy apprenticeship in the early '50,'' recalls Alice Sternhell, of Naremburn (big bucks from bugs, Column 8, last week), ''we were regularly pestered by children offering to sell us cicadas. My boss always told them that we had enough for now, but that Mr Spora, the chemist down the road, still needed some. So the myth lived on.''