Just after the Industrial Revolution, a new term entered the medical lexicon — Americanitis. The symptoms included fear, anxiety and a constant sense of striving. Remedies including shock therapy, rest cures and even a Rexall Elixir. These days, you don’t here the term much, but artist Alison Pebworth led a bike brigade through San Francisco to see if the malady is still around.
Pebworth has been working with a local mead maker and a chef to create her own antidote to Americanitis. Tonight, they’ll unveil the elixir, and they invite the public to bring fruits and herbs from their own backyards to help flavor the brew.
The Americanitis research is part of Pebworth’s larger exhibit — The Beautiful Possibility Project — a traveling show that collects lost history across the U.S. You can see it at the Southern Exposure Gallery through April 24.
Reporter Bridget Huber tagged along with Pebworth during some of her field research and brings us this report.