The Peconic Bay Shopper - Preserving Local History


My father was a Veterinary Surgeon-Josiah C. Case, D.V.S. and called "Dear Doctor Joe", a tribute that I cherish. This story about one of his cases is strange, but true. In those long-ago days around 1900 he had the first automobile in Peconic, and that was about the time of the first telephones in the area, too. One day Mamma answered a frantic phone call from George Leslie who lived on Indian Neck Lane. "Mis' Joe, m'cow's awful sick. Tell Doc to come quick!" Well, Papa had gone to Southold and she didn't know how to get hold of him, so she told George he might be at Williams' store or maybe Mr. Hubell's, the barber. George harnessed up his horse to the buggy and drove to Southold – a matter of about three miles, and there was Papa's little red Ford sitting outside the barber shop. George pulled up the lathered, heaving horse and rushed in. "Doctor Joe, come quick! M'cow's dyin'!" So Papa dashed off, probably at the speed of eight miles an hour which was the legal limit, while George followed slowly with the winded horse. The cow was standing in the field by the barn, lashing her tail and stamping her hooves, her sides swollen out as big as a hogshead, with saliva dripping from her mouth and bawling piteously. Papa knew that she was not about to have a calf and he also knew just what to do. A cow, you know, has four stomachs for her various stages of digestion and production of milk. How he could pick the right spot among her ribs and stomachs I don't see, but he sterilized the area with carbolic acid solution (a popular antiseptic of the time);took from his medical kit an iron tube with a sharp nose which he held against her side, and with a mallet, Bang!, drove it right into her. Immediately the gas started out with a great whoosh and an awful smell. The cylinder wiggled with the force of it. Papa stepped back to get to windward and watched her sides go down, collapsing like a pricked balloon. By the time George got back home with the tired horse the cow was peacefully eating grass again. In addition to his Veterinary practice Papa concocted and manufactured a soothing ointment. He first intended it for his patients, the horses, but on trying it out on the family found that its healing properties were so good that he advertised and built up an extensive trade. He advertised by offering a free collection of his recipes (from soups to desserts!) to anyone requesting a sample of his Zincuta ointment (2oz. box post paid 25¢).


The Zincuta ointment was brought back to life by Herbalist Donna Penney circa 2009. To the right is one of her advertisements that appeared in the Pecoinic Bay Shopper at that time. The production rights were sold and Zincuta is still being produced today. It can be purchased at

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