The emulsion, which had a strong fishy smell owing to its high cod liver oil content, was invented by Edward Lane, a chemist from Oamaru, in 1898, and was later manufactured in the town's Harbour Street (now part of the Oamaru Historic Precinct) in a building which still bears the product's slogan "It's famous because it's good". The original recipe contained cod liver oil, beechwood creosote, mineral lime, soda, brandy, vitamins, fresh egg yolk and some secret ingredients.
Sold in clear glass bottles, the thick cream-coloured liquid was fed to generations of New Zealand children and was also sold overseas. Originally claiming to be "a reliable remedy for pulmonary ailments", the product was still in production until the early 1980s. Oamaru company Crombie and Price, which bought Lane's Medicine in 1971, still holds the rights and recipe to the product.
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