Wednesday, April 15, 2015

page 107 -- Parker's Hair Balsam, Dr. Seth Arnold's Balsam, Johnson, Clark & Co., Carter Medicine Co., Dr. Morse's Indian Root Pills, Johnston's Fluid Beef, Hunt's Remedy

updated 15 January 2016
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Hiscox & Co. 163 William St. NYC, manufacturer, 1875
What you need is a little lead in your hair! According to page 185 of Street, John Phillips. The Composition of Certain Patent And Proprietary Medicines. Chicago: American Medical Association, 1917, the composition of Parker's Hair Balsam at that time was:



Off we go "into the weeds" (details, that is) of conducting business in the 1880's! During this era, the federal government passed excise tax laws to finance the Civil and Spanish American wars. Patent medicine manufacturers, among others, affixed stamps, some of them issued by the government, others their own private label, to their goods to indicate taxes had been paid.

From the Boston Philatelic Society and Google Books comes this description of the revenue stamp used by Hiscox & Co. for its products.




Wickipedia's extensive discussion of US revenue stamps leads us to these excellent images of the Hiscox revenue stamps which were found via rdhinstl's Page, particularly http://www.rdhinstl.com/mm/cwrslist.htm which is an excellent reference for those curious about this aspect of doing business.





The Little Rhody Bottle Club provides a start-to-finish history of the Seth Arnold Company.

Dr. Seth Arnold is not related to my grandfather, Earl J. Arnold, after whom this card collection is named. Earl J. Arnold's father was Robert Earle Arnold, who, as Commander of the 1st Connecticut Volunteers Cavalry had the honor of driving President Abraham Lincoln's carriage. It was Robert Earle Arnold's final years of suffering and eventual death (1885) that led his widow Emma Jane to give this scrapbook to her children as a solace and distraction from hardship while she did what was necessary to raise her children on her own.

also of 826 Broadway, NYC
Johnson, Clark & Co. won a silver medal at the Twelfth Exhibition of the Charitable Mechanic Association in Boston, Sept/Oct 1874. This feat was recorded as below in the Association's account of the Exhibition as digitized by Google Books:




see page 128 of the Earl J. Arnold Advertising Card Collection
for information on the Carter Medicine Company
and its founder, Dr. John Samuel Carter




Dr. Morse's solutions to various health problems are discussed on
page 177 of the Earl J. Arnold Advertising Card Collection
Meanwhile, according to page 164 of Street, John Phillips. The Composition of Certain Patent And Proprietary Medicines. Chicago: American Medical Association, 1917, the composition of Dr. Morse's Indian Root Pills was:



Bovril is the brand name associated with this product in 2015.See Wikipedia for further information.

Nobody knows what was in this stuff!
(well, except for the manufacturer, William E. Clarke, one would hope...)
Daniel Piazza's March 2013 commentary on Hunt's cure-all product for the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum reveals that the image on the trade card above was used not only by William E. Clarke as a revenue stamp, but also by the United States Postal Service in 1998 for a colorful thirty-two cent stamp commemorating the passage of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act. The Act put an end to cure-all claims such as Hunt's had been making and required that ingredients be on the labels of such medications.

From the Smithsonian:




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