Wednesday, April 22, 2015

page 93 -- W.H. Comstock, Sleepy Tom, A.W. Coates & Co., J.W. Skelly, Chief, Dalley's Magical Pain Extractor, Lydia E. Pinkham

Updated 20 January 2017
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This print is very similar to a Currier & Ives print in the Springfield Museums collection
"The Pacing Wonder SLEEPY TOM--the Blind Horse
Record 2:12 1/4
"
The site for Scenic Sugarcreek Ohio has a biography of Sleepy Tom, from which this exerpt is taken:


From the card, one might conclude the horse had worms. Evidently, it was the jockey!
From Google News comes this ad disguised as an article from the Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald, 18 Nov 1897. No need to read the fine print. The headlines make the point.


Here's a brief biographical excerpt from Wikipedia for William Henry Comstock:
"Born in BataviaNew York, Comstock was educated in Flushing, New York, and on leaving school started work as a clerk. He started his business in 1854, William H. Comstock Company, Ltd., which sold patent medicine including Dr. Morse's Indian Root Pills, Dead Shot Pellets and McKenzus Dead Shot Worm Candy..." 

Additional links for Comstock's products are on p.116 of the Earl J. Arnold Advertising Card Collection.

For those of you searching for an extensive collection of patent medicine trade cards:

http://cats.medizin.se/#!album-2
The companies are listed in alphabetical order. Scroll down using the above resource and you will find additional cards for Comstock's concoctions:





From the Business Filing Portal of the Ohio Secretary of State:

For additional information on A.W. Coates & Co., and its founder, see Sam Moore's article, "Stark County was a Hotbed of Manufacturing" in Farm & Dairy. A search of the Alliance Index (Rodman Public Library) for the term "coates" suggests the Alliance Weekly Review would be another resource for searching A.W. Coates history.


Connecticut State Library  "...a view of the corner of Main Street and North Main Street prior to the construction of the Gridley House...in the early 1880s.
J.W. Skelly plumbing company is the business occupying the corner.
"
Wade G. Burck notes that J.W. Skelly owned a long-haired Oregon Pony, a breed with very distinctive features:

Also from Wade G. Burck's  post on The Circus: No Spin Zone site, a short biography of "Chief" is presented:






Manufactured by Henry Dalley, Sr. from 1839-1852, Cornelius V. Clickener Co. from 1852-1860, and
by Henry Dalley, Jr. 1865-
Cornelius V. Clickener was the first Mayor of Hoboken NJ.


According to Wikipedia, "Lydia Estes Pinkham (February 9, 1819 – May 17, 1883) was an iconic concocter and shrewd marketer of a commercially successful herbal-alcoholic "women's tonic" meant to relieve menstrual and menopausal pains."

The Wikipedia article also lists the ingredients for Lydia's original formula and notes that products with derivational formulas are on the market today. According to page 197 of Street, John Phillips. The Composition of Certain Patent And Proprietary Medicines. Chicago: American Medical Association, 1917, the composition of Pinkham's Vegetable Compound as of that time was:



YouTube presents the Shananagins' version of the Ballad of Lydia Pinkham. Their video displays many of the original ads for her tonic. This ballad was referenced in the dedication ceremony for the Lydia Pinkham residence. Here are the remarks made on that occasion by David Solimine, Sr.:

Posted to YouTube by Seth Albaum

Upper & Lower images are of a card added to the Arnold Collection in October 2016.


As part of a video discussion on "patent medicine," Lydia Pinkham's products are discussed at about the 3 minute mark:

Credit: Karen Hamilton, George Brown College

From 2008-2013, Professor Hamilton authored a blog that will interest many following the Arnold Collection, "What it Says - What it Means." One of her areas of specialization is the psychology of consumer behavior.

Unfortunately, aside from the amusing song, there is a much more serious side to this story. Within her family, Pinkham's potions proved impotent. Here's what became of her family as related in this reference retrieved by Google Books:




This is an excerpt from a chapter of the above reference (Goods for Sale:...) titled "Lydia E. Pinkham and the City of Lynn" [MA]. I heartily recommend this as great reading for those fascinated by the story of the Pinkham family.

Recently added to the Arnold Collection we have the Pinkham card below. It gave an exact address for the business. The location apparently has been occupied since 1946 by a gas/service station complex. There is no historical marker. (Hint to Lynn MA.)



According to the card above, 233-235 Market St., Lynn MA (Google Street View)
was where Pinkham's products were produced.
The Pinkham residence is now on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark:

photo from Wikipedia
We are fortunate to have a YouTube recording of the National Park Service dedication of this historic residence.






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