ANOTHER "PATENT MEDICINE ARTICLE" FROM THE PAGES OF
ANTIQUE BOTTLE AND GLASS COLLECTOR MAGAZINE
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antique bottles THE MEDICINE CHEST --- BY DR. RICHARD CANNON old bottles
I find many 19th century proprietary medicine bottle pairs scattered throughout my shelves. Those from Cyrenius Wakefield, William Sparks, Augustus Schoenheit, and Dr. Kurnitzki have been selected for presentation.
Wakefield's / Black Berry / Balsam, 5 inches tall and Wakefield's / Fever / Specific, 6 1/4 inches tall are bimal, aqua, rectangular bottles. Cyrenius Wakefield, 1815 to 1885, settled on a farm near Bloomington, Ill. in 1837. His brother, Dr. Zera Wakefield, a successful physician, moved to Bloomington in the 1840s, and they went into the drug manufacturing business in in 1847, beginning with Zera's own black berry formula. Zera died suddenly in 1848, and Cyrenius continued the business with a Mr. Thompson. In 1851, they constructed a three story building at 80 E. Washington. The following were added: a fever specific, cough syrup, liver pills, wine bitters, golden ointment, Egyptian salve and liniment, worm destroyer, magic pain cure, eye salve, and nerve and bone liniment. I know of pontiled variants for Wakefield's Fever Specific, 51/2 inches tall, and Wakefield's Cough Syrup, 45/8 inches tall, both aqua and rectangular, but not for the Black Berry Balsam. Perhaps it was bottled only with a label.
Black Berry Balsam and
Wakefield's Fever Specific.
Specific A No. 1 A Self Cure and
That Wonrous Liniment.
After Cyrenius' death, two sons, Oscar and Homer, and a grandson, Louis Eddy, kept the business going until 1969. Black Berry Balsam, their best seller, was produced all 122 years. It was for summer complaints and contained roots of black berry, rhubarb, and culvers, prickly ash bark, catechu gum, potassium carbonate, ginger, cranesbill, erigeron, sodium benzyl succinate, camphor, and alcohol, 12%.
Spark's / Kidney & Liver / Cure / Trade Mark / bust of whiskered man / Perfect Health / Camden, N.J., 91/2 inches tall, amber, oval, a Warner's type bottle is scarce and choice; a great cure Bill Agee has said. I'm also including Bill's Spark's Perfect Health / For / Kidney / And Liver / Diseases // -Table / -Dessert / -Tea, 2 inches tall, amber shot glass. The Sparks Medicine Company of Camden, N.j., was first listed in the city directory in 1886. William H. Sparks was president, and James F. Davis was secretary-treasurer. The location was 212 Federal St. The company moved to 120-124 Cooper St. in 1888, and Charles Coulter was then secretary-treasurer. In 1890, the address had become 105 Market St., and this was the last listing for the Sparks Medicine Co. A William Sparks was given in the next 5 directories as employed at the Collings Carriage Company, but I'm not sure this is the same Wm. Sparks. At any rate, the company probably did not exist for very long. The patent for Perfect Health was registered in January 31, 1888. This product also was put out in a 91/2 inch tall amber bottle with beveled sides which pictured a man and Spark's Perfect Health For Kidney & Liver Diseases, Camden, N.J. embossed. There are also 41/8 inches tall, oval amber and aqua bottles embossed Spark's / Kidney & Liver Cure / Camden, N.J.
|Spark's kidney & Liver Cure.||Dr. Kurnitzki's Aromatic Wire
Grass Tonic and Kurnitzki's Wire
Grass Liver & Kidney Medicine.
That Wondrous / Liniment / San Jose, Cal. // A. Schoenheit // State Pioneer Dispensary, and The / Specific / A No. 1 / A Self Cure / Trade Mark, both 51/4 inches tall, bimal aqua, rectangular are a nice pair. Augustus G. Schoenheit, 1827 to 1906, journeyed to California from Germany in 1853, sailing from New York and crossing the Isthmus of Panama on foot. After arriving in San Francisco, he mined for gold in Coloma, Sonora, and Big Oak Flat. After 1854, he moved to San Jose and became a clerk in a drug store. Eighteen months later, he bought the store and called it City Drug Store. Later, the name became State Pioneer Pharmacy. There was an earthquake in 1868 and several moves. The address was 72 S. First St. in 1898. Son Augustus A. Schoenheit assumed management in 1893, and sold the store to a Mr. Webb in 1907.
Spark's Perfect Health For Kidney and Liver Disease.
That Wondrous Liniment was Schoenheit's best seller and was "the result of three years' experimenting in this country and in Europe". It was "just the ticket" for backaches, headaches, rheumatism, sprains, sore throat, colds, cramps, cholera-morbus, and convulsions. The Specific A No. 1, A Self Cure, was patented on Jan. 28, 1890. Mr. Schoenheit also had a "Non-poisonous Corn Cure", sarsaparilla, cough cure, and medical lozenge "Help".
Dr. Kurnitzki's / Aromatic / Wire Grass Tonic, 91/2 inches tall, amber, square, and Kurntizki's Wire Grass / Liver & Kidney Medicine / Charleston, S.C., 61/2 inches tall, aqua, oval, both bimal, are a very interesting pair. Repeated attempts to gain information from the local public library and historical society have been used for their healing properties (dog, cough, bear, knot, grip, pepper, scurvy, star, and witch), but I find nothing about wire grass. Maybe Dr. Kurnitzki learned how to tenderize it. Anyone know about these old medicines?
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