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antiquebottles THEMEDICINE CHEST --- BY DR. RICHARD CANNON

antique LIFE GIVING ELIXIRS AND TINCTURES bottles

Elixirs arealcohol and water solutions of medicinal substances sweetened andflavored to mask disagreeable odors and tastes of thingsdissolved in them. They usually contain about 22% alcohol.Tincturesare alcohol or alcohol and water extracts of vegetabledrugs, and may contain 10 to 20% of the drug. I want to presenttwo elixirs and two tinctures. One is embossed Blood Elixir, oneElixir of Life, on Tincture of Life and one Tinct. V. Viride, aplant alkaloid that is helpful for hypertension and toxemia ofpregnancy.

Norwood's Tinct V.Viride.

Leonardi's Blood Elixir / The Great BloodPurifier / S.B. Leonardi & Co. / New York & Tampa, Fla.is embossed on an amber, bimal, rectangular bottle 8 1/4 inchestall. There is an old saying, "The life of the body isthe blood". Nineteenth century proprietary medicineadvertising leads us to believe that almost all diseasesoriginated from an impure blood, from cancer to coughs,rheumatism to rashes, and weakness to wakefulness. Today, westill agree that a proper supply of normal blood is vital to goodhealth.

Leonard'sBlood Elixir The Great Blood Purifier.

Sydney B. Leonardi, 1862-1942, was born inTampa, Fla., where he attended a pharma cuticle school. Hepatented Dr. Reno's New Health or Women's Salvation in December1894, in Tampa. His obituary indicates that he established hisbusiness in Tampa in 1896, moved to New York City in 1914, andthen to New Rochelle, NY. in 1921. He exported 50% of hisproducts to Latin American countries after 1921.

Other embossed Leonardi bottles known to meare: Reno's / New Health / Uterine Tonic / picture of woman /Prepared / Only By / S.B. Leonardi / & Co. / New York, N.Y.,aqua, square, 7 5/8 inches tall; Leonardi's // Golden Eye Lotion/ Cures Without Pain // Tampa, Fla., aqua and light green,rectangular, 5 1/4 inches tall; Leonardi's Lightening / CoughCure / Tampa, Fla., clear, rectangular, 6 3/8 inches tall. Ibelieve that these are all bimal, which indicates that bimal bottleswere used well into this century, or that Leonardi had ties withNew York well before he moved S.B. Leonardi Inc., there. Theobituary indicated that Sydney was president of the company andthat he was survived by his wife Alla Buff Leonardi, a son SidneyB. Leonardi and two daughters, Margurite Leonardi and Mrs. HowardM. Miller. I do not know if the company continued after 1942.

Ebenezer A. Pearl'sTincture of Life.

Pat'd, 1884 / Dr. Petzold's / Genuine / German/ Bitters / Incpt. 1862 / The / Great Elixir / Of Life, 19horizontal ribs, amber, oval 6 7/8 inches tall. This variant israre writes Carlyn Ring in for Bitters Only. Other Petzoldvariants are more plentiful; one 7 7/8 inches tall and fourothers 10 1/8 to 10 3/4 inches tall; none with The Great ElixirOf Life embossed. There is also handled one gallon gray potteryjug with Dr. Petzold Genuine German Bitters / L. Petzold &Co. Proprietors, Baltimore, 2 different dose goblets, a shotglass, and a letter head for this product.

Louis Petzold, a native of Germany, started hisbusiness in 1862. The Company was listed in the Baltimore CityDirectories as wine shippers in 1870, wine shippers andmanufacturer of bitters in 1884, and as druggists in 1885. By1882, son Wm. R. Petzold was a member of the firm. The office andwarerooms were in a four story building located at No. 140 WestLombard St., and the distillery at Nos. 9 and 11 Dover St. Therather unique design of the bitters bottles was patented Feb. 15,1887.

Ebenezer A. Pearl's / Tincture of Life if aqua,rectangular, and 7 3/4 inches tall. I have been told that thelabel includes a picture of flowers and that the origin isOriskany Falls, NY. Attempts to gather more information from thepublic library and historical society there have not beenfruitful. The product was advertised for coughs, colds, sorethroats, etc. in the Boonville Herald (NY) February 16, 1888.

Norwood's / Tinct. V. Viride, clear, oval, and5 3/5 inches tall in an older product with a pontiled variant, 51/4 inches tall. It was advertised in the Freeman Journal,Cooperstown, NY, on April 10, 1863. Extractive preparations ofVeratrum are as old as the history of medicine. They werementioned several times in the writings of Hypocrites. The activeprinciples are alkaloids. They were used particularly to treattoxemia of pregnancy and elevated blood pressure. Research in theearly 1950s proved that the pure alkaloids are truly potent anduseful hypotensive agents. Today, however, they have beenreplaced with better drugs.

An earlier label gives the signature of WesleyC.


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