ANOTHER "PATENT MEDICINE ARTICLE" FROM THE PAGES OF
ANTIQUE BOTTLE AND GLASS COLLECTOR MAGAZINE
THE MAGAZINE OF THE ANTIQUE BOTTLE COLLECTING HOBBY
Cover of Guide to the A.M.A. Historical Health
Fraud and Alternative Medicine Collection.
Trade-mark, National Kidney & Liver Cure.
Letters to libraries and historical societiesbring a response in perhaps 75% of the attempts. Once I waited 2years for a reply. It helps to offer payment for the expenses andto enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Some librarieshave requested that I have my local library write them for theinformation, but the only time I tried this, there was still noresponse. The library involved was in Chicago. Smallercommunities generally answer inquiries more enthusiastically thanthe larger cities, though San Francisco has always responded, ashas Philadelphia. The St. Louis and Charleston, S.C. librarieshave referred me to professional researchers, and I used one inSt. Louis with adequate results, however, this can becomeexpensive. A library address can be obtained from your locallibrary.
It's been my good fortune to have knowledgeablecollector friends like Bill Agee, Sam Greer, Dan Cowman, JohnWolf, Tim Wolter, Charlie Barnette, and Tom Eccles to turn to foranswers. Dan Cowman has a large collection of advertisingmaterials and a number of books that most of us do not have. I'malways thankful for friends.
Articles from bottle magazines are veryhelpful, but I suggest keeping a list as significant ones appear,because most do not publish indexes.
National Kidney &Liver Cure.
Bottle and related books are a very importantsource. Here is a list of those available to me: Adams, SamuelH., 1905, The Great American Fraud; Agee, Bill, 1969, CollectingThe Cures, and 1973, Collecting All Cures; American MedicalAssoc., 1912, Nostrums and Quackery; Baldwin, Joseph, 1873,Patent and Proprietary Medicine Bottles of the NineteenthCentury; Blasi, 1974, A Bit About Balsams; Calhoun, Mary, 1976,Medicine Show; Carson, Gerald, 1961, One for a Man, Two for aHorse; DeGrafft, John, 1980, American Sarsaparilla Bottles;Denver, Kay, 1968, Patent Medicine Picture, and 1970, At the Signof the Mortar; Feldaus, Ron, 1978, The Bottles, Brewerianna andAdvertising Jugs of Minnesota, 1850-1920, Vol. 2: Whiskey,Druggist, Medicine; Fike, Richard, 1978, The Bottle Book;Fletcher, Johnnie, 1991, Oklahoma Drug Store Bottles;Griffenhagen, Geo., 1969, Private Die Proprietary MedicineStamps; Harmer Rooke Galleries, 1988, The Samuel GreerCollection; Holcombe, Henry, 1979, Patent Medicine Tax Stamps;Kendrick, Grace, 1971, The Antique Bottle Collector; Mc Namara,Brooks, 1976, Step Right Up; Munsey, Cecil, 1970, The IllustratedGuide to Collecting Bottles; Neilsen, Frederick, 1978, GreatAmerican Pontiled Medicines; Odell, John, 1977, Indian Bottlesand Brands; Oleson, Charles, 1894, Secret Nostrums and System ofMedicine; Ring, Carlyn, 1980, For Bitters Only; Russell, Mike,1988, Civil War Period Bottles and Jars; Seeliger, Michael, 1974,H.H. Warner, His Company and His Bottles; Shimko, Phyllis, 1969,Sarsaparilla Bottle Encyclopedia; Watson, Richard, 1965, BittersBottles, and 1968, Supplement to Bitters Bottles; Wilson, Billand Betty, 1971, 9th Century Medicine in Glass; Wolf,John, 1975, Collecting More Cures; Young, James, 1962, TheToadstool Millionaires, and 1967, the Medical Messiahs.
Two books that were published in 1991 deserve abrief review: Hafner and Associates, Guide to the AmericanMedical Assoc. Historical Health Fraud and Alternative MedicineCollection, lists the contents of a very extensive file. One mustidentify form the listings the information desired, and write orvisit there to view or copy the actual material; there's acopying charge. I've used this source once to obtain informationnot available elsewhere; Mc Guire, Eric, Bottle Products and theU.S. Patent Office, has indexed information that has not beenreadily available, a total of 13,777 19th centuryregistrations on 22 microfiche sheets. I'm finding this to be avery helpful resource. For example, my 9 inches tall, square,amber bottle is embossed only National / Kidney & Liver /Cure. No city of origin is given. How does one seek moreinformation? Mc Guire illustrates the label and tells us thatJoseph W. Bowles, of Normal, Illinois, first put out the nostrumon January 1, 1891, and registered the trademark on October 27,1891. Now I can write the public library or historical society ofNormal, and I can also know that the Walton and Co. ofPhiladelphia, who manufactured the ear of corn National Bitters,did not give us National Kidney and Liver Cure.
Catalogs from auctions and other sales are agood source for checking prices and examples of bottles andvariants. Glass Works puts out very good information, as do manyof the others.
And don't forget what a valuable resource yourlocal club can be. Most have an annual show and sale, and thereshould be other shows close enough to occasionally attend.
Much remains to be learned about our greathobby. One person told me that collecting old bottles hasstimulated his interest in history after formal education failedto do so. That's sort of the way it's been for me. Goodresearching!
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