In addition to the social media that most of us are familiar with, there is another genre that I was marginally familiar with, but had not paid it much attention. It is the whole group of social media sites devoted to “pinning” images into, what amounts to, a virtual scrapbook. Chief among these so-called pinning sites is Pinterest.
Periodically, I search for images of Warner’s Safe Cure bottles and ephemera to use on this blog. As a rule, I try to ask permission of the person who owns the image, before using it. I find that most folks, including auction sites, are willing to allow me to use the images provided I give them credit. However, I started to see a trend of many of my Warner’s pictures, or those I had obtained permission to use, showing up on sites without any accreditation or permission.
One of the really nice things about collecting Warner’s Safe Cures is that there is an almost unlimited supply of images, both of the bottles and of the advertising that help build the Safe Cure empire. My objective has always been for my blog to provide not only Warner’s Safe history, but also access to images. With that in mind, I have created my own Pinterest board devoted to Warner’s Safe Cure images. I am happy to share those images with interested collectors and would only ask for credit if they are reposted or reblogged. I also welcome any contributions of Safe Cure images to add to the board. It will take a while to add all of my Safe Cure images to the board, but I hope you will check back regularly.
The address for my Pinterest board is: http://www.pinterest.com/jackson4060/warners-safe-cure-blog-in-photographs/.
This advertisement ran in the March 15, 1895 edition of The Hamilton Journal. In my research of newspaper advertising run by the Warner’s Safe Remedies Company and its successors, I have found that Warner often ran the same ads in different newspapers, probably to save on the costs associated with creating new ads; however, this ad in 1895 would have been after Warner left the company in 1893. It strikes the same tone and themes concerning kidney disease.
Perhaps the more interesting thing is the title “Puric Acid in the Blood.” I am not sure if this was a typo by the newspaper or just ignorance. To my limited medical knowledge, there is no such thing as puric acid. There is, of course, uric acid, which is a byproduct of the metabolic breakdown of “purines” and at high enough levels can lead to the development of gout, which is also mentioned in the ad. Perhaps that is where the confusion arose. Never fear….Safe Cure to the rescue!
Warner’s Safe Cures come and go on eBay. On any given day, there are dozens of them available for bid. Most of them are the ubiquitous Kidney & Liver Cure. But, every once in a while, a gem surfaces that catches everyone’s attention. Recently, one such gem emerged in the form of a Pressburg Diabetes Cure.
The Pressburg Diabetes Cure is, perhaps, the rarest Warner’s cure from the shortest existing foreign office in the Safe Cure empire. It is included in my “A List” of rare Warner’s Safe Cures and, prior to this sale, only one other was known to exist. The Pressburg Office existed for only two years from 1888 to 1890. When I wrote about the Pressburg Office back in July, 2008, I knew of only one example of the Pressburg Diabetes Cure. A labelled example, which was pictured. It now appears there are two.
The latest example was unlabelled and was listed by a seller from Poland. By the time the auction was over, the sale price had risen to an astounding $8735 driven by 49 bidders. I have to say that the final price suprised me. I knew the bottle would garner a nice price, but I had not envisioned a sales price approaching $9K. While I would love to say that it will be gracing my Warner’s collection, alas it is not so. As I have said many times, rare Warner’s Safe Cures do show up on eBay and other auction sites, but, unless you are watching, they too may come and go. One thing is for certain, they generate lots of excitement among collectors.
The photographs accompanying this post are courtesy of the seller.
For all of the Warner’s Safe Cure advertising I have seen over the years, I don’t recall seeing many examples of it in place. Given the volume of Safe Cure advertising, that’s pretty astonishing. Recently, however, I saw an example of a tintype on sale on eBay of the front of a meat market purportedly in New York. Sure enough, to the right of the market is a wooden fence plastered with Warner’s Safe Kidney & Liver Cure bills in various states of disrepair. The largest one appears to be a copy of the cardboard caddy in which the product was sold. It’s a guess, but I would say the photo dates to the 1890’s. Behold:
Some skillful enlargement of the photograph reveals both the detail of the Safe Cure bills and of the meat market’s sign. Special thanks to Brian Douglas for allowing me to use his photos, which, by the way, are still available for purchase on eBay : http://www.ebay.com/itm/321031652589?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2648
Every family’s got one, the person who is impossible to buy a gift for. You spend weeks before Christmas searching for just the right thing, but nothing seems to fit the bill. What’s worse, the person won’t give you any hints or suggestions of something they need or like. Consequently, you are left to roll the dice on a gift that will either be a hit or a complete dud. For some lucky folks 120 years ago, the answer was easy. Pickup a couple bottles of Warner’s Safe Cure for that hard to please relative.
Warmest wishes for the holidays and for a prosperous 2012!
Warner's Safe Nervine Banner
Over the years, I have seen plenty of examples of Warner’s Safe advertising. Most of it was designed to instill brand loyalty and to help the 19th Century consumer associate the safety and security of an iron safe with the protection of a line of patent medicines. Apparently, retailers of Warner’s Safe Remedies were encouraged to extend the branding into their establishments. Presumably, this extension took the form of display advertising not unlike the displays that manufacturers use today to attract customers. Perhaps one of the best examples of this type of display advertising was the canvas banner. These banners heralded the product, along with a concise statement of its benefits. One such example is the above banner of Warner’s Safe Nervine, Safe Pills and Safe Kidney & Liver Cure.
We don’t know much about this particular sign, except that it may have come from Northeastern Massachusetts, where it was auctioned. The very bottom of the sign bears the words “Murphy, Pine St., Jersey City.” We must assume that Murphy was the producer of the sign, but that does not help much. Special thanks to Tom at Walnutt Antiques for use of his pictures. If you can shed any light on the unique piece of advertising or on “Murphy,” please let me know.
I am always on the lookout for advertising from Warner Safe Remedies offices outside the United States. While print advertising inside the US was prolific, the same does not seem to be the case with the foreign offices. Below is a print ad from The Morning Telegram of November 11, 1903, which at first glance appears to be from the London Office. However, when you take a closer look at the text toward the end of the ad, it directs the buyer to the Toronto Office at 44 Lombard Street.
My favorite part of this ad is that it claims to cure “Weak Women” from “a life of suffering and an untimely end.” Wow, what more can you ask?