Warner’s Safe Yeast

I think it’s safe to say that most of us associate yeast with baking bread or some other culinary endeavor and not with medicine. Although I have no figures to back this up, I would venture to say that second only to advertising related to his Safe Cure, Warner featured his Safe Yeast, which, according to him possessed medicinal qualities. Mike Seeliger has opined that Safe Yeast was Warner’s largest seller.

Warner’s Safe Yeast hit the market in  about 1885. It was packaged initially in a cylindrical container in a large and small size. After April 1, 1890, the packaging changed to square container. The product retailed for 10 cents per package. Unfortunately for collectors, the Safe Yeast product was packaged in a cardboard container rather than glass bottles, which accounts for the relative rarity of Safe Yeast containers available. I have attached an image of an invoice for the purchase of Safe Yeast dated May 28, 1887. The description of the product is worthy of note:

1 Case containing 1 doz. boxes large size and 1/2 doz. boxes small size of Warner’s Safe Yeast. Each case also contains sample packages of two (2) cakes each for free distribution for all of which we make no charge. Future supplies of Warner’s Safe Yeast can be obtained from any Wholesale Grocer in cases of 3 doz. boxes of both large and small sizes at $1.75 and $1.00 per case, respectively.

Warner’s Safe Yeast Co.

Officially, Safe Yeast was manufactured and distributed by the Waner’s Safe Yeast Company, which, conveniently, was located in the same building as the Warner’s Safe Cure business. However, some advertising refers to the building as the Warner’s Safe Yeast Building.

Warner was clearly a pioneer in the “proof of purchase” marketing business. Depending on which ad your read, cutting out and sending 10 front package covers featuring the safe and 10 two cent stamps or 15 top covers plus the same postage entitled the sender to a copy of the Warner’s Safe Cookbook that included 500 pages of the “choicest recipes, all tested and tried by experts, who pronounce them the ‘best'”. The Warner’s Safe Cookbook went through a number of editions and many survive to this day, demonstrating the popularity of the promotion.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s