A comment I recently received prompted me to put together this post on the proprietary tax stamps used by Warner on his Safe Remedies. In point of fact, they are more correctly called private die proprietary stamps and they originated under the Tax Laws of 1862 enacted by Congress to help the North pay the costs associated with the Civil War. While I consider myself somewhat knowledgeable about H. H. Warner, I have to admit an ignorance about these stamps. I had seen them over the years and admired them, but had not researched them or appreciated their purpose. For some history and reference sources on these stamps, I would suggest you look at a site called Private Die Proprietary Stamps: (The “Match and Medicine” Stamps).
You will recall that I have done some posts entitled “Beware of Fraud!” and “Beware of Fraud (Part II),” which focused on Warner’s absolute, and not entirely unjustified, concern about those who might counterfit his products. As part of his campaign to insure that his customers were purchasing the genuine article, his went to great lengths to educate those customers on the indicia of genuineness. In other words, what should a customer expect to see on a bottle of Warner’s Safe Cure.
Among the specific marks that Warner advised his customers to look for was the presence of a light brown Private Proprietary Internal Revenue Stamp (of various demoninations depending on the type of Cure and size) bearing the outline of a safe “and within it the picture of a Negro gathering herbs.”
In additional to examples of the private die stamps, I have included a picture of a sealed Safe Kidney & Liver Cure and Safe Cathartic Pills with the stamps in place. Thanks to Jack Stecher for those photos. Also, I would suggest you check out another page by the same folks that host the page on the Private Die Stamps. This page features some great examples of Warner Stamps in their various denominations. I have added that page to my blog roll.