At some time prior to 1888, Warner acquired the exclusive rights to a product called Benton’s Hair Grower. Unlike his Safe Cures, Tippecanoe and Log Cabin products that appeared in bottles with distinct embossing, Benton’s Hair Grower was packaged in a small, short clear bottle with a wide mouth. The contents of the bottle, which the 1888 Artist’s Album characterized as “a gelatinous substance” looks like a cream colored parafin. And yet, despite the understated appearance, its advertising had that characteristic Warner panache.
According to Warner, Benton’s Hair Grower had been on the market for many years with “hosts of friends” in every section of the Union. The advertising provided the potential user with a timetable of what he (or perhaps she) could expect from the product. Benton’s would remove dandruff (6-14 days), stop hair falling out (14-30 days), start a growth of hair (30-60 days), grow hair 3-6 inches (6 – 12 months), restore hair to original color ( 3 – 6 months), grow hair in 75 out of 100 cases no matter how long bald. In addition, this wonder of medicine was “free from Mineral or Vegetable Poisons” (whatever that means). The package appears to have a “before” and “after” picture as a motivator.
Benton’s was offered in three strengths: single for $1.00, double for $2.00 and triple for $3.00. For those customers cursed with “very tough and hard” skin, the double or triple strength was suggested. Through the courtesy of Jack Stecher, I acquired the above bottle of Benton’s; however, it does not have a label or box, so I cannot tell whether it is the single, double or triple strength. It is unclear how long Warner marketed Benton’s Hair Grower, although one would suspect that it would have competed for the same customers to whom he was trying to sell his Log Cabin Scalpine and Hair Tonic.