Warner’s Safe Cure: Embracing Mysticism

Warner went to great lengths to cultivate the image that his enterprise was rooted in science. Indeed, his patronage of the Warner Observatory and of Dr. Lewis Swift were undoubtedly intended to enhance that image. His Safe Almanacs were loaded with testimonials of physicians praising his Safe Remedies and their beneficial effects. And yet, despite all of this, Warner still reached out to those practicing or those seeking advice from practitioners of fortune telling.

Several years ago, I had seen that above chart entitled “Palmistry or Fotune Telling by the Palm” that had supposedly been distributed by Warner. The example I saw was clearly a reproduction, but I purchased it anyway because of its novetly. When buying Warner go-withs, you must be especially careful, because there are plenty of reproductions out there, which are frequently claimed to be orginals or are not disclosed as reproductions. In the case of the palm reading chart, the seller disclosed it as a reproduction and its printing on a heavy board-like paper confirmed its status. I was pleased to acquire an original in a recent auction. Although water stained, the original has much better colors and captures the flavor of the advertising better. Having never had my fortune told or put much faith in astrology, I would welcome the comments of others as to whether Warner’s advertising accurately captures this realm of the mystic arts.

Given the host of speculative investments by Warner that ultimately cost him his company, perhaps he should have visited a fortune teller for investment advice. He certainly could not have done much worse than he did.

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