Warner successfully marketed his products through a variety of promotions, which flowed from his headquarters on St. Paul’s Street in Rochester. The volume of this promotional material is amazing and I have previously covered many of these materials, including his free samples. It would be impossible to say how many of the free samples were shipped out of the Rochester Office.
While the Rochester Office was undoubtedly the principal source of promotional materials for the Warner empire, free samples were distributed by at least one other Warner foreign office, London. However, unlike the amber cylindrical free samples from Rochester, the London Office distributed a minature version of the actual safe cure bottle. The London Samples appeared in two colors, light amber and a kelly green. Of the two, the green is the most rare, although the amber version is also considered rare. Unlike their American cousins, the London samples are difficult finds for Warner’s collectors and can command upwards of $1000 each.
The rareness of the London samples begs the question of the quantity that were distributed from the London Office. Although it is entirely my supposition, I wonder whether the London Samples were not mailed out to prospective customers, but rather were used by Warner’s sales agents who visited potential retailers. It is a question that will not be answered absent the discovery of some, yet unknown, documentation from the London Office. For now, it is better to relish these very desirable Warner’s Safe Cures.
Thanks to Jack Stecher and Ed Ojea for the photos of the Free Samples.