Warner’s Safe Cure: ‘Tis Health I Give to Thee

Warner's Safe Cure Advertising Poster (1888)Warner’s advertising is loaded with classical images, which range from damsels in distress to goddess-like images to battles between soldiers and marauding indians. If there is a common theme to be drawn from all of this propaganda, it might be that Warner’s Safe Cures or Safe Yeast or Tippecanoe is an elixir that helps the average man or woman beat back disease in whatever form it might take.

In 1888, Warner published what I have come to call “The Cavalier” delivering a bottle of Safe Cure to a lady with the tag line “‘Tis Health I  Give to Thee.” This image appeared on the cover of the 1888 Safe Cure almanac as well as in the form of an advertising poster (pictured above) that added the words “Warner’s Safe Cure” at the bottom.

Warner's Safe Cure Almanac (1888)

Although I have referred to it as the “Cavalier,” others have called the man delivering the gift of medicine as a pirate. Not sure which is correct, although I usually think of pirates as takers rather than givers.  I have even heard it suggested that the model for the cavalier was none other than old H. H. Warner himself. Not sure if that could ever be verified and unfortunately, the cavalier is in profile, so it is impossible to see his face. It is, nevertheless, a good story.

The identity of the woman recieving the gift of health is unknown, other than to suggest that she represents all women of the era. She does not appear to be sick or frail, so we do not know who the story ended. From Warner’s standpoint, however, the important message was that health was merely a bottle away.


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