I have only had occasion to actually see one of these rare little bottles. Appropriately enough, it was in the collection of Jack Stecher. You are immediately struck both by the wonderful blue color as well as what can only be described as a Tippecanoe lip. However, apart from the unmistakable similarity of the lip, yet another connection exists between Dr. Henion and H. H. Warner.
In the April, 1975 edition of Old Bottle Magazine, Jack published an article on Henion’s entitled “What’s a Henion’s,” which is a fair question given its rarity. It seems that Henion first appeared in the Rochester City Directory in 1873. That listing continued until 1879 listing only his name and residential address. In 1880, the listing vanishes, only to reappear between 1881 and 1885 with Henion listed as a physician. In 1886, he is listed under Patent Medicine, but not as a physician. The final listing for Henion was in 1887, where he is again listed as a physician with the earlier address. Based on his research, Jack concluded that Henion’s Sure Cure for Malaria appeared and disappeared from the market in 1886, perhaps accounting for its rarity.
By 1886, Warner’s Safe Cure was hitting its stride with operations on two continents with expanion to a third in 1887. Jack’s research also revealed that Henion joined forces with Dr. Charles Craig and his son, William, after they left their employment with H. H. Warner, to form the Craig Kidney & Liver Cure Company also located in Rochester.
An advertisement in the Genesse County Business Directory by Dr. J. B. Henion entitled “A Great Mystery” claims all manner of cures, including one for cancer. The ad goes on that state “When I say CURE, I mean it, and NO HUMBUG!” So much for truth in advertising. It is worth noting that the ad establishes the address for Dr. J.B. Henion as No. 22 & 24 North St. Paul Street. You will recall that Warner’s Safe Remedies Building opened in 1884 on St. Paul’s Street.
Oh, by the way. If you’re interested in adding one of these rare cures to your collection, the stars have aligned. American Glass Gallery is offering one for auction as Lot No. 141, but act fast, the auction ends tomorrow. Special thanks to Jack Stecher for the historical material on Henions and to John Pastor and American Glass Gallery for the use of their photograph.