Warner’s Safe Cure: Victorian Viagra?

Warner's Safe Cure Old Man

The advertising poster above was issued by the Warner’s Safe Cure Company in 1886. As with other classic pieces of Warner advertising, this was created by Mensing & Stecher of Rochester. The interesting thing about this ad is that the only words on it are “TAKE WARNER’S SAFE CURE.” Apart from that you have the image of an elderly gentleman accompanied by an attractive Victorian woman.

What exactly is the message being conveyed by this ad? Certainly, the benign message is that a young woman is escorting her father or grandfather, who is beset by some unknown malady, perhaps Brights Disease. Without implying that my mind is in the gutter, I would suggest that the ad attempts to convey a less benign message. Namely, that if you use Warner’s Safe Cure,  young chicks will dig you and you’ll get a spring in your step (among other places). Lest you think I may be attributing claims to Warner’s Safe Cure that were not made by the proprietor, take a gander at the Safe Cure label, which clearly says that the panacea cures, among other things, IMPOTENCY. Warner's Safe Cure Label Detail

 I rest my case.

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2 thoughts on “Warner’s Safe Cure: Victorian Viagra?

  1. just wanted to say that my husband dug up a perfect pristine amber bottle of Waren’s Safe Kidney & Liver Cure in the backyard of our 18thC house – needless to say it was empty!!! Very Cool

  2. He’s one up on me. I have collected Warner’s for 30 years, but have never had the experience of digging one. Very exciting!

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