Warner’s Safe Cure: The Industries of the City of Rochester (Part I)

Let me start out by saying that Google has done us all a huge favor. Their project to scan the libraries of several great universities has provided a treasure trove of historical material at our finger tips. Thankfully, that includes publications about H. H. Warner and his Safe Cure. Thanks Google.

Having said that, I was delighted to stumble across a book published in 1888 by Hiram Sibley with the rather cumbersome title of “The Industries of the City of Rochester: A Resume of Her Past History and Progress, Together with a Condensed Summary of Her Industrial Advantages and Development and a  Series of Comprehensive Sketches of Her Representative Business Enterprises, Incorporating a Condensed History of the Chamber of Commerce.” So much for brevity. The work was published by Elstner Publishing Company in Rochester. By the by, you will recall  from my earlier Warner Chronology that H. H. Warner was elected as the first president of the Chamber in 1887 beating out that obscure camera inventor, George Eastman. By 1888, Warner was probably at the height of his patent medicine success and opening his short-lived Pressburg Office in Hungary. Not surprisingly, Industries included a section on H. H. Warner, which begs the question of whether this book was simply another piece of advertising. Well, I guess that is the business of any chamber of commerce.

Prominently featured in the article is the Warner Remedies Building, having been opened four years earlier in 1884. This is a particularly good engraving of the Warner Building and I have fixed it as a permanent image on this blog. In fairness to Mr. Warner, this book is by no means a fluff piece just for his enterprise, but is, rather, an amazing catalog of Rochester businesses and industries. Any student of Rochester history would want to leaf through a copy of this book, which is apparently available in a reprinted version.

There are several interesting portions of the section on Warner Safe Remedies.  It provides us with the layout of the building:

The above building, which is located on North St. Paul  st., Nos. 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70 and 72, has a floor capacity of four and one-quarter acres, the basement being used for storage purposes of bottles and materials, the first floor being the general offices and shipping room; second floor, mailing room with packing room for  the Yeast department; third floor, packing and bottling room for the Safe Remedies; fifth floor, drying floor for the Yeast department; sixth floor, laboratory; seventh floor, laboratory; eighth floor, general storage rooms.

Now, before you accuse me of leaving out  mention of the fourth floor, it was omitted from the text. Not sure if that was a typo or if the operations of the fourth floor were not for public dissemination. Who knows? In any event, this book helps us gain a little more insight into the operations of Hulbert Harrington Warner.



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