Warner’s Safe Cure: Foreign Language Labels

It stands to reason that if you are going to market a product in a foreign county, doing so in the native language increases the appeal of that product. That is true, not only today, but in the late 19th Century as well. Many of Warner’s foreign markets were countries where English was the predominant language (Canada, England, Australia and New Zealand). That is not to say that other languages were not spoken in those countries, but rather that the use of English did not handicap sales of Safe Cure.

Other foreign markets did not use English as their primary language (Germany, Austria-Hungary and France) and the labels on those products were translated into the native language. It is interesting to note that, while the labels were modified to reflect the native language, the embossing was not. This suggests that there were limits on what Warner was willing to do to appeal to his customers outside the United States. It also suggests that the embossing was an important part of his “brand” and his trademark that he was unwilling to modify. The same can be said of “Warner’s Safe Cure” on the label. It remains in English notwithstanding the fact that the remainder of the label is translated. Again, brand and trademark. Above, is a detail of the Frankfurt Safe Cure label. Below is another version, this time it is the rare Darmstadt label.

The Pressburg labels offer a slight variation from Frankfurt, although they are very similar.

Finally, there is the French label Safe Cure. As I have said in earlier posts, this bottle is embossed “London,” but bears a French label, which suggests that sales to France were London-based. This notion is strengthened by the fact that the base of the French label does not list Paris or another French city as an office, but instead lists London, Franfurt and Rochester.

The labels included in this post are the examples that I am aware of, however, I still believe that Warner likely marketed his product south of the United States border to Mexico, Central and South America. Any yet, I am not aware of any examples of a Spanish label.  If such a thing exists or if you have examples of other foreign Warner’s labels, please let me know and I will supplement this post.


6 thoughts on “Warner’s Safe Cure: Foreign Language Labels

  1. You show Hungary-Austria in this blog as a foreign location for Warner. I thought that Pressburg was in Hungary. I also noted that an 1888 Warners Safe Cure (listed as Canadian) item #330441040086 just sold and it showed a laboratory for Warner in Prague, Austria on one of the example pages in the listing. Do you consider Hungary and Austria as the same location?

    • Elmer,

      That is a great question. I am far from an expert on the political history of Eastern Europe; however, Pressburg (a/k/a Bratislava) is situated on the border of Hungary and Austria along the Danube River. It is the capital of the Slovak Republic. It is perhaps more correct to say that it was part of Hungary in the late 19th Century when the Safe Cure office was located there. The Austro-Hungarian Empire existed from 1867 until the end of World War I in 1918. I may be mixing apples and oranges and would welcome an educated opinion on the correct political designation. Thanks.


  2. Steve,
    I see the Asthma cure and remedy but if you notice in the pictures I gave you there is a Asthma Powder that was in my collection at one time.

  3. Warner marketed his products worldwide, so I would imagine there must be some other labels out there in different languages.
    I recently obtained a Warners Almanac printed in German, dated 1884. Intereststing enough all the Warners bottles and products were still shown in English, which appears to suggest he made a clear marketing strategy on his “brand” name.
    Steve Panton.

    • Steve,

      Most of the markets were English-speaking (Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand), so not surprising that there are few foreign language almanacs. In fact, the German almanac is the only one I have seen. I have the only known British almanac. I hope some more turn up, but so far I have not seen any.

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