In my ongoing research of all things Safe Cure, I have had occasion to stumble upon some interesting material. Frequently, that material deals with the city where H. H. Warner chose to build his empire – Rochester. He certainly made his mark on the city in a number of ways: the Warner’s Safe Remedies Building on St. Paul’s Avenue was opened in 1884, the Warner Observatory in 1883 and the Warner Mansion on East Avenue was finished in 1879. By 1887, Warner reached the apex of his success as the first president of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce and by 1893, his empire was in ruins.
In 1904, the Rochester Chamber of Commerce published a book with the not so remarkable title “Rochester in 1904.” As one might expect, the book is a profile of the city, its history and flourishing business community.
Two things caught my attention in this book. The first was a series of wonderful skyline views of the city. The second was the almost complete absence of any reference to H. H. Warner or Warner’s Safe Cure. In the decade that followed the Panic of 1893 and the financial collapse of Warner, his previously indelible mark on the commercial face of Rochester had faded to nothing. The only mention of him in the book was the listing of his name as a signatory of the original Chamber of Commerce Certificate of Incorporation in June, 1888. What a difference a decade makes. Here are a few of the Rochester cityscapes as they appeared in 1904.