There is no dispute that Warner was one of the most successful proprietors of the patent medicine era. However, in 14 short years, by 1893, he was bankrupt. While his empire lived on without him, he was consigned to relative obscurity and financial ruin for the remainder of his life. During his period of success, however, it seemed that he could do little wrong. He firmly established his trademark “Safe” in the minds of the public and produced a family of products that was, for the most part, successful. At the pinnacle of his success was his Kidney & Liver Cure, which was marketed in multiple countries on three continents. The best evidence of his is the frequency with which the Kidney & Liver Cure bottles appear. His other remedies appear less freqently depending on the type and the foreign office from which they originated.
Perhaps at the other end of the Warner spectrum is his Safe Throatine. The above advertisement appeared in the American Reformer in 1884. Judging from the packaging, Safe Throatine was a predecessor to Warner’s Safe Asthma Cure/Remedy and was packaged in a small tin. I have yet to see an actual example of this product, so to say that it is rare would be an understatement. This is undoubtedly the result of two factors. First, the product appears to have been produced for only a short period, in the early 1880’s. For whatever reason, the name “Throatine” must have been commercially unviable and it was changed to Asthma Cure, leaving little doubt as to the target ailment. Second, as with the later, Asthma Cure and Asthma Remedy, the product was designed to be burned in its tin container, thereby destroying the packaging and leaving nothing for future collectors. That is why examples of the Asthma Cure and Asthma Remedy are so hard to come by. If, by chance, someone has an example of Throatine, I would be most grateful for pictures of the package.
Over the years, I have taken a stab at listing what I believe are the rarest Warner bottles and products. For no particular reason, I dubbed it the “A List.” There is no doubt that Throatine would be listed among the rarest of the rare provided someone comes up with an example of it. Until then, all that can be said is that this product occupies mythical status among Warner’s collectors.