Warner’s Safe Cure: Hope to the Hopeless

“Warner’s Safe Cure Is Life Saving”
Warner’s Safe Cure advertising is loaded with themes that repeat themselves over and over again. Perhaps one of the most prevalent themes is the notion that Warner’s Safe Cure can provide hope to those whose health is in peril.  This theme is often portrayed in a maritime context, where the imperiled person would face certain doom on the shoals of bad health without the help of Warner’s Safe Cure. This Warner’s Safe Cure poster from 1888 is a particularly good example. In addition to promoting Safe Cure, it tips its hat to an often unheralded organization, the United States Lifesaving Service, which was a progenitor to today’s Coast Guard. Many of the members of the USLSS risked and loss their lives rescuing mariners in distress.
As one might expect, this theme made its way into Warner’s Safe almanacs as well. One good example is the Beacon of Light of Safety almanac from 1887. This is a relatively rare almanac, which conveys the message that Warner’s Safe Cure is a guiding light to those lost with bad health. For some reason, this almanac also reminds me of the Statue of Liberty, which also conveys the message of hope to the hopeless. I am not sure if that parallel was intended by the Warner advertising folks, but, in 1887, the Statue of Liberty would have been a relatively new addition to the skyline of  New York harbor.

1887 Beacon Light of Safety Almanac

Other Warner almanacs also hit on this theme of Safe Cure as a safe harbor or source of protection. The other one that comes to mind is the 1886 Girl in the Safe almanac. While not based on maritime images, this hard to find almanac emphasizes the notion that Safe Cure can protect the user from the storms of bad health. The little girl on the cover is safely tucked away inside a safe, which a thunderstorm rages around her.

1886 Girl in Safe Almanac

The take home message in all of this imagery is unmistakeable. Warner’s Safe Cure can save your life when you are threatened by ill health. Too bad it was a hollow promise.


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