Warner’s Safe Cure: Dan Cowman’s Warner’s Safe Cures


Dan Cowman (1955 - 2015)

                                                 Dan Cowman (1955 – 2015)

I was distressed to learn of the passing of Dan Cowman in 2015. Over the years, Dan was a good friend of the Warner’s Safe Cure Blog and was most generous with pictures of his extensive collection of labelled Warner’s as well as his collection of Warner’s ephemera. Although Dan and I never met in person, we corresponded by email and talked on the phone. Undoubtedly, his was one of the premier collections in the country, especially when it came to labelled bottles. In addition to being a collector of patent medicines, Dan was a radiologist. His obituary provides some idea of his expertise and passion for medicine. Below are a few of the pictures of his collection of labelled Warner’s that he shared with me.

Dan Cowman Collection Dan Cowman Collection Dan Cowman Collection

With Dan’s passing, the bulk of his collection is going up for auction by Terry and Ryan McMurray. Terry McMurray has one of the great collections of 19th Century patent medicines, including some rare and unique Warner’s Safe Cures and advertising. Terry and Ryan were kind enough to provide me with some photos of a few of the Warner’s that will be up for auction.


Labelled Safe Tonic, Safe Bitters and Safe Tonic Bitters as well as the Asthma Powder, Asthma       Remedy and Asthma Cure tins.

Safe Tonic Bitters with Label

Warner’s Safe Tonic Bitters Half Pint with Label

Log Cabin Rose Cream 1

Warner’s Log Cabin Rose Cream


Warner’s Safe Strap Sided Compound from London with label and Safe Pills from Frankfurt. In the background is a “Diabetic Cure” from Pressburg.


The Log Cabin Scalpine is perhaps the rarest of the Log Cabin Remedies, especially with a full label and box.


An early Warner’s Safe Cure advertisement. Because “Safe Tonic Bitters” is on the safe depicted on the box, the ad is prior to 1883 when Tippecanoe was introduced to replace the Safe Bitters, Safe Tonic and Safe Tonic Bitters.


Although Safe Cure samples are not uncommon, labelled versions are pretty rare for Safe Diabetes Remedy and Safe Remedy.



Few of the Warner’s Safe Asthma Cure, Asthma Powder and Asthma Remedy tins survived because the user was instructed to burn and inhale the contents. The burning process destroyed the label.

Undoubtedly some of these items will fetch premium prices and will become part of another collection. Indeed, as bottle collectors, we are never truly the owners, but merely the caretakers of great bottles. Dan’s collection will live on and his contributions to the hobby will not be forgotten.




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