Warner’s Safe Dictionary Revealed

Blogging about H. H. Warner means blogging not only about his extensive line of cures and remedies, but also about his amazing advertising pieces that he used to make his products a household name in the late 19th Century. Unlike today, people of that era did not have access to reference material that we take for granted. Even something as simple as a dictionary was probably not something that most people had access to. Indeed, unless you lived in a large city, access to public libraries was a luxury denied to the masses.

Warner understood this unfulfilled need and tapped into it by providing advertising pieces that highlighted his product line while also providing information that people could use in their daily lives. The best examples of this nexus between advertising and resource material included his almanacs loaded with household hints and tips. He issued one or more almanacs each year that were distributed to the public by local druggists. Another excellent example was his Safe Dictionary.  I featured the Safe Dictionary is a post I did back in October, 2008. At the time, I was limited to providing a picture of the cover.

Recently, however, I stumbled upon a digital version of the Safe Dictionary put online by the National Library of Medicine. The great thing about this version is that it allows you to read through the entire Safe Dictionary by clicking on the pages. Pretty cool. Now, you don’t have to settle just for the cover but ALL 5000+ words!






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