Wouldn't it be fun if you found you had a relative who was a medicine man or woman?
During early part of the 20th century Great advances occurred in manufacturing and industry engendered hope and promise for a modern and profitable future. Many an entrepreneur thought they could make money from their visage in an already over-saturated market. Prior to the passage of the 1906 Food and Drug Act, and for sometime afterward, nearly anyone with even rudimentary reading and writing skills could put together a medicinal product. Thousands of men and women immortalized their faces or those of their relatives by filing trademarks with portraits of themselves or other family members. Their faces appeared on patent medicine labels, pill boxes, in newspapers and on advertising circulars for hundreds of patent and proprietary products. In most cases hopes of cashing in on the American dream were short-lived. Their originators lacked the money, the skill or the timing necessary to gain national fame. For every moderately successful venture there were dozens of other proprietors who disappeared into obscurity touting products which never made it to market. The lucky few no doubt fueled the fire - like Lydia Pinkham, whose Vegetable Compound was found in every Victorian woman's home and whose success outlived her. After-all, Lydia was simply a housewife who had taken to making her favorite remedy as a means to supplement her husband's income. If she could achieve such fame and fortune Or Ida Radam who with his Microbe Killer who exploited the blossoming knowledge about health, sanitation and germs to create appeal and capture the public's fantasy. Maybe you are heir to a fortune or maybe just an interesting story to tell about Uncle Bill. Check out the map below. Click on a state to see a medicine man or woman. Who knows maybe you'll find a relative. The chart below contains the surnames of a sample of the many medicine men of yesteryear. Have fun.
DO YOU HAVE A RELATIVE IN THE PATENT MEDICINE BUSINESS?