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View Full Version : Rare Genuine, Swaims Panacea Philadelphia Very early tombstone shaped.



Steve/sewell
11-16-2010, 08:30 PM
I posted this last year on Guntherhesses site which is a great site on medicines and cures to visit.

http://www.antiquemedicines.com/MedicineNexus/Nexus.htm (http://www.antiquemedicines.com/MedicineNexus/Nexus.htm)

I have new evidence from (11-16-2010) that puts Swaims Panacea right there with Lees from Baltimore
and New York City and Dr. Dyotts Family Medicines from Philadelphia in the 1810 to 1820 time frame.
This was exciting for me to stumble across as it puts Swaims 10 years earlier in Philadelphia then
previously thought.I have in my possession a newspaper ad from June 21st in the year 1811 from Philadelphia
The Democratic Press.In this newspaper on page 4 is the ad placed by William Swaim with his product
being available for purchase at Marshals Drug and Chemical Store 56 Chestnut Street Philadelphia. Here is the ad
from the newspaper.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/E7F7A7671B51418DA63F54B716EE9473.jpg

Steve/sewell
11-16-2010, 08:32 PM
Here is the front page in close.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/29F8F56C280344159D573531033B9458.jpg

Steve/sewell
11-16-2010, 08:35 PM
The ad on page 4.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/FA65FD7E771947B5BFBB6F5F00D8EBD4.jpg

Steve/sewell
11-16-2010, 08:37 PM
I picked up this bottle this past year and I am very pleased at how it cleaned up considering
the condition it was found in.This variant of the bottle is the oldest between 1824 and 1825.
The color is very pale green,it has lots of whittle and has a very crude uneven folded lip.
The bottle has a deep rough pontil and looks to be made similar to the Booz bottle
with the diagonal vertical mold seem running catty corner on two sides.
If I were to guess the time and place of this bottles manufacture only four glass houses were
operating located conventiently to Philadelphia in the early 1800s.
They were Glassboro,Clementon or Port Elizabeth all in Southern New Jersey
and the old glass works in Kensington just north of Philadelphia.
The color of the bottle is dead on with other glass attributed to these glass houses.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/32E7F6CD813340ABB4C3DF6FD4230CDB.jpg

Steve/sewell
11-16-2010, 08:39 PM
Another picture.The Genuine Side of the bottle.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/07107B49FE4144E9AAF5A545DAA72F66.jpg

Steve/sewell
11-16-2010, 08:39 PM
Swaims Panacea

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/4ACA09BEB4C246A7B22A98D0C2C7DB63.jpg

Steve/sewell
11-16-2010, 08:42 PM
The Philadelphia side.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/0C0C88CCC15B4FEF9D1CD136C115AC3B.jpg

Steve/sewell
11-16-2010, 08:43 PM
The base of the bottle which sort of reminds me of the Booz bottle in form.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/79D18BF33C154C399CB6BE36EC4CE109.jpg

earlyglass
11-16-2010, 08:43 PM
Steve,

Here is a rare Swaim's bottle with the early N. York embossing...

Mike

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/3014/125B24C2C1B94669801108895E20E072.jpg

JOETHECROW
11-16-2010, 08:46 PM
Cool info Steve...I was more familier with the cylinderical bottles which must have came after this one...I've always coveted a green one. I was also amazed at how many copycats there were to the later cylinder shape with the indented panels. Neat ad, and nice early Swaim's.

Steve/sewell
11-16-2010, 08:48 PM
Thats pretty Mike,New England made correct.This ad showing the medicine advertised in 1811 predates all other known information on this bottle and Swaims Panacea by 10 years and puts it with the other first known embossed medicines in this country Dyotts Robertsons family Medicines and Lees from Baltimore and New York. Thanks Joe they are pretty bottles arent they.

JOETHECROW
11-16-2010, 08:48 PM
Great looking bottle also Mike...I want one like that...[:D]

Steve/sewell
11-16-2010, 08:50 PM
I believe this bottle to be quite early because of the treatment to the lip of the bottle.It is a rolled lip just like a Wistar or Stanger Chestnut bottle has.

Steve/sewell
11-16-2010, 08:51 PM
This particular bottle is the first mold and is shaped somewhat like a tombstone.
There are two variants I am aware of Swaims first bottles.The first is rectangular in shape
and is curved at the top on all sides like a tomb stone.The second mold which came out
a couple of years later looked nearly identical to the first but was straight across at the shoulders of
the bottle.All other parts of the bottle including the embossing are nearly the same but the
apostrophe in SWAIM'S is smaller on the first version.In 1829 Swaim switched to the cylinder shaped
bottle to protect his product from piracy.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/45BF82EDE6064B09B403A7B662DF303B.jpg

Steve/sewell
11-16-2010, 08:54 PM
Here is a brief history of Swaims beginnings.

When a New York City bookbinder named William Swaim was afflicted with some illness,he
consulted a physician who prescribed a remedy that restored Swaims health.
Swaim attained the formula and moved to Philadelphia to launch a career as a patent
medicine vendor.His concoction that was first marketed in 1820 was called Swaims Panacea
for the cure of scrofula or the Kings evil and Swaim chose the symbol of Hercules slaying the
many headed dragon to advertise his panacea that lived on for more then a century.By 1825
Swaim was packaging his panacea in rectangular shaped green and aqua colored glass bottles
lettered on three sides Genuine, Swaims Panacea,Philadelphia.In 1829 he switched the bottle
to a green cylindrical shaped lettered Swaims ,Panacea ,Philadelphia on three separate vertically
indented sides.

JOETHECROW
11-16-2010, 08:55 PM
*

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/4459/59AF980550764A2FB6531E7F2532A718.jpg

Steve/sewell
11-16-2010, 08:57 PM
I will also show in this post a bottle sold by our friend from the forum Kungfufighter (Jeff )
of one of the most informative and having some of the rarest glass and being one of the
most informative web sites on the Internet www.jeffnholantiquebottles.com (http://www.jeffnholantiquebottles.com)
Jeff and Hollys bottle they sold is the same bottle as mine tombstone shaped but definitely aqua in color.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/1815054FB3114CF3A211025D7436A555.jpg

Steve/sewell
11-16-2010, 08:59 PM
The picture of the straight shouldered version of this same rectangular shaped bottle is brought to
you by Ed and Cathy Gray of http://www.greatantiquebottles.com/ another super informative
great glass web site.The bottle pictured on their web site has the straight horizontal lines
at the top of the bottle not tombstone shaped.The mouth on this bottle is similar though.


https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/4E59D49EF2D94C2C852B8582BF9472BB.jpg

JOETHECROW
11-16-2010, 09:01 PM
*

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/4459/57307B4ADD1E45FDBBFA04F989E11EF3.jpg

Steve/sewell
11-16-2010, 09:01 PM
Anyone wishing to add any information to this post would be welcome as I am a novice on Swaims bottles
but have really fallen head over heels for them. Nice ad Joe the Kings disease cure for sure.

Steve/sewell
11-16-2010, 09:05 PM
I really like the bottoms on these bottles as they are quite unique.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/1ACCB283D5EB4B8EA1005FBF796CF03D.jpg

JOETHECROW
11-16-2010, 09:06 PM
*Thanks Steve,...They were always one of my favorite medicine bottles when I used to go th the library as a youngster and look at pictures of cool old bottles. Here's one more ad.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/4459/C2B2860C7E9F4312A189F981CC1CE3A0.jpg

JOETHECROW
11-16-2010, 09:10 PM
*From "The quack doctor", by Caroline Rance......


Woodcut commissioned by Swaim, showing Hercules battling the Hydra.
Within a few years of establishing his products, William Swaim was enjoying the benefits of endorsements from some of Philadelphia’s most eminent physicians, including Nathaniel Chapman, William Gibson, William Pott Dewees, Thomas Parke and James Mease – and he didn’t even have to make them up.

For the past ten years or so, sarsaparilla had been attracting renewed medical attention in the US as a blood purifier, so it was probably with this in mind that the doctors were well-disposed towards Swaim’s medicine. Swaim combined the sarsaparilla syrup with oil of wintergreen, giving it a pleasant taste that made it a hit with patients too. Gibson’s endorsement gives a further clue to its popularity:

I have always found it extremely efficacious, especially in secondary syphilis and mercurial disease. I have no hesitation in pronouncing it a medicine of inestimable value.

The symptoms of secondary syphilis, of course, disappear of their own accord before the disease goes into a latent phase – no wonder the Panacea and so many other treatments of the time claimed success.

In 1827 the New York Medical Society appointed a Committee on Quack Remedies, and the Philadelphia Medical Society soon did likewise. While the New York Committee acknowledged the possible benefits of the Panacea and other sarsaparilla-based syrups, the Philadelphia one was tougher, gathering numerous cases of people who had taken the medicine. The outcomes of these cases varied from no effect at all, to ‘a most violent and alarming bowel complaint’, to death. Analysis showed that the remedy contained corrosive sublimate (mercuric chloride).

Later, the New York Committee released its own analysis, done at the time of the investigation but not published, which showed that they too knew all along that it was mercury - so there, Philadelphia. A new analysis in 1831 also showed the presence of arsenic, but the ingredients varied from batch to batch and it was the luck of the draw whether you got the poisons.

By this time the doctors’ enthusiasm had waned. Chapman wrote:


Nathaniel Chapman, pictured 1846
Early in the history of that article, I was induced to employ it, as well from professional as common report in favour of its efficacy, and was well pleased at the result in several cases. But! more extensive experience with it soon convinced me that I had overrated its value, and for a long period I have entirely ceased to prescribe it.

Gibson admitted that: In several cases that came under my notice, ptyalism has followed the use of it. (Excessive salivation, a symptom of mercury poisoning.) Their testimonials, however, were now out of their control and there was nothing they could do to stop Swaim continuing to use their names.

In 1836, long after the US physicians had backtracked on their endorsement of the nostrum, British journal The Medical-Chirurgical Review condemned them in true Tunbridge Wells style:

We were utterly astonished to find an impudent PANACEA bolstered up with the names and certificates of some of the first authorities, in the medical profession, of the United States!…

We are mortified and grieved, beyond measure, to find professional propriety (to give it no other name) at so low an ebb among our brethren in America! This admonition from Europe will surely rouse the faculty of the United States to some sense of the duty they owe to their brethren throughout the world.

The early success of Swaim’s Panacea inspired imitators to cash in with their own versions, and they were completely blatant about it. ‘Swayne’s Panacea’ hoped to dupe punters who weren’t paying attention, and ‘Shinn’s Panacea’ was sold with the statement: The subscriber having discovered the composition of Swaim’s celebrated Panacea, has now a supply on hand for sale.

One of the heavyweight rivals was Parker’s Renovating Vegetable Panacea, the ads of which contained fighting talk:

In justice to myself, I have been induced to reply to a false and unjustifiable attack made upon me and others by Swaim, the vender of a certain Panacea in this city.

I have been acquainted with the ORIGINAL RECIPE FROM WHICH SWAIM MANUFACTURES HIS MEDICINE FOR UPWARD OF TEN YEARS. IT WAS OBTAINED FROM MY FATHER-IN-LAW, WHO NOW RESIDES IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK, WHO HAS USED IT FOR THIRTY YEARS , AND PERFORMED INNUMERABLE EXTRAORDINARY CURES WITH IT.

Parker used his own version of the Hydra image, which, in a nice dig at Swaim’s battling Hercules, shows the mythical beast already defeated:




Swaim’s reply tried to turn the copy-cat ads to his advantage:

This medicine had been used for seven years before an attempt was made to imitate it; but the great demand for it, and its wonderful success, have induced a great number of persons to imitate it in various ways—upwards of fifty different mixtures have been got up in imitation of it, which is a convincing proof of it being a medicine of great value.

Although the initial fame of the medicine declined, it continued to be made throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, latterly with a different formula involving alcohol and a huge amount of sugar.

Steve/sewell
11-16-2010, 09:12 PM
I misspelled (Marshalls) one L 5 posts up and in the ad on this page they misspelled (Chestnut) Chesnut
ORIGINAL: Steve/sewell

The ad on page 4.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/FA65FD7E771947B5BFBB6F5F00D8EBD4.jpg

Steve/sewell
11-16-2010, 09:15 PM
[:D]Good stuff Joe Now here we have some shivelry dont we.

Steve/sewell
11-16-2010, 09:30 PM
Here is another interesting thought on the ad.The last line in the ad states Nov 1 _t f This simply means the ad was placed on Nov1st and will run Tuesday through Friday weekly.Well the date on this Newspaper is June 21st 1811 this must mean the ad was placed the prior Nov. in 1810
ORIGINAL: Steve/sewell

The ad on page 4.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/FA65FD7E771947B5BFBB6F5F00D8EBD4.jpg

JOETHECROW
11-16-2010, 09:49 PM
Here's some info... Check out the name listed for Swaim's doctor! Could this be the actual origin of the term "Quack" meds?[;)]



Swaim's Panacea.—The important fact elucidated by the foregoing history of oil of Gaultheria, to wit, that it first received recognition in this once popular remedy, leads to a few words concerning this compound. In the beginning of the present century a French proprietary remedy "Rob de Laffecteur" was very popular throughout France and her colonies. It was invented by a French apothecary Boiveau, who affixed to it the name of Laffecteur to make it popular. In 1811 certain New York physicians used this "Rob de Laffecteur" with success and Dr. McNevin, who obtained the formula from a French chemist, M. Allion, made its composition public.

Mr. Swaim, a bookbinder, was treated by Dr. A. L. Quackinboss and experienced great benefit from the remedy. Procuring the formula from Dr. Quackinboss, his physician, he modified it considerably and put the mixture on the market under the name Swaim's Panacea. This became very popular and at last attracted the attention of the medical profession, and by the analysis of Mr. Chilton (1829), under the auspices of the New York Medical Society, it was positively shown that Swaim had replaced the sassafras of Quackinboss' formula by wintergreen oil and had also introduced corrosive sublimate into the mixture.

Persons interested in this formula and subject will find detail reports as follows:

American Journal of Pharmacy, 1827, p. 123.
American Journal of the Medical Sciences, 1829, 4, p. 530.
American Journal of the Medical Sciences, 1829, 5, p. 542.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The History of the Vegetable Drugs of the U.S.P., 1911, was written by John Uri Lloyd.

JOETHECROW
11-16-2010, 10:06 PM
Here's what Edgar Allan Poe had to say about Swaim's.......


Another patent medicine that Poe deprecated audaciously called itself “Swaim’s Panacea.” In the Southern Literary Messenger of April 1849, Poe defends Bayard Taylor’s poetry against carping critics:

Are our most deserving writers to be forever sneered down, or hooted down, or damned down with faint praise, by a set of men who possess little other ability than that which assures temporary success to them in common with Swaim’s Panacea or Morrison’s Pills? (XVI, 147-148)

Considering the ubiquitous popularity and grandiose pretensions of Swaim’s Panacea, Poe is exercising great restraint. William Swaim, having been cured of a disease, possibly venereal, by a physician’s remedy, about 1822, ferreted out the ingredients, added to them oil of wintergreen for flavor, and extensively advertised his “panacea,” especially through pamphlets decorated with a symbolic Hercules killing the hydra. Despite exposes published by medical societies of New York and Philadelphia, he continued manufacturing his nostrum, waxing immensely rich by the mid-century (17). Even in the 1930’s “Swaim’s Panacea” was being sold. In the New York Academy of Medicine Library is a hand-written pamphlet announcing a “Hospital for Scrofulous and Syphilitic Incurables to be supported by Subscription.” Article 16 states that Mr. James Swaim will supply to the indigent inmates, gratis, the “Panacea,” which is to be “the principal medicine used” (18).

Steve/sewell
11-16-2010, 10:06 PM
When was William Swaim treated Joe? Wow the 1811 date in this newspaper seems to add up to the Drs in New York experimenting with their own versions of Rob de Laffecteur.Nice find Joe This stuff is amazing.

Steve/sewell
11-16-2010, 10:12 PM
So I take it Edgar didnt care for Swaim?

cobaltbot
11-16-2010, 10:12 PM
Great bottle and newspaper evidence! Amazing, the Dr Quackinboss connection and his ad statement: "Desirous that this medicine not be numbered with the host of quack medicines constantly advertised throughout the Union as infallible,...." and he adds mercury to help cure "... that dreadful disease occasioned by an excessive use of Mercury." The bottom is unique but the fluted corners remind me of the Dyott bottles. The straight and rounded Swaims versions both have the fluted corners. What do the Lee's bottles look like?

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/5695/CFF9D06D4F8941F1922B00DBDC45A4F9.jpg

Steve/sewell
11-16-2010, 10:24 PM
From Gunthers site the first Lees medicine bottle Steve.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/C40CCAFC2FD146069D928D1FB272B531.jpg

Steve/sewell
11-16-2010, 10:27 PM
From my own collection Dyotts medicines I posted earlier this year.The paper label Dyott is similar to the Lees.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/018F4168B0DB448FBDBFD335F5D54F66.jpg

JOETHECROW
11-16-2010, 10:29 PM
Steve,...I don't think Edgar cared for Swaim...I'm not sure what year he was treated yet,..I'm trying to research it but have a pounding headache...(Maybe some Swaim's would help?)[:D] Perhaps I'll post the link to this info and a LOT of other fascinating info about botanicals, and vegetable componds etc... I also found this searching "Swaim's"....




Gaultheria (The Oil)
Gaultheria procumbensThe first record of the therapeutical use of this oil, as is often the case with valuable medicines, is to be found in empirical medicine. The proprietary remedy, very popular about the beginning of this century under the name "Panacea of Swaim," or "Swaim's Panacea," introduced it.

This remedy gave added impetus to our Compound Syrup of Sarsaparilla, having become so popular as to force itself to the attention of the profession. The Sarsaparilla Compound of the name "Sirup or Rob Anti-Syphilitica" was closely associated with Swaim's Panacea and Ellis, 1843, after giving the formula of "Sirup Rob Antisyphilitica" in his Formulary, p. 67, says: "The above preparation has been asserted, by the New York Medical Society, to be nearly identical with the noted Panacea of Swaim."

That oil of gaultheria was a constituent of Swaim's remedy and that it was brought into conspicuity therein, may also be seen from an analysis of Swaim's Panacea (by Chilton) recorded in the Am. J. Med. Sciences, 1829, p. 542. The following reprint from an anonymous writer in the American Journal of Pharmacy, 1831, establishes the subject more clearly in that it gives a very fair description of oil of gaultheria as well as making a statement to the effect that it is the same as sweet birch oil, and showing further that many different plants yield the same oil.

Oil of Gaultheria procumbens:—"This is the heaviest essential oil of which we have any knowledge, for I have found it to be 1.17. This furnishes us with an easy mode of testing its purity. The wonderful success of Swaim's Panacea has brought this oil into great vogue with all venders of Catholicons, Panaceas, and Syrups of Sarsaparilla.

JOETHECROW
11-16-2010, 10:33 PM
Great and interesting info and bottles,...please keep it going... Here's that link ,....To John Uri Loyd's book,..."The History of the Vegetable Drugs of the U.S.P."


http://www.henriettesherbal.com/eclectic/lloyd-hist/index.html

JOETHECROW
11-16-2010, 10:42 PM
This is the only mention of a date I found.


William Swaim, having been cured of a disease, possibly venereal, by a physician’s remedy, about 1822, ferreted out the ingredients, added to them oil of wintergreen for flavor, and extensively advertised his “panacea,”

JOETHECROW
11-16-2010, 11:00 PM
So,..going by the significant date in your newspaper ad, Steve,...we can discount the above info as inaccurate (at least the 1822 date))

cobaltbot
11-16-2010, 11:08 PM
One of the abundent sources of Oil of Wintergreen or methyl salicylate is the Sweet Birch tree also known as cherry birch or black birch. It is one of the most common trees out of around fourty species that grow on our land.

JOETHECROW
11-16-2010, 11:17 PM
So,...Steve C. Do you suppose they would tap these Birch trees the way we do Maples, when obtaining the sap to boil into syrup?

Steve/sewell
11-16-2010, 11:18 PM
Another Newspaper Joe, The National Gazette and Literary Register this one from Nov. 1820 almost an identicle ad in this one a little larger font.
This newspaper is nine years later.Check it out.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/30583410D19D40C69B75CDED488D3472.jpg

Steve/sewell
11-16-2010, 11:20 PM
The ad on page 4.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/DE273E87178C4DB2AA948109C4033733.jpg

JOETHECROW
11-16-2010, 11:31 PM
Hmm,...Interesting stuff. I once read that the term "Mad as a hatter" originated with the use of mercury in hat making,....also they mention in the earlier postings that one of the symptoms of mercury poisoning common in users of Swaim's, was uncontrollable salivating or drooling....apparently mercury was thought to cure venereal diseases? A case where which is worse?

cobaltbot
11-16-2010, 11:44 PM
There are several species of plants that can produce Oil of Wintergreen. I know birch beer was made by tapping the sap of the Sweet Birch similarly to tapping maple trees. I think Oil of wintergreen was made by distilling, not sure if they used the sap or crushed the twigs for this? The Oil of Wintergreen for the Swaims could have come from one of the other species but there are plenty of Sweet Birch trees around if that was what was used.

Steve/sewell
11-17-2010, 12:13 AM
Joe more tommorrow I am tired I have to be up very early tommorrow morning 4:45 and out the door by 5:15.I hope some of the other members will post some of their Swaims bottles.They really are facinating.

JOETHECROW
11-17-2010, 12:29 AM
Steve,...No worries mate!... Thanks for triggering this great thread!


Cobaltbot,...Thanks for the info,...pretty interesting. I worked on a large Maple syrup farm/operation for a few seasons back in the day. They did it the old way with buckets and a hand auger.One year I washed 1100 buckets by hand.


Here's a post it took me abit to find....This pic by Mike has always stuck in my mind!....Just when I thought a green pontiled Swaim's would be pretty high up the food chain,...He posted these. [:D] There is also a great article over at Gunthers Medicine site about Swaim's wannabes....These bottles I would dig a 20 foot hole to get to even one of them!!!




earlyglass
Super Member:

But you will see 50 Swaims before you see one Phelps, and you will see 500 Swaims before you see one Newtons. That being said, I would say that the Swaims was certainly the trendsetter as far as packaging design, and most definately the most successful. The aqua rectangular Swaims is from the 1830s, then the first round paneled version with a New-York panel instead of the Philada.

Mr. Phelp had a prior bottle used for packaging... it was a large 6 sided bottle. Funny that on the two "originals" (Swaims and Phelps)... they both used the word GENUINE. The original "Phelps Genuine Arcanum" is a great bottle worth $30-50K.

The rarest of this group (pictured) is the Newtons. There can't be more than 10 decent examples. He was in operation in vermont during the 1840s. More to write about him, but I have to go...






https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/4459/CA8CA4B1C7414E788F2A970D71455549.jpg

JOETHECROW
11-17-2010, 01:27 AM
Okay,..I'll admit,..I'm curious as all get out, and have been reading more about Swaim's...Was it for treating mercury poisoning,..or was mercury used in it's preparation?....I guess I might have thought that I read that mercury was used in early treatment of venereal diseases?....anyone?

Here's a pic of a cool labeled later aqua version I happened across.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/4459/B936CE49B5734BCFB4957CC2D514288C.jpg

JOETHECROW
11-17-2010, 01:46 AM
Okay....found the answer right in front of my face....Went back through and reread Steve's original clipping thoroughly....It was right there....SO,...does this confirm or imply that someone might have already used other patent meds for such diseases that DID contain mercury?

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/4459/5EB37E9EF5C4414D93C8C05478AD026B.jpg

JOETHECROW
11-17-2010, 01:58 AM
William Swaim and Swaim’s Panacea

The Helfand Collection’s second-earliest item, Some Remarks Upon a Publication by the Philadelphia Medical Society Concerning Swaim’s Panacea (1828), is of particular significance insofar as it sheds light on one of the first major scandals of the popular medicine industry. Written by William Swain, the pamphlet is a defense of his medicine, Swaim’s Panacea. As the name suggests, Swaim professed that his product, a syrup extracted from the roots of the sarsaparilla plant, had sweeping curative powers. Both the general nature of his claims and his promotional excesses raised the attention of the Philadelphia Medical Society, which publicly charged Swaim with selling a low-quality, unevenly mixed product that was dangerous and potentially fatal. In his rebuttal, Swaim accused the Medical Society of snobbery and professional jealously; and Some Remarks . . . suggests the extent to which he, like many of his industry predecessors, positioned himself as a champion of the people, or “one of the unlettered throng” fighting a “learned authority.”

Despite this incident, Swaim’s Panacea went on to achieve a “very extended and established celebrity,” as the 1853 publication, Swaim’s Panacea, for the Cure of Scrofula, or King’s Evil suggests. Like many collection items, this booklet consists primarily of case histories and sworn statements from patients cured of scrofula. What makes this publication exceptional, however, are the illustrations: five wood engravings of Swaim’s patients, which introduce the effects of scrofula in incredible, gory detail. In 1871, Swaim’s Panacea was reprinted, with only the date on the internal title page being changed.

JOETHECROW
11-17-2010, 02:12 AM
Last one for tonight...excerpt from an interesting looking book.


Over the Counter and On the Shelf: Country Storekeeping in America by Laurence A. Johnson
An excerpt from the book Over the Counter and On the Shelf: Country Storekeeping in America by Laurence A. Johnson a look at stores in United States history.
OVER THE COUNTER AND ON THE SHELF: COUNTRY STOREKEEPING IN AMERICA. 1620--1920. By Laurence A. Johnson, edited by Marcia Ray. Rutland, Vt.: Charles E. Tuttle Co., 1970.


About the book: The American country store was a hodgepodge of merchandise, from groceries, drugs, and hardware to the whiskey sold in the back room. Merchandising has changed since the days of the open cracker barrel, but the general store is remembered as a pleasant and important part of America's past.


From the book: The storekeeper himself was a man of consequence, his opinions respected, if not always agreed with. Though he often lacked formal education, he was almost always exceptionally well informed. As postmaster he kept up with the times through the periodicals and newspapers that passed through the office. Yearly buying trips to Philadelphia, New York, Boston, or New Orleans introduced him to a wider world. Slack time in winter could be improved by reading and meditating on the books he carried in stock. Not at all unusual was the book selection of a merchant in a small Missouri town in 1829, who advertised volumes by Josephus, Byron, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Scott, Fielding, Herodotus, Hume, Smollett, Milton, Defoe, Homer, and Bunyan. No wonder, in an age of flowery harangue, the storekeeper was capable of Fourth of July speeches full of classical reference, and holiday toasts 2nd to none. In his political beliefs, he seldom hesitated to stand up and be counted.


With the years, the general health of the public became even more precarious if one can judge from the amount of patent medicines sold by peddlers and through general stores. In June, 1841, The New York Tribune printed a testimonial from Jane Bemee of Utica, N.Y., a young woman of 32, who, in the 2 years she had been bedridden with a disease that was "eating away her face," had consumed: 14 bottles of Phoenix Bitters, 20 Boxes of Life Pills, 100 boxes of Brandreth's Life Pills, 3 bottles of Phelps Arcanum, 4 Bottles of Smith's Anti-Mercurial Syrup, 5 Bottles of Swaims's Panacea, 3 Bottles of Indian Panacea, $6 worth of Conway's Boston Medicine, a large quantity of Fowler's Solution of Arsenic, and different preparations of mercury prepared by doctors. Blissfully, she concluded her testimonial, which was witnessed and corroborated by a justice of the peace at Utica--"I am satisfied that my life has been preserved and my health entirely restored by the blessing of God and the use of Bristol's Fluid Extract of Sarsaparilla.

Steve/sewell
11-17-2010, 08:53 AM
Good information Joe thanks for the time put in.Is it any wonder that the people addicted to these remedies could even get up in the morning let alone funtion?You have to remember just twenty years prior yellow fever wiped out one tenth of the population of Philadelphia in 1793.No wonder
people were hooked on all of these medicines and cures.

A good quick read about the epidemic:

About the 1793 Yellow Fever Outbreak
By Rose Kivi, eHow Contributor .updated: September 13, 2010

In the summer of 1793, an estimated 5,000 residents in Philadelphia were infected with a deadly fever known as Yellow Fever. Philadelphia was in a state of panic. People were afraid, doctors didn't know the cure for Yellow Fever or how to prevent it. Doctors tried treatments without much success and eventually recommended that people flee the city to save their lives. Many who stayed came down with Yellow Fever and suffered a painful death.
.The Facts
A combination of two contributing factors brought Yellow Fever to Philadelphia for the first time in 1793. The first was weather. The spring season of 1793 brought a lot of rain to Philadelphia followed by a hot and dry summer season, which left behind swamps and puddles filled with stagnant water. The wet spring and dry summer created the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes to multiply and invade the city. The second contributing factor was the immigration of infected refugees. During the summer of 1793, an estimated 1,000 refugees fled from Santo Domingo to Philadelphia. Unknown to the people of Philadelphia, some of the refugees had been infected with and were carrying Yellow Fever. The mosquitoes bit the infected refugees and then bit the people of Philadelphia, transmitting the disease and starting an epidemic.
History
In the summer of 1793, the doctors of Philadelphia gathered together to discuss a common concern over a large amount of patients with the same symptoms. All of the doctors had been seeing patients who exhibited nausea, black vomit, skin eruptions, incontinence, lethargy and yellow skin coloration that led to death in the majority of the patients. The sickness was diagnosed as Yellow Fever. The doctors did not know the cause of the fever or the treatment for it. They had theories of the cause of the fever, but none of them discovered mosquitoes to be the cause of transmission. Unsanitary city conditions and dirty water were thought by some to be the cause. With lack of definitive knowledge of the cause and treatments of the fever, the doctors advised the people to leave the city to avoid infection.
Some doctors stayed behind to treat the infected. Dr. Benjamin Rush, used blood letting as a treatment for Yellow Fever. He would drain up to one-fifth of a patient's blood in an attempt to cure them. Dr. Jean Devèze treated the infected by keeping them comfortable and clean and administered quinine and stimulants. Some patients were saved, but many died.
Time Frame
The year of 1793 was the first but not the only year of Yellow Fever outbreak in Philadelphia. Philadelphia suffered from the Yellow Fever epidemic again in the summers of 1794, 1796, 1797 and 1798. The summer of 1798 brought a severe Yellow Fever epidemic similar to the one in 1793. The other years were much less severe and not as many people died.
Effects
In 1793, Philadelphia was the largest city in the United States with more than 50,000 residents. By the end of the summer of 1793, one-tenth of the population of Philadelphia had died. When the weather cooled off in 1793, some of the Philadelphia residents who had fled returned to their homes believing Philadelphia to be safe again. With each following Yellow Fever outbreak in the following years, the population decreased due to deaths and a large number of residents left in fear. By the end of 1798, the majority of the people of Philadelphia permanently abandoned the city, leaving a population of less than 8,000.
.

Steve/sewell
11-17-2010, 11:00 AM
Some more pictures on a bright sunny VERY WINDY>>>>>>> day.You can see the bottle is very light sea green in color very typical of Southern New Jersey made glass.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/F9C9AEC794E74248AA2FC75620CA6BA8.jpg

Steve/sewell
11-17-2010, 11:00 AM
Another picture.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/9B2A44D5566D4FAB8DEC7EEF344E2B44.jpg

Steve/sewell
11-17-2010, 11:01 AM
Number 3 In close on the rolled lip very typical of early Chestnut bottles.This has me leaning towards this bottle being very early in manufacture.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/690D9EBD118E4D85B09432CBD5D3A1C8.jpg

Steve/sewell
11-17-2010, 11:02 AM
Number 4 You can see in the corners the product that was in the bottle.I know products will change color over two hundred years but maybe it was this color of yellowy orange.It would be neat to remove some of it and have it tested by a lab for all of the ingrediants that are in the formula.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/D90F7D3ED20E4389A74925261CC4E02B.jpg

Steve/sewell
11-17-2010, 11:08 AM
Number 5 Again you can see the product in the corners and scattered through out the bottom of the bottle.
https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/C16A6F41844541A3AE3050C0450CE0AC.jpg

Steve/sewell
11-17-2010, 11:10 AM
Number 6 Close up of the corner with Swaims remedie lodged in the corner.
https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/8C68CD3DD3FF4B5E813B6FC2F5E240A2.jpg

Steve/sewell
11-17-2010, 11:13 AM
Number 7

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/3A4F5B4484F54248A03D1C1432F4CD8E.jpg

JOETHECROW
11-17-2010, 01:08 PM
Real nice bottle and pictures Steve....It would make me nervous to have that bottle outside when it's windy....Especially when you figure the odds of it surviving till now.

phil44
01-02-2011, 12:14 PM
Joe, Do you have date on the morbid ad with the smiling woman?

I have an 1829 pdf which I would add to the post if the forum supported it. It features the round sided bottle.

It's significant to learn Swaim advertised in 1811. Thanks Mr Sewell, any chance you can look earlier?

GuntherHess
01-02-2011, 01:27 PM
Do you have date on the morbid ad with the smiling woman?

I have an 1829 pdf which I would add to the post if the forum supported it. It features the round sided bottle.

""Nancy Linton: A faithful representation of her actual appearance & condition after having been cured by the use of Swann's Panacea", c. 1833, by C Hullmandel (from a drawing by WH Kearney)"

This article has a good copy of the swain engraving...,
http://thequackdoctor.com/index.php/swaims-panacea-part-1/

and a color version here ...
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3420/3987689094_a4820bcc9e_b.jpg

If you have something in a PDF you want to post just bring it up on your pc, do a screen capture and paste it into Paint. Then you can save as a JPEG and post it.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3420/3987689094_a4820bcc9e_b.jpg

Steve/sewell
01-02-2011, 02:41 PM
Nice ad Matt ,Phil this is the earliest ad which I have personally found.I have the same ad 10 years later in 1819.I also bought an entire year and a half of the Philadelphia based Newspaper The Philadelphia National Gazette and Literary Register from the Library of congress.These old newspapers become available once they are decommisioned.The large booklet contains the year Nov 1st of 1820 to April 30th 1821. All of the daily editions are in this book from this time period.Swaims advertised in every newspaper but 5 in June of 1821.In November of 1820 he is advertising on the last page in the newspaper page 4.By April of 1821 he is on the front page.Matt(Guntherhess) I will show an ad where Swaim and the famous Cumberland glass works of Western Maryland advertise right next to each other in the same column.The Cumberland Glass works began advertising in this paper in March of 1821. Here is the large wooden backed and splined booklet I purchased from the Library of Congress.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/653370CC1BD842D3AB798351B43F635C.jpg

Steve/sewell
01-02-2011, 02:41 PM
Number 2

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/F3EED936ECF54F2199F1DF979E1473E8.jpg

Steve/sewell
01-02-2011, 02:42 PM
Number 3

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/0B3B1149BC6940149D2F51D613D23CA5.jpg

Steve/sewell
01-02-2011, 02:46 PM
Every Newspaper is hand signed Department Of State at the top of every edition.Here is an April edition of the paper.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/8762FC95F293449F84B226B65BFB3439.jpg

Steve/sewell
01-02-2011, 02:47 PM
Number 5 Matt here is the ad along with the Cumberland Glass works ad in the same column on April 26th.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/12005/7DDD268A24314EC6902DD79D013BA369.jpg

GuntherHess
01-02-2011, 04:19 PM
nice

phil44
01-03-2011, 03:57 PM
Finally figured out how to do this whith the help of Gunth and my office mate!!!

This is from an 1829 Frederick Md. Newspaper The Torchlight .

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/7192/5A5B5F31FFA041A9A562AE00EB7BF2F4.jpg

AntiqueMeds
01-03-2011, 05:00 PM
Nice ad I dont remember seeing that one.

CazDigger
01-03-2011, 08:26 PM
Wow, $2.00 a bottle in 1829. If the online currency calculator I used is correct, that would be about $50. in today's dollars.

CazDigger
01-03-2011, 08:27 PM
I wonder if they had a copay?

phil44
01-03-2011, 09:49 PM
Have you guys ever thought about where the phrase, your paying for the bottle came from?

AntiqueMeds
01-03-2011, 09:55 PM
One of the big selling points of the Swaim's copycats was they sold for only 1.00, half the price of Swaims.

cracked bottle
06-15-2013, 09:08 PM
Steve,


I picked this up yesterday at the Baltimore Bottle club meeting. The bottle does have some cracks but I think I got it for a great deal at $10. Can't believe this was from 1820's. Glad I bought it.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/6931/DCF3BFA756A84BD2A76C5C4460DD0876.jpg

cracked bottle
06-15-2013, 09:09 PM
.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/6931/C54BC0667CC04A48954A5B6348F77E02.jpg

cracked bottle
06-15-2013, 09:09 PM
.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/6931/3FABC300948640F0B1A7B896F0078F80.jpg

cracked bottle
06-15-2013, 09:10 PM
.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/6931/28EAE265278C493084AC9DB9F7ECC5EF.jpg

cracked bottle
06-15-2013, 09:10 PM
.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/6931/84F5CBFA51214B3CB0F0F6413E399DE7.jpg

cracked bottle
06-15-2013, 09:10 PM
.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/6931/3E06AF3C6DC64229A4EF05A9619AC84C.jpg

cracked bottle
06-15-2013, 09:11 PM
last one

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/6931/9FE3F6BB08A74010804CAA445CABC061.jpg

Steve/sewell
06-16-2013, 01:20 PM
ORIGINAL: cracked bottle

Steve,


I picked this up yesterday at the Baltimore Bottle club meeting. The bottle does have some cracks but I think I got it for a great deal at $10. Can't believe this was from 1820's. Glad I bought it.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/6931/DCF3BFA756A84BD2A76C5C4460DD0876.jpg

Quite rare Marc, and a great pick up for you, glad I posted this topic and was able to help someone identify and gain a nice addition to his collection.If you send me some pictures of your Baltimore Meds I will put them on my site as part of this section. Could I post these pictures you added of your bottle also if you would send them to me.

GuntherHess
06-16-2013, 01:44 PM
looks like its carved out of ice. :)

cracked bottle
06-16-2013, 10:48 PM
ORIGINAL: Steve/sewell



ORIGINAL: cracked bottle

Steve,


I picked this up yesterday at the Baltimore Bottle club meeting. The bottle does have some cracks but I think I got it for a great deal at $10. Can't believe this was from 1820's. Glad I bought it.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/6931/DCF3BFA756A84BD2A76C5C4460DD0876.jpg

Quite rare Marc, and a great pick up for you, glad I posted this topic and was able to help someone identify and gain a nice addition to his collection.If you send me some pictures of your Baltimore Meds I will put them on my site as part of this section. Could I post these pictures you added of your bottle also if you would send them to me.



Thanks, Steve. Did a search as soon as I came home and saw your post. Really glad I picked this one up. I almost did not buy it. By the way, nice web site you have. Please feel free to use the pictures I posted and please feel free to use the pictures from my web site as well. I have sold some of my Baltimore Pontiled Med's. I am collecting anything early now. Thanks again.


Marc

cracked bottle
06-16-2013, 10:49 PM
ORIGINAL: GuntherHess

looks like its carved out of ice. :)



Now I see what you mean. Does look like that.

GuntherHess
06-16-2013, 11:13 PM
This photo looks like ice... does it feel cold :)


ORIGINAL: cracked bottle

.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/6931/C54BC0667CC04A48954A5B6348F77E02.jpg

sandchip
06-18-2013, 07:57 AM
Great bottles, ads and info, everybody.