View Full Version : The Mother's Friend

03-27-2004, 10:35 PM
Hi all, just a quick question.
Does anyone know what 'The Mother's Friend' was? I have a green bottle from 1870s-1890s era that says "The Mother's Friend" on the front, "Bradfield Regl Co" on one side, and Atlanta, GA on the other. Just wanted to know if this was like "Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup" or if it's a medicine at all.

Bottle Girl

03-27-2004, 10:44 PM
found some information on a website, where there was one for sale. hope it helps.

medicine bottle from Atlanta, Georgia embossed "THE MOTHER'S FRIEND" on indented front panel. Side panels are embossed "BRADFIELD REGL. CO." and "ATLANTA, GA." Smooth base. Color is aqua!! Measures 7" tall. Hand blown, dating to the 1890's

Harry Pristis
04-06-2004, 01:18 PM
I believe that "The Mother's Friend," just like "Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup" and a number of other concoctions, contained an opiate like laudanum to sedate crying babies.

-----------Harry Pristis

04-06-2004, 01:50 PM
hello bottle_girl, the info i am finding has this product being used for women, by applying it to abdomen and breasts of pregnent women and is listing it as a medicine bottle, "THE MOTHER'S FRIEND" on indented front panel. Side panels are embossed "BRADFIELD REGL. CO." and "ATLANTA, GA." Smooth base. Color is aqua!! Measures 7" tall. Hand blown, dating to the 1890's. this one has a starting price of $ 7.00


04-06-2004, 03:46 PM
Timothy is correct ! Mother's friend was applied to the pregnant mothers skin to help prevent stretch marks as the skin stretched from the pregnancy.

Harry Pristis
04-06-2004, 06:38 PM
I was not correct, as it turns out.

"The Mother's Friend" is a hundred-year-old quack nostrum, a fraud in fact. I think the makers of the current "Mother's Friend" body lotion would be quick to disassociate themselves from the 100-year-old product.

The product sold in the bottle we see was recommended for:

“Morning sickness: to allay and cure this much dreaded affection we confidently advise the free application ofMother's Friend. To young mothers we offer you not the stupor caused by chloroform with risk of death to yourself or your dearly loved and longed for baby but an agent which will if used as directed invariably alleviate In a most magical way the pains, horrors and risks of labor and often entirely do away with them, it leaves her much less liable to flooding, convulsions and other alarmIng symptoms which so frequently follow the birth. Naturally will such be the result of the continued use of Mother's Friend because it indirectly assists all the organs to more naturally perform their functions. Owing to faulty physical development, to errors in dress, in food and hygenic surroundings every woman is forced to suffer in some way for a longer or shorter time during her term. To prevent, alleviate or cure all the suffering as well as to rob labor itself of its horror and pain Is the mission of Mother's Friend; Mother's Friend when used a few months before confinement causes an unusually easy and quick delivery."

As it turns out, an analysis of the product pursuant to a federal investigation under the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 revealed that the product contained only oil and a little soap. (If taken internally, it probably had a laxative effect on the women who used the product. If applied to stretched skin... well, it was no substitute for anaesthesia!)

You can see the full story at:


----------------Harry Pristis

04-07-2004, 05:18 PM
Reggie Lynch has a labeled example that reads the following. No. 52 THE MOTHERS FRIEND / BRADFIELD REGL. CO. / ATLANTA, GA. label
Aqua tinted glass, height 7", BIM with double collar lip and smooth base, has 98% original label that is stained/faded but mostly legible, has original cork and some of the original content is still sealed inside, part of label reads "For use before confinement" and describes how/when to apply it to abdomen and breasts of pregnent women, glass is in mint condition, item #M202, Pending.

Reggies website may be viewed at www.antiquebottles.com

Harry Pristis
04-07-2004, 06:08 PM
Well, it is possible that the company that made "The Mother's Friend" simply changed the labels and promises for its product after the federal court finding entered in 1909.

Maybe the company survived, considering the sort of communications there was in the country in 1909-10. Today, fraudulent advertizing of the scale involved here would crush a company/brand-name.

------------Harry Pristis