Advertising Collection, 1834-1914

Laupus Library Manuscript Collection, LL 02.12

  • Descriptive Summary
     
    Title: Advertising Collection
    Creator: William E. Laupus Health Sciences Library.
    Repository: Laupus Library History Collections
    Language: English
    Abstract: Advertisements for medicine, likely from between 1870 and 1910. The advertisements include patent medicine trade cards, blotter paper advertisements, and broadside advertising sheets. “Patent medicines” were often promoted as “cure-alls” for many parts of the body and their ingredient list (if any) was often inaccurate.
    Extent: 0.867 Cubic feet,
  • Description
     

    Advertisements for medicine likely to be from between 1870 and 1910. The advertisements include patent medicine trade cards and blotter paper advertisements. Advertising has a long history. “Trade cards” (in the sense of commerce) were used to advertise many things in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. “Patent medicines” were often promoted as “cure-alls” for many parts of the body and their ingredient list (if any) was often inaccurate. Few patent medicines were sold after the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 and its 1912 amendment.

  • Biographical / Historical Note
     

    Advertising has a long history. “Trade cards” (in the sense of commerce) were used to advertise many things in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. “Patent medicines” were often promoted as “cure-alls” for many parts of the body and their ingredient list (if any) was often inaccurate. Patent medicines were medical compounds sold under a variety of names and labels, though they were usually trademarked medicines, not patented. The trade cards are small, colorfully illustrated advertising cards touting a particular medicine and its many cures. The illustrations typically have little to do with any of the ailments purported to be cured. Few patent medicines were sold after the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 and its 1912 amendment.

    Thomas Hollis advertising broadsides were orginally printed on one sheet (measuring 12 1/8 x 24 1/4 inches) and then cut into three separate advertisements. The first two broadsides are textually identical but differ in typefaces and ornamental type frames. The date 1834 is assigned by one of the OCLC records which states that D. Hooten, printer, 13 Merchants Hall, was at this address during 1834 according to the Boston directory records. Gregg & Hollis, Apothecary, was founded in 1825. In 1833, Gregg sold his share to Hollis who continued the firm under his name until his death in 1975. The business survived until 1901 under the directon of Hollis' sons.

  • Administrative Information
     
    Accessions Information

    Purchased in 2001: patent medicine trade cards; Purchased from W. Bruce Fye Antiquarian Medical Books.

    February 28, 2007: 1 blotting paper advertisement for Wampole's Preparation; Gift of Dorothy Spencer

    2009: 1 patent medicine trade card; Gift of Emogene Ward

    September 6, 2012: 1 patent medicine broadsheet; Purchased from Palinurus Antiquarian Books

    March 6, 2015: 11 patent medicine trade cards; Gift of John Papalas

    April 8, 2015: 1 patent medicine advertisement; Transferred from the Country Doctor Museum

    May 19, 2017: 1 patent medicine broadsheet; Purchased from Webb Dordick.

    Acquisition Information

    Purchased from W. Bruce Fye Antiquarian Medical Books.
    Gift of Dorothy Spencer.
    Gift of Emogene Ward.
    Purchased from Palinurus Antiquarian Books.
    Gift of John Papalas.
    Transferred from the Country Doctor Museum.
    Purchased from Webb Dordick.

    Access Restrictions

    No restrictions

    Copyright Notice

    Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

    Preferred Citation

    Advertising Collection (LL 02.12), The William E. Laupus Health Sciences Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

    Processing Information

    Initial inventory prepared by Charlotte Critcher, 2015. Processed by Melissa Nasea, 2015

    Sponsor Statement

    Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina Access and Digitization Grant Program.

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