7/12/17

DR. BAKERS MEDICINES Door to Door


I'll let the photos and the Iowa newspaper clippings tell the story. All I know is this man's name was Jim Saunders and he was a salesman for Dr. Bakers products. If you do a google search you'll find a lot of Dr. Bakers so it's hard to discern if the ones in the news clippings below are all about salesmen for the same company.

This is my selection for Sepia Saturday. Though not in sync with this week's prompt, I'm willing to bet there were plenty of sales reps nearby hoping to entice some of the fair attendees to sample their wares.

Either way, enjoy medicine the way it used to be. No insurance required. No cures guaranteed.

Click on images to see them larger.

Algona Courier, Sep. 27,1895

Quad City Times, Oct.11, 1879

Des Moines Register, May 22, 1887

Opinion Tribune, Dec. 10, 1896

Sioux Valley News, Feb. 6. 1902

Sioux Valley News, Sep. 7, 1905

Greene Recorder, April 1, 1908

Greene Recorder, Mar. 22, 1922
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12 comments:

  1. Enjoyed and related to this post. My great aunt's husband was in much the same business. I remember a bottle of 'Uncle Teddy's' lineament in the medicine cabinet of our home. Wouldn't I love to have that bottle now, sigh.

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    1. I still have some samples of Watkins products that my grandfather tried to sell during the depression. My dad still uses one of the old creams. So far it hasn't killed him.

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  2. The old Magic Elixir flimflam never dies, it just gets re-written for a new generation. Here in my town there's a famous hotel built by Dr. Grove whose "Tasteless Chill Tonic", a quinine based all-purpose patent "medicine", made him a millionaire. Recently while researching a postcard of a band that promoted a catarrh remedy called "Peruna", I discovered that its inventor, Dr. Samuel Brubaker Hartman, shared my name. He also made millions, especially during the prohibition years because it was 28% alcohol. After the repeal of prohibition, a lot of these patent medicine companies went bust. Maybe as the result of too many lawsuits too.

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    1. For some reason Google put all of these posts in a folder I've never seen instead of the regular responses. I just found them. I had wondered why nobody liked the old geezer in the wagon.

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  3. We had a little saying my father would recite when giving us medicines as children..."cures coughs and colds and sore assholes, spots on the belly and spinal decay." Those patented meds were long way from big pharm and my Dad's list of ailments sounds more like side effects today.



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  4. Ah, the traveling medicine man and his wonderful cure-all elixirs. That was rather sad and ironic about poor Carl Custer, however.

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    1. I thought it sad too. You never know where links will take you when researching something.

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  5. Imagine trusting Dr. Baker's for all those woes...I think I'd have looked for an herbal woman, assuming there were some still around then. I doubt that the pharmacy companies continued to lose suits when laws were finally passed regulating "quackery" from roadside "medicine shows."

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    1. Turn on the tv to some of those lesser weirder stations and you'll still find all sorts of hucksters selling stuff you know won't work. The old "sucker born every day" still applies no matter how sophisticated we like to think we've become.

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  6. Aren't those old ads a hoot! Couldn't get away with that ballyhoo now!

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    1. Did you see the John Oliver piece about the junk Alex Jones sells? A huge scam and also a very funny piece.

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