Tildesley & Co Yacht Club Salad Dressing, Chicago IL

Like many other common condiments on our tables today, commercial salad dressing was invented and widely marketed during the late 19th and early 20th century to a public that had previously been accustomed to making their own at home.  Because the products were unfamiliar, and there was such a flood of new options, food companies needed to inform home cooks of how to make use of them.

Bottle embossed "Yacht Club Salad Dressing"

Bottle embossed “Yacht Club Salad Dressing”

According to blogger Didi “This salad dressing was made by the Tildesley Co of Chicago, which according to my research tools was around from the late 1800s until the early 1900s. It was started and owned by John S and Sarah A Tildesley and that a Mr. William H Leech was an investor in the company. In 1890, Leech sued Mr and Mrs Tildesley for trying to cheat him out of the business after investing over a thousand dollars.” Continue reading

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Fellows’ Compound Syrup of Hypophosphites, Fellows Co., New York

Fellows’ Compound Syrup of Hypophosphites was widely marketed to physicians, not consumers, as a remedy for many illnesses.  It was a commercial success, even though it contained strychnine, a potent poison, and likely made its customers sicker.

Bottle embossed: "Fellow's Compound Syrup"

Bottle embossed: “Fellow’s Compound Syrup”

Fellows Compound Syrup of Hypophosphites was invented by James Fellows who worked with his father as drug merchants in St John, New Brunswick, Canada.
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Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia, Glenbrook, CT

Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia is a widely recognized, used and accepted over the counter antacid that works by lowering the amount of acid in the stomach. Today it’s used to treat symptoms caused by too much stomach acid such as heartburn, upset stomach, or indigestion.  But in the early 20th century, Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia was marketed to treat ailments including hangovers, wrinkles, gluttony, middle age and “smoker’s fag

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Bottle embossed: “MILK OF MAGNESIA/ REC’D IN U.S PATENT OFFICE/ AUGUST 21, 1906/ THE CHAS. H. PHILLIPS/CHEMICAL COMPANY/ GLENBROOK, CONN.


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Hood’s Sarsaparilla, Lowell, MA

Founded by Charles Ira Hood in 1875, C.I. Hood & Co. of Lowell, Massachusetts was among the largest patent medicine companies in the United States and offered a number of personal health products in addition to its well known Hood’s Sarsaparilla.  The C.I. Hood and Company was a leader in the development of color lithography as an advertising tool, and produced all of its advertising in-house and owned twenty presses issuing a plethora of colorful trade cards, posters, calendars, cookbooks, pamphlets, and other ephemera all promoting the medicinal benefits of company products.

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Bottle embossed: HOOD’S / SARSA / PARILLA – C. I. HOOD & CO – LOWELL MASS


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Dr. Miles Restorative Nervine, Elkhart, IN

Dr. Miles Restorative Nervine was marketed as a treatment for numerous “nervous” or stress disorders and anxiety related ailments, because of its strong sedative effects.  It was also advertised as solving such common problems as heart trouble, negative side effects from smoking, signs of aging and the frustrations of annoying children.

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Bottle embossed: “Dr Miles Restorative Nervine”

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Grand Union Tea Company

Starting out as small business selling coffee, tea, spices, baking powder, and flavoring extracts in the 1870s, The Grand Union Tea Company grew successfully into a national brand by the mid 20th century before suffering setbacks, struggles and eventual decline.  The company helped spur the growth of the supermarket and discount stores which are so familiar to us today.

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Bottle Embossed: “Grand Union Tea Company” with triangular logo


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Pinex Company, Ft. Wayne, IN

According to Historic Buildings and Structures of the West Central Neighborhood Association Fort Wayne, IN, William H. Noll started the Pinex Company in 1905. This company manufactured a cough remedy called “Pinex” which, by 1910, could be purchased in nearly any drugstore in the United States. He was born in Fort Wayne and received a degree in pharmaceutical chemistry from the University of Michigan. He married Laura Green in 1906. For two years, he was employed in a drug store operated by his father, Benedict Noll, before starting the Pinex Company. From the Pinex profits, William and Laura were able to build a grand home in Fort Wayne that, including the furnishings, was said to have cost over one million dollars. Also, several years before World War I, William operated the first liquid nail polish industry in the United States, but sold his interests after the war. William died in 1941 at the age of 66.

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Bottle Embossed: PINEX TRADE MARK


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