Sometimes it’s the small innovations that yield great success. For the Diamond Ink Co. of Milwaukee, WI, that innovation was the square ink bottle. According to William George Bruce “the Diamond Ink Company was the first to place the square ink bottle, which has become so popular, on the market and this progressive step practically revolutionized the ink business of the world.”
Diamond Ink Co bottle
Bottle embossed “Diamond” “Milwaukee”
According to author Richard Cavendish “Isaac Merritt Singer was no introverted back-room inventor, but one of the most forceful, flamboyant and unscrupulous tycoons in American business history. Though he did not invent the sewing machine, he designed the first practical and efficient one, used mass-production techniques to manufacture it and pioneered the hire-purchase system of buying on credit in easy installments, which revolutionized consumer behavior.”
Bottle embossed “THE SINGER MANFG CO. TRADE MARK”. The bottle was for sewing machine oil.
Liquozone, though allegedly containing little more than water, was surprisingly tangled up in major changes in American health, law and marketing in the early years of the 20th century.
Bottle embossed: Liquozone Manufactured only by the Liquozone Co. Chicago, U.S.A
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”
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
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”
Fellows Compound Syrup of Hypophosphites was invented by James Fellows who worked with his father as drug merchants in St John, New Brunswick, Canada.
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“
Bottle embossed: “MILK OF MAGNESIA/ REC’D IN U.S PATENT OFFICE/ AUGUST 21, 1906/ THE CHAS. H. PHILLIPS/CHEMICAL COMPANY/ GLENBROOK, CONN.
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.
Bottle embossed: HOOD’S / SARSA / PARILLA – C. I. HOOD & CO – LOWELL MASS