Listerine, Lambert Pharmacal Company, St. Louis, MO

According to Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, authors of Freakonomics “Listerine, for instance, was invented in the 19th century as powerful surgical antiseptic. It was later sold, in distilled form, as both a floor cleaner and a cure for gonorrhea. But it wasn’t a runaway success until the 1920s, when it was pitched as a solution for “chronic halitosis”— a then obscure medical term for bad breath. Listerine’s new ads featured forlorn young women and men, eager for marriage but turned off by their mate’s rotten breath. “Can I be happy with him in spite of that?” one maiden asked herself. Until that time, bad breath was not conventionally considered such a catastrophe. But Listerine changed that. As the advertising scholar James B. Twitchell writes, “Listerine did not make mouthwash as much as it made halitosis.” In just seven years, the company’s revenues rose from $115,000 to more than $8 million.”

Embossed: Listerine, Lambert Pharmacal Company



From Tawdry Knickers and Other Unfortunate Ways to Be Remembered: A Saucy and Spirited History of Ninety Notorious Namesakes by Alex Novak, 2010

antiseptic2

Lambert Pharmacal Company, Listerine Ad - The Safe Antiseptic (1917)

Lambert Pharmacal Company, Listerine Ad – The Safe Antiseptic (1917)

Listerine Ad 1928

Listerine Ad 1928

Listerine Ad 1928

Listerine Ad 1928

Listerine Ad with President Hoover - 1929

Listerine Ad with President Hoover – 1929

Listerine Ad - 1929

Listerine Ad – 1929

Lambert Pharmacal Company’ Listerine Ad – (1929)

Lambert Pharmacal Company’ Listerine Ad – (1929)

Listerine Ad - 1929

Listerine Ad – 1929

Listerine Ad - 1929

Listerine Ad – 1929

aftershave

Listerine Ad, 1930

Listerine Ad 1930

Listerine Ad 1930

Listerine Ad - 1932

Listerine Ad – 1932

Listerine Ad [ca. 1932-1935]

Listerine Ad [ca. 1932-1935]

Listerine Ad [ca. 1932-1935]

Listerine Ad [ca. 1932-1935]

Listerine Ad 1932

Listerine Ad 1932

Listerine Ad - 1934

Listerine Ad – 1934

Listerine ad, date unknown.

Listerine ad, date unknown.

Listerine Ad 1934

Listerine Ad 1934

Listerine Ad 1937

Listerine Ad 1937

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About Jessica

I am the supervisor of the analysis of the archaeological collection recovered from the Old Main excavation.
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9 Responses to Listerine, Lambert Pharmacal Company, St. Louis, MO

  1. johnny says:

    I am 12 years old and I just found this same exact bottle

  2. bob taylor says:

    i have a glass bottle with cork embossed labert chemicals/listerine (interested?)

  3. Pingback: Lambert pharmacal | Selfcentered

  4. JENN SHOMO says:

    hi my name is jenn and i found the same bottle in great shape with no cork was wondering of its value how old it is and if u buy these or no of anyone who does?thanks a quick responce would be greatly apprteciated;)

    • Congrats on finding a piece of history. This site is intended for educational purposes only. Since these bottles are historic artifacts, I don’t consider their monetary value. For a better estimate of their current going price try eBay.

  5. This design is wicked! You most certainly know how
    to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start
    my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job. I really
    loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

  6. melissa riggins says:

    how much is this bottle worth?

    • Jessica says:

      The artifacts featured here were excavated and not purchased. I cannot make any claims to offer accurate appraisals, but for my own knowledge I look at sold listings on ebay to ascertain what others have paid for the item.

  7. Abby Newling says:

    I came across an old wood chair with a label under the seat that reads “From Lambert Pharmacal Company, St. Louis MO” with something written in pen that I can not make out. Does anyone know if office furniture from this company holds any value? Perhaps it was sold off at some point?
    Thank you!
    Abby N.
    Freedom, Wisconsin

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