Dr. D. Jayne’s Expectorant was a patent medicine on the market for well over 100 years from the mid-1830’s up through the 1940’s and possibly longer. Much of that time its ingredients included small doses of the drug opium.
An early advertisement, published in 1854, touted it as:
A Safe and Standard Remedy for all Pulmonary and Bronchial Complaints.
The advertisement went on to provide some detail on the medicine’s purported benefits.
Recent Coughs and Colds, Pleuritic Pains, etc., are quickly and effectually cured by its diaphoretic, soothing, and expectorant power.
Asthma it always cures. It overcomes the spasmodic contraction of the air vessels, and, and by producing free expectoration, at once removes all difficulty of breathing.
Bronchitis readily yields to the expectorant. It subdues the inflammation which extends through the wind tubes, promotes free expectoration, and suppresses at once the cough and pain.
Consumption – For this insidious and fatal disease no remedy has ever been found so effectual. It subdues the inflammation, suppresses the cough and pain, and relieves the difficulty of breathing, and by causing an easy expectoration, all irritating and obstructing matters are removed from the lungs.
Hooping-Cough is promptly relieved by this Expectorant. It shortens the duration of the disease one-half, and greatly mitigates the sufferings of the patient.
In all Pulmonary Complaints, in Croup, Pleurisy, etc., it will be found to be prompt, safe and reliable.
Fifty years later, in the early 1900’s, the patent medicine was still being advertised as having the ability to cure your cough as evidenced by this item published in the September 6, 1906 edition of the”Philadelphia Inquirer.”
Generally sold as a liquid, in 1912 it was introduced in tablet form as well. Directed at retail pharmacists, this introductory advertisement for Dr D. Jayne’s Expectorant Tablets appeared that year in the February edition of “The Practical Druggist.”
Three years later, in response to enactment of the Harrison Narcotic Tax Act that regulated the production, importation and distribution of opiates and cocoa products, a notice published in the March, 1915 edition of “The Practical Druggist” announced that both the liquid and tablet forms of the Expectorant contained a small amount of opium.
While the notice went on to say that “the new law in no way affects the sale or possession” of the Expectorant, by 1920 the opium had been replaced as an ingredient. The change was announced in an advertisement published in the July, 1920 edition of “The Practical Druggist.”
After several months of research work we have succeeded in replacing the very small amount of opium in these preparations with a non-narcotic equivalent that does not impair in the slightest degree the efficiency of these remedies.
This will eliminate the former necessity of keeping a record of each sale and therefore greatly facilitate the handling of these preparations by the druggist.
Recommend these Remedies to your customers. Aside from using a substitute for the opium the formulas have not been changed.
Subsequently, the tablets were advertised to the general public under the brand name JANEX. This advertisement for JAYNEX appeared in the February 25, 1921 edition of the “Philadelphia Inquirer.”
As you might expect, as the 20th Century progressed the curative claims associated with Jayne’s Expectorant softened quite a bit such that by the late 1930’s it was pitched as nothing more than a cough medicine. This wording in a February 23, 1938 advertisement in Allentown Pennsylvania’s “Morning Call” was typical of the era.
The favorite for a century. Colds and coughs strike without warning. Be prepared to fight. Keep Jayne’s Expectorant handy. It soothes the tender throat, losens the irritating phlegm and helps to expel it. Just what’s needed. Get it now.
Specific newspaper advertisements promoting Dr. D. Jayne’s Expectorant vanished by the early 1940’s, but it continued to be listed sporadically in drug store advertisements up through the end of the decade. As late as February 12, 1948 you could still get it at “Peck’s Cut Rate Drugs” in Port Huron Michigan (2nd last).
While it’s not clear exactly when the expectorant was discontinued, newspaper references to it completely disappear by 1950.
The expectorant’s original formulator and namesake was a man named David Jayne.
His story gets its start at the turn of the 19th century when, according to his March 6, 1866 obituary published in Philadelphia’s “The Evening Telegraph,” his initial occupation was not as a druggist, but as a school teacher.
Dr. Jayne was born in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, on the 22nd day of July, 1799…He was the son of the Rev. Ebenezer Jayne, a Baptist clergyman, and received the most of his education under the auspices of pious parents. When quite a youth he removed to Cumberland County, New Jersey, and commenced life as a poorly paid school teacher.
Jayne’s obituary went on to say that in the early 1820’s he switched his focus to medicine.
About 1821 he commenced the study of medicine under the tutelage of Dr. E. Shepherd, a practitioner of marked ability and influence. He pursued his studies with untiring industry, and in due time was admitted to practice.
Whether Jayne actually graduated from medical school is not exactly clear (at least to me) as his rather lengthy obituary makes no mention of it. In addition, the 1850 edition of his annual advertising vehicle, “Jayne’s Medical Almanac,” also leaves the issue open with this vague statement in Jayne’s own words:
I would here take occasion to remark that I was a student of one of the best medical institutions in the United States (the University of Pennsylvania) and have now had over thirty years experience in an extensive and diversified practice….
All that aside, his obituary went on to say:
He performed the duties of country physician for some years with eminent success, but had the ambition to desire a wider field of usefulness.
Early newspaper advertisements suggest that it was during his time as a country physician in New Jersey that he began to manufacture his own line of patent medicines. This early newspaper advertisement for what’s most likely his first concoction, “Jayne’s Carminative Balsam,” appeared in the July 30, 1834 edition of the “Alexandria (Va.) Gazette.” The endorsement at the bottom of the advertisement was dated May 4, 1831 suggesting that Jayne had begun the manufacture of his balsam by that time.
In 1836, advertisements for his expectorant, originally called “Dr. D. Jayne’s Indian Expectorant” also began to appear in newspaper advertisements. One of the earliest was published in the November 3rd edition of Newport Rhode Island’s “Herald of the Times.”
Less than a year after the above advertisement was published Jayne picked up and moved his entire operation to Philadelphia where he initially settled at 20 South Third Street. Notices announcing his arrival began appearing in Philadelphia newspapers as early April, 1837.
By June, with his medical practice now up and running in Philadelphia, Jayne’s notices began to include Philadelphia references.
That being said, it’s clear that Jayne continued to focus on his patent medicine business as well. According to his 1866 obituary, when Jayne arrived in Philadelphia
he commenced as a practicing physician, but after a short time found himself gradually becoming a leading druggist and from that time to the present has been entirely engaged in that line of trade.
The transition from physician to druggist, if not complete, had certainly made significant progress by 1840 when the number of patent medicines associated with the Jayne name had increased to five. Now referred to as “Doctor Jayne’s Family Medicines,” they were listed in the December 9, 1840 edition of the “Lancaster (Pa.) Examiner.”
It was also around this time, actually 1843, when Jayne began the annual publication of “Jayne’s Medical Almanac and Guide to Health,” in which he shamelessly pitched the use of his patent medicines. Early versions state in Jayne’s own words:
…It contains a vast amount of valuable information suited to the wants of all; among which will be found a Catalogue of Diseases, with suitable directions and prescriptions for their removal, together with the full and explicit directions for the use of my various preparations…
In 1845 Jayne moved up the street, relocating from 20 South Third Street to 8 South Third Street. Again, notices announcing the move appeared in the Philadelphia newspapers beginning in May of that year.
Other than offering “advice gratuitously,”the ad doesn’t mention medical services suggesting that by then Jayne was no longer a practicing physician. Now, apparently fully invested in his drug business, he was not only manufacturing and selling his “Family Medicines,” but, according to the ad, acting as a wholesale dealer for “everything usually kept by dealers in drugs and medicines.”
The business grew rapidly, and according to his “Evening Telegraph” obituary, by 1849 he was planning another move. ”
His immense business forced him to seek more extensive quarters, and in 1849 he commenced the erection of his magnificent Quincy granite structure, in Chestnut Street, below Third. The center building was finished in 1850 and the wings added in 1852.
As early as 1852 the cover of Jayne’s Medical Almanac and Guide to Health” featured the completed center building…
…and later almanacs featured the completed building, including the wings.
The “Jayne” building, sometimes referred to as Philadelphia’s first skyscraper, was initially listed with an address of 84 Chestnut Street. Shortly afterwards, what appears to be a revision to the numbering system, changed the address to 242 Chestnut Street.
This description of the new building was included as part of a feature on Philadelphia, published in the March 15, 1852 “Pittsburgh Post.”
The next place of interest in Philadelphia to visit is Dr. Jaynes great building on Chestnut Street. It is 42 feet in width, 135 feet in depth, and is eight stories high. The height of the building above the pavement is 96 feet, and the height of the cupola 33 feet, making the elevation above the pavement 129 feet, to which may be added 27 feet for the stones under ground, or foundation, which makes the entire altitude, from bottom to top, 156 feet! The material of which this immense structure has been constructed is granite, from the Quincy quarries in Massachusetts. The front of this building has numerous columns, which inclose Gothic windows, and the whole is crowned with Gothic cornice. I was also taken through the building from foundation to turret, by one of the polite clerks of the establishment. From the top I had (a) magnificent view of Philadelphia and its environs, the shipping, navy yard, Camden, etc., etc. The cost of Jayne’s building exceeds $350,000 -the ground alone cost $144,000.
This early photograph the building is courtesy of the New York Public Library’s Digital Collection.
As you might guess, constructing a building of that size in 1850 had its issues, not the least of which, according to the December 11, 1850 edition of Philadelphia’s “Public Ledger,” was fire protection.
The Jayne Palace – In a few days, the Diligent Engine Company will make an attempt to throw water to the top of Dr. Jayne’s new building in Chestnut Street… The effort will be made at the request of Dr. Jayne, in consequence of one of the Insurance Companies refusing to insure the property if the feat cannot be accomplished.
The successful attempt took place the following spring and drew quite a crowd. It was described in the April 18, 1851 edition of the “Public Ledger.”
A Great Feat. – An attempt to throw water over the cupola of Dr. Jayne’s granite palace in Chestnut Street was successfully performed yesterday with the Diligent Engine, in the presence of a great throng of persons attracted to the spot by the great novelty of the undertaking. The engine was manned by about fifty men, a large portion being members of the Good-Will Engine, who had volunteered for the occasion. The gallery stream was first tried with a 1-1/8 inch nozzle, and the stream was thrown above the cupola with perfect ease. Several persons were standing in it, and probably deemed themselves above all the efforts of the fireman, but they soon found themselves deluged, one of the gentlemen having his hat washed off by the sudden gush of the watery element. He acknowledged the triumph of the engine, by waving a very wet handkerchief, amid the cheers of the spectators below. The breastwork of the cupola is 134 feet above the Chestnut Street pavement, and the height to which the water was thrown was therefore fully 140 feet. The water was next forced through two side streams with 7/8 inch nozzles, and each of these streams went over the cornice, which is 96 feet above the pavement. The whole power of the engine was then applied to a single side stream, and though the pipe was held by a person standing on the ground, this stream was thrown at least twelve feet above the top of the cupola, attaining an actual height of 146 feet….The Diligent has in this instance handsomely sustained the reputation it has hitherto borne of being the most powerful engine attached to the fire department.
On a side note: Ironically, 20 years later, on September 4, 1872, the building was partially destroyed by fire when firemen were unable to get water to the cupola. A story in the March 7, 1872 edition of the “Carlisle (Pa.)Weekly Herald” reported:
…after burning for twenty minutes the cupola collapsed inside the building.
In 1850, just as the new building was about to open, Jayne formed a business partnership with family members to run the wholesale drug piece of the business. According to an 1896 publication entitled “Men of the Century:”
…Dr. Jayne formed a partnership with his son, David W. Jayne, and his nephew, Eden C. Jayne, to conduct the wholesale drug business. This attained large proportions, but was not so remunerative as desired, and was discontinued in 1854, a new partnership being formed in 1855, including the three partners named and John K.Walker, Dr. Jayne’s brother-in-law, under the firm name of Dr. D. Jayne & Son.
According to Eben Jayne’s obituary, published in the November 21, 1900 edition 0f the “Lewiston (Pa) Journal,” the 1855 partnership was established to consolidate the wholesale drug business with Jaynes patent medicine business.
Under the new partnership, the menu of Jayne’s Family Medicines continued to grow and by the late 1850’s had more than doubled. This expanded list of medicines appeared in the 1865 Philadelphia City Directory.
Shortly after forming the partnership David Jayne turned the day to day management of the business over to his partners. Now focused on real estate, David Jayne went on to build several more iconic buildings in Philadelphia before passing away in 1866. After his death ownership of the company passed on to his estate while it continued to operate under the management of his brother-in-law, John K. Walker and nephew, Eben C. Jayne. (David Jayne’s son, David W., had previously passed away in 1863.)
It was under their management that the company survived the March 1872 fire, announcing in the March 6, 1872 edition of the “Philadelphia Inquirer” that they were temporarily resuming business at 622 Chestnut Street…
…and less than six months later, on August 24, 1872, another “Philadelphia Inquirer” notice announced they were back in business at 242 Chestnut Street
It was also under their management that the business continued to grow. In the late 1860’s/early 1870’s newspaper advertisements for Jayne’s medicines were appearing throughout much of the northeast and mid-west as well as California suggesting that the company’s reach was nearing national proportions; an amazing fact considering the mode of distribution described in a December 19, 1877 “Lancaster (Pa.) Intelligencer” story.
A valuable old mare, the property of Dr. D. Jayne & Son, has just reached Philadelphia in good order after having traveled eleven months a year for the last six years, through Virginia and Pennsylvania, traveling during this period the immense distance of 46,500 miles by actual measurement. From the record of her driver, William Shall, while collecting for the firm she was always driven with a mate; a new one however, had to be supplied every year.
It was also in the mid -1860’s that the company was shipping their medicines overseas to agents in places like England and Australia.This advertisement for Dr. D. Jayne’s Expectorant that appeared in the October 21, 1865 edition of a British publication called the “Cambridge Weekly News,” identified their London, England agent as Francis Newberry and Sons, 45 St. Paul’s Churchyard, London.
By the turn of the century their medicines had even made their way to China where in 1899, and possibly earlier, agents for the company were being listed in “The Directory & Chronicle for China, Japan, Cores, Indo-China, Straits Settlements, Malay States, Siam, Netherlands, India, Borneo, the Philippines, etc.” This business card advertisement was included in the 1909 edition of that publication.
Highlighting their world wide reach was a notice to druggists promoting Jayne’s 1910 Almanac. It pointed out that not only were seven million copies being printed but it was being published in seven different languages.
David Jayne’s brother in law, John K. Walker, passed away in 1881 after which his nephew, Eben C Jayne, continued as head of the firm until his death in November 1900. That being said, as late as 1926 the company was still being managed by the Jayne family, with a grandson, J. Maxwell Bullock, listed in the Philadelphia directory as “General Manager.”
In 1927 the company announced that they were moving from their long time home in Chestnut Street’s Jayne Building to a new location along the Philadelphia waterfront. Also owned by the Jayne estate, the property was located at Delaware Avenue and Vine Street. The move, announced in concert with a plan to standardize both their bottle type and size (5 ounces) was announced in the June, 1927 edition of the “Practical Druggist.”
For many years almost from the foundation of the business, Dr. D Jayne & Son have put up their preparations in various sizes and styles of bottles, but today with the greatly increased manufacturing costs and with the impossibility of advancing prices to the public, Dr. Jayne & Son decided to adopt a uniform size and style bottle for all of their preparations, and in their advertisement in this issue they quote both the old and new wholesale and retail prices, and where the price has been raised, it is only nominal as the quantity has been increased, so that it is not really a price raise.
The making of these changes in prices and uniformity of size was under consideration for some time and an excellent opportunity to make the change (occurred) when Dr. Jane & Son were able to dispose of their building on Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, and remove to property that they owned at Vine Street and Delaware Avenue. When the removal was decided upon, plans were made to install the latest styles of pharmaceutical apparatus and bottle labeling machinery with the result that today Dr. D Jayne & Son are in a position to fill all orders more expeditiously than at any time in the long history of the business. In the removal to their present premises there is a great advantage in receiving and shipping facilities as the Belt Line railroad is within a hundred feet of the building, and for water shipment only the distance of the width of Delaware Avenue.
Ownership of the company remained with David Jayne’s estate until 1931 when Jayne’s estate was distributed among the surviving heirs. A May 24, 1931 “Philadelphia Inquirer” article tells the story.
Sixty-five years after his death and nearly a century after he settled in Philadelphia and first began to amass a fortune from patent medicine and real estate transactions that made him one of the wealthiest men of his time, final distribution of the estate of Dr. David Jayne, physician, philanthropist and civic leader is about to be made…
There were twelve grandchildren, ten of whom are now living. Harry W. Jayne, a deceased grandson left two sons and J. Maxwell Bullock. another deceased grandson, left three sons.
Real estate which has not yet been converted includes the premises 611-27 Chestnut Street, valued at more than $600,000; Pier 15 North Wharves, Delaware Avenue and Vine Street, and 216 Vine Street.
Less than a month after the announcement, the business incorporated in the State of Delaware. The incorporation notice appeared in the June 5, 1931 edition of the Wilmington Delaware’s “News Journal.”
Seven years later, in 1938, David Jayne’s heirs sold the Vine and Delaware property to the corporation. The sale was reported in the March 12th edition of the “Philadelphia Inquirer.”
Jayne Heirs Convey Stores 2 to 16 Vine St. for $50,000
2 to 16 Vine St. eight store properties, lot 153 by 81 feet have been conveyed by A. R. Bullock, Charles H. Jayne, Horace F. Jayne and other heirs of the Jayne estate to Dr. D Jayne & Son, Inc. for $50,000. They are totally assessed at $79,400.
The company continued to publish their almanac up through the early 1940’s. As far as I can tell the last (98th) edition came in 1941.
Newspaper advertisements continue to locate Dr. D. Jayne & Son in Philadelphia at 2 Vine Street as late as 1946 after which I lose track. That being said, as late as the 1960’s, newspaper advertisements for their “Vermifuge,” now called “Jayne’s P-W,” continued to appear sporadically. The last one I can find appeared in the October 29, 1969 edition of the “South Bend (Ind.) Tribune.” The ad closed with the line:
Perfected by Dr. D. Jayne & Son, specialists in worm remedies for 100 years.
The subject bottle is mouth blown with a tooled finish and eight ounces in size. This likely dates it sometime around the turn of the century. At that time Jayne’s Expectorant, in liquid form, was being sold in three different size bottles. For much of its history it was sold in what the company referred to as the “Dollar” size. Then, as early as 1893 they began offering it in “Half Dollar” bottles as well.
In 1905 the company took it a step further, announcing the addition of a two ounce size.
This 1917 price list refers to the three sizes as “Large,” “Half” and “Quarter” respectively.
We know from the 1905 advertisement that the “Quarter” contains two ounces. Therefore, logically the subject bottle, containing eight ounces, is what the company called the “Large” or “Dollar” size which in 1917 was selling for $1.20.