Lewis Brothers, Inc. New York – Vitalis

        

Lewis Brothers, Inc. introduced the hair product Vitalis to the market sometime in the mid 1920’s but the business itself dates back to 1913 when it was first listed in the New York City directories with an address of 22 West 115th Street.

The 1914 NYC Copartnership and Corporation Directory listed the business with the occupational heading “chemists,” and named the proprietors as Morris, Max and Louis Lewis. Census records in 1910 show that Morris immigrated to the United States from Russia at around the time he was born in 1885 while the younger Louis was a native New Yorker, born in 1894. Both, along with Max, whose census records I can’t find, are consistently associated with the business throughout the teens and 20’s while other Lewis family members, Charles and Herman, appear sporadically in the directories during that time.

The business incorporated sometime in the late teens and was first listed as a New York Corporation in the 1919 NYC Copartnership and Corporation Directory with Morris named president and Max and Louis named secretary and treasurer respectively. Around the same time, the company moved to 125th Street where they were listed in the early 1920’s at 1 West 125th Street and later in the decade at 26 East 125th Street.

The company registered the trademark “ELBEE VITALIS” on March 25, 1924 (Serial No. 187872). As far as I can tell, the word ELBEE is the phonetical spelling of their initials L.B.

Not long after it was trademarked, drug stores began to include Vitalis in their newspaper advertisements. This advertisement for the Stanley Drug Co. of Philadelphia, published in the April 8, 1926 edition of Camden New Jersey’s Courier-Post, was one of the earliest I could find. L-B Vitalis was listed under the heading “Toilet Needs.”on the lower left (enlarged below the entire ad).

A series of late 1920’s Lewis Brothers advertisements published in the New York Daily News delivered their early marketing message.

If only you had taken care of your hair! You would have no regrets now. Vitalis cares for the hair in three important ways. It retards falling hair – it tends to eradicate dandruff – and is a perfect vegetable dressing that has no stickiness. Use Vitalis only twice a week – you will be surprised at the results.

Another ad in the series provided these directions for its use, claiming “Twice a week is sufficient!”

You who have hair troubles – here is the simplest treatment in the world. On Tuesday and Saturday mornings rub a small quantity of Vitalis into your scalp, then comb your hair. The other mornings of the week, dampen the hair with water, and comb. Vitalis will retard falling hair, tend to eradicate dandruff – and is a gentlemen’s dressing.

While these advertisements skewed toward men, the company also made a short-lived effort to develop a female following as well. Advertisements in 1930 touting it as a way to curl straight hair appeared in several New York City newspapers.

YOU CAN HAVE CURLEY HAIR

I’m not spoofing you…for I’ve seen ’em with my very eyes begin to wave and curl after the directions in “How to Care for Your Hair” had been followed. The booklet is distributed through the courtesy of the makers of Vitalis. Every step in the complete home care of the hair is given. I will send you without charge a copy of this beautifully illustrated booklet and if you add 6c in stamps I will include a bottle of Vitalis…the preparation that brings out hidden waves…or, you can purchase a large bottle at your drug store for $1 or less with booklet enclosed.

By the early 1930’s, the product’s success made it a target for acquisition by Bristol-Myers. This item announcing the acquisition appeared in the March 31, 1931 edition of the Boston Globe.

Drug, Inc., announces the purchase from Lewis Brothers, Inc. of Vitalis, the well-known hair preparation. The purchase was effected out of surplus, without the issuance of any additional stock.

Vitalis has been transferred to the Bristol-Myers Company, a subsidiary of Drug, Inc., and, after April 1, the product will be manufactured and sold entirely by the new owners. Additional advertising and sales support will be applied during the current year to this product.

Harold B. Thomas, who has been in charge of Vitalis sales and advertising under Lewis Brothers’ ownership, will be associated with the sales department of the Bristol-Myers Company in promoting the sale of the preparation.

By this purchase, the Bristol-Myers unit handles the manufacture and sale of six nationally advertised specialty products in the drug field.

The story specifically promised “additional advertising and sales support,” and advertise they did! By July  an advertisement with the heading “The Hot Sun is Severe on Hair! But don’t let it ruin yours!” was appearing in newspapers all over the country. It promoted the “2-Minute Summer Treatment.”

2-Minute Summer Treatment

Want to play 36 holes of golf…7 sets of tennis…take a long, long swim – and still have your hair manageable, healthy, neat?

Then just before you dash out for your day’s sport, massage Vitalis into your scalp. It won’t take 2 minutes!

Later that year the product’s long-time catch phrase was born when the two minute treatment was cut in half and branded the “60 second workout.” Advertisements published in the Fall of 1931 pitched it like this:

The way to handsome hair is through a healthy scalp. Your tight dry scalp can’t grow good-looking hair. It needs excercise, action, stimulation – it needs this twice-a-week schedule of 60 second workouts with Vitalis and massage.

Other advertisements around the same time demonstrated how it worked.

Twenty years later the message had changed very little as evidenced by this March 13, 1951 New York Daily News advertisement.

In 1952 things did change when Bristol-Myers  incorporated  what they called their “New Greaseless Grooming Discovery V-7” into Vitalis, now referring to the product as the “new finer” Vitalis Hair Tonic.

Vitalis Hair Tonic with V7 can still be purchased to this day on line.

The Walgreens web site describes it like this:

Vitalis liquid is specially formulated to leave your hair neat, well groomed and healthy looking. Vitalis liquid works to restore manageability to all hair types using a non-greasy formula that contains V7.

According to a book called “Did Trojans Use Trojans?: A Trip Inside the Corner Drug Store,” by Vince Staten, the Vitalis secret wasn’t, and still isn’t V7, but actually alcohol, and lots of it.

The days of secret ingredients are past. So its okay if I reveal what they really were…

Perhaps the most interesting secret ingredient is V7 itself. Its not the main ingredient in Vitalis. That’s alcohol, which, because of its drying power, has been a staple in hair tonic for decades.

In the fifties, Vitalis trademarked the name “V7” for trimetozine, a drug whose main use was as a sedative. That’s right, if you used Vitalis hair tonic in the fifties you were smearing sedative in your hair. Now you know why you slept so well back then. Your hair tonic contained the original hair relaxant.

So what’s in the modern version of Vitalis? Let’s see, the main ingredient is SD alcohol 40. In other words, alcohol. That’s followed by PPG-40 butyl ether, a compound derived from ethyl alcohol. In other words alcohol.

Then there’s water, which you know about, benzyl benzoate, which is a solvent used as a fixative in perfumes and chewing-gum flavors, and dihydroabietyl alcohol. More alcohol. That’s alcohol, alcohol, water, solvent and alcohol. No wonder winos used to drink this stuff. They knew what the real secret ingredient was.

A  list of Vitalis ingredients presented on the Walgreen’s web site is almost identical to the list Vince Staten presented in his book.

Lewis Brothers, Inc., having sold Vitalis in 1931, continued to be listed in the New York City directories up through the early 1950’s as wholesale dealers in barber supplies. They remained at 26 East 125th Street up through at least the early to mid 1930’s.

According to street easy.com, today’s building at that location was built in 1909 so it’s certainly the one utilized by the Lewis Brothers’ company when they were manufacturing and selling Vitalis in the late 1920’s. Here’s the building today courtesy of Google Earth.

Later, the company moved downtown, listing addresses at 2 W. 18th (1940’s/early 1950’s) and 822 Broadway (early 1950’s). This September 24, 1950 story in the New York Daily News confirms that the Lewis family was still managing the business at that time. It presented Charles Lewis’ opinion on the future price of a New York City haircut ($1.25!).

10-Bit Haircut Ahead?

A hair-raising prediction was made yesterday by leaders in the barbering field. Haircuts at $1.25 and 75-cent shaves are in the offing for New Yorkers patronizing union shops.

Charles Lewis, president of Lewis Brothers, Inc., barber suppliers of 2 W. 18th St., said that a survey just completed by him points to price hikes of from 25% to 50% by the first of next year.

The bottle I found is machine made and 16 ounces in size. It’s embossed “Lewis Brothers Inc.” on its side. “Vitalis, is embossed across the bottom and “this bottle property of Lewis Brothers, Inc.,” around the bottom’s perimeter. This dates it between 1924 when the Vitalis name was trademarked and 1931 when the product was acquired by Bristol-Myers.

The bottle matches the one illustrated in the late 1920’s Lewis Brothers’ advertisements in the New York Daily News.

 

Armour and Company, Chicago (Armour Laboratories)

Established in the mid 1860’s by Phillip Danforth Armour and John Plankinton, Armour and Company was a meat packing business that by the turn of the century had grown into one of the largest companies in the United States. For many years its presence in Chicago’s Union Stock Yards contributed, in no small way, to that city’s reputation as the capital of the American meatpacking industry.

Not only a meat producer, the company was heavily involved in the manufacture of by-products utilizing materials that were typically wasted in the slaughtering process. According to an October 20, 1901 story in the Buffalo (N.Y.) Times:

It is a saying in Chicago that the house of Armour & Co., in the slaughter of hogs, “loses nothing but the squeal of the hogs” when they are led to the slaughter. Employing many thousands of men in the varied industries growing out of their vast slaughtering business, the firm has found it immensely profitable to utilize all portions of the raw material by the firm.

The story went on to provide this menu of  products manufactured under the Armour name at the turn of the century. The list would grow well into the hundreds by the 1920’s

The business got its start with John Plankinton, not in Chicago but further north in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His biography, available on wisconsinhistory.org tells the story.

John Plankinton was a meat packer and businessman. In 1849 he began the packing of beef and hog products, and in 1852 formed a partnership with Frederick Layton under the firm name of Layton and Plankinton Packing Co. In 1861 Layton withdrew and Plankinton continued the business alone until 1863, when he was joined by Phillip D. Armour, and the firm became Plankinton, Armour and Co. (Plankinton & Armour)

Armour had arrived in Milwaukee by way of California where he had been lured by the gold rush.  Whether he made any money on the west coast is apparently open to speculation. According to his biography published in “A History of the City of Chicago,” published in 1900:

Mr Armour returned to the East in 1856, after having a varied experience in mining enterprises, and it was conjectured at the time that he brought back with him considerable of the golden dust, but the facts of this interesting matter are known only to himself.

Another biography, this one published in the January 7, 1901 edition of Chicago’s “Inter Ocean,” described Armour’s Milwaukee years leading up to his association with Plankinton.

Mr. Armour went to Milwaukee, where he had a friend, Frederick S. Miles, who was engaged in the wholesale grocery and commission business, and soon became his business partner, the style of the firm being Miles & Armour. The firm was prosperous, but in 1863 Mr. Armour withdrew from it to engage in the shipment of wheat, in which he saw more money. He purchased the largest grain elevator in the city, and was again as successful as could be desired.

In the meantime the pork-packing firm of Plankton & Layton was dissolved, and John Plankinton formed a new firm, in the same business with Mr. Armour, under the style of Plankton & Armour.

       

It appears that shortly after his association with Plankinton the financial foundation for the Armour business was laid. His “Inter Ocean” biography went on to say:

The firm was successful from the first, and suddenly amassed a great fortune, all through the brilliant management of Mr. Armour. This happened in the spring of 1863, when the war of the rebellion was drawing to a close. At that time pork was selling at $40 a barrel, and the New York operators were buying it recklessly under the impression that it would go to $60. Mr. Armour believed that the war would soon end, and that pork would decline to $20 or less. He laid his plans before his partners, who gave him their approval, and then went posthaste to New York, where he sold pork short for $40 as long as anybody would buy it. Sure enough, pork soon fell to $18, and Mr. Armour and his partners were made millionaires.

In the meantime Phillip’s brother, Herman O. Armour, had started a grain commission business in Chicago sometime in 1862 and by 1864 the two brothers along with Plankinton had joined together in that city under the name H. O. Armour & Co. In 1868 they began packing pork under the name Armour & Co. and by 1870 all the business transacted in Chicago was  done under the Armour & Co. name.

According to a story written years later in the December 2, 1951 edition of the Tribune, the Chicago operation moved to the Union Stock Yards in 1872 where it would remain until the late 1950’s.

The first Armour hog plant was the old Bell house in the Archer Avenue packing center which had been built up during the Civil War. About 1868 packers began to move south to the area just west of the stock yards and Armour followed in 1872.

As early as 1865 Herman left another brother, Joseph, in charge of the Chicago operation and opened an office in New York under the name Armour, Plankinton & Co. The office was first listed in the 1866/1867 New York City directory at 129 Broad Street in Manhattan.

By the end of the decade the Armours had also established another plant, this one in Kansas City run by a fourth brother, Simeone Armour, under the name Plankinton & Armours.

As early as the mid-1870’s a story in the Kansas City Times clearly viewed their operation as the leader in the country and world’s meat packing industry.

Thoroughly identified with the packing business of the whole country, there are no names in the United States more familiar to the trade than those of the Plankinton’s and the Armours, there being two of the former-father and son-and four of the latter-brothers. These six gentlemen stand at the head of beyond all comparisons the heaviest beef and pork packing business of the world…

A May 10, 1880 story published in the The (London) Times featured the American bacon and pork industry and included this description of the Armour business.

A few hogs are slaughtered and salted by the farmers, but the great bulk pass to the packers…

Messrs. Armour & Co. handle nearly 1,000,000 hogs annually at Chicago, and have similar establishments at Milwaukee and at Kansas City, at each of which upwards of 400,000 are slaughtered and packed. From small beginnings in 1860 their business has steadily increased; within six years it has doubled. At the Chicago works at the stock yards, 10,000 pigs are frequently killed daily in summer; 20,000 constitute a full day’s slaughtering in winter. Two thousand tons of meat are sometimes dispatched in a single day from the railway sidings which are conveniently brought into the premises. The work covers 14 acres; the buildings are four stories high, and are being constantly added to. There are six lifts, and hydrants and fire hose are fixed at convenient points on every story. A trained fire brigade is recruited from among the operatives. The premises are insured for a million dollars, the annual premium on different parts of the works varying from 1 to 1 3/4  percent. Two thousand men are employed in summer and 3,500 in winter.

The raw material which keeps this great establishment moving is conveniently found in the contiguous market where 60,000 hogs are sometimes pitched (sold) in a morning, and on one occasion last summer the number ran up to 80,000… Messrs. Armour have large pens and yards where their purchases are fed and watered until required. No fasting is practiced as in England. The grunter has his breakfast even if he is doomed before dinner time.

An advertisement published in the March 18, 1882 edition of the (New Orleans) Times-Democrat, for one of Armour’s agents, McCloskey & Henderson,  provided this list of canned meat products being  produced and shipped out of Chicago by Armour at the time. By this time the business included beef and even chicken soup, as well as pork.

Over the course of several years during the early 1880’s the Armours and Plankinton severed their various business relationships, apparently amicably. As the dust settled, the resultant situation was summarized in the October 26, 1884 edition of the Kansas City Times.

As appears from a dissolution notice published in the advertisement column of THE TIMES this morning, the partnership which has existed for twenty-five years between Mr P.D. Armour and Mr. John Plankinton, has been dissolved, Mr. Armour retiring from the Milwaukee house and Mr. Plankinton from the Kansas City house, which will in the future be known under the firm name of the Armour Packing Company.

The dissolution does not effect either the Chicago or New York houses, as Mr. Plankinton has not been connected with the former business for several years and a few weeks ago sold his interest in the New York house to Mr. H. O. Armour retaining an interest in but one establishment, that of Milwaukee, of which he is the chief owner.

It was during the remainder of the 1800’s that the Armours laid the foundation for much of the company’s expansion into industries related to their meat packing business, adding a glue factory, soap works and a pharmaceutical department among others to their operation.

A story in the January 1, 1886 edition of the Chicago Tribune announced the acquisition of the Wahl Bros. glue factory.

In a circular-letter to the trade, dated December 21, 1885, they announce the purchase of Wahl Bros’ extensive glue factory (which covers eight acres) in this city, together with the good will and all appurtenances. They will continue to produce glue in all it’s varieties, and all other products that their predecessors did, including gelatin, brewers’ isinglass, size for papermakers, bone-meal, neatsfoot oil, etc., etc. The regular packing business of the firm furnishes them with a fresh daily supply of materials, which is such an essential feature in securing superior qualities and perfect results… They employ 300 hands in the glue factory.

Ten years later, another item published in the Chicago Tribune, this one on May 5, 1896, announced the formation of their soap works.

Commencing this day the firm of Armour & Co. has added another feature to their business, to be known as the Armour Soap Works. The new building and plant are situated at Thirty-first and Benson Streets. With the inauguration of the soap works Armour & Co. now utilize everything in the way of raw material from the hog and steer.

An April 17, 1897 advertisement For Oshkosh Wisconsin’s “Kruschke’s” Department Store, confirmed that less than a year later the soap works was manufacturing at least three different soap brands.

Both the glue works and soap works were included in this May 28, 1897 advertisement in the Chicago Chronicle.

By the early 1890’s a pharmaceutical department had also been established  as evidenced by this excerpt from an April 10, 1892 Chicago Tribune article.

In the downtown office of Armour & Co. are several rows of shelves filled with bottles and at first sight a stranger would think the “old man,” as P.D. Armour is called by his employees among themselves, was running a drug store on the side to make both ends meet. In these bottles are a great and unique variety of preparations extracted from animals killed at the yards. The man who manages this department is a duly licensed druggist and physician, and the big packer’s hobby when receiving visitors is to invite them to sample his dried bullock’s blood or desiccated ox gail.

It’s likely that the above mentioned licensed druggist and his department were the very beginning of  Armour Laboratories. According to a November 13, 1949 Tribune story:

One of their earliest (products) was pepsin, a commercially valuable compound recovered from the stomach linings of hogs. For many rears the rudimentary laboratories at Armour’s were called the “pepsin department.”

On April 15, 1900 Phillip Armour formed a corporation that included most, though not all, of the Armour businesses. His reasoning was explained in a February 18, 1900 Chicago Tribune story.

The business of Armour & Co always has been carried on as a partnership. The recent death of Phillip D. Armour Jr., and the illness of Phillip D, Armour, the founder and head of the firm, are said to have supplied the reasons for deciding to put the business in a stock company. For several months the elder Armour has been ill, but it was not believed his illness was sufficiently grave to warrant any change in the management of the business. The death of his son was a severe blow, however, and is said to have determined the plan of incorporation.

The new corporation included the packing houses (excluding the Armour Packing House of Kansas City),  glue factory and soap factory, as well as a felt and hair factory and rail car shops.

The factories that will be taken into the stock company are large concerns. The glue factory is one of the largest in the country. The soap factory of Armour & Co., a more recent establishment, is also an important plant. The hair factory has an output which is said to be unequalled by that of any similar institution. The car factory is used to manufacture and keep in repair the hundreds of cars used in the transportation of the meat and other products of the various Armour industries.

In addition to the manufacturing plants, the packing house includes the large cattle interests of the firm. The agencies of Armour & Co. also will fall into the corporation. In every city of any size in the United States Armour & Co. has an agency for the distribution of dressed beef and the other packing house products of the firm. There are besides agencies in foreign countries. These are to be found in every port of consequence in Europe. In Asia and Africa the firm also carries on its widespread business.

The stockholders of the new corporation were Phillip D. Armour (50%), his son, J. Ogden Armour (25%) and the estate of his deceased son Phillip D. Armour, Jr. (25%). Shortly after the business incorporated, Phillip Sr. also passed away and J. Ogden Armour assumed the presidency. It was J. Ogden Armour who, according to an August 17, 1927 Chicago Tribune story, developed the business into a world wide organization.

Expansion in this country was followed by invasion in the South American field. In 1909 Armour & Co. acquired an interest in an Argentine packing plant. Now (1927) it has in that country five large plants whose products go to the world meat trade.

In the teens their food product menu extended well beyond the by-products of their meat packing business.  A product list published in 1919 bears this out.

According to the February, 1917 edition of a journal called “Advertising & Selling,” their food product line alone had reached over 300 items that were being distributed by 350 branch houses throughout the country. So it was out of necessity that around this time they unified much of their advertising under the “Armour Oval Label”

According to the 1917 story in “Advertising and Selling:”

About two years ago (1915) it was adopted as a permanent trademark for all Armour top grade products, and since then has appeared in all the advertising of these products; newspaper, poster, magazine, window display, booklet advertising, alike, all have the Oval Label as a prominent and permanent feature of the copy. (A label committee , composed of representatives from the selling, operative and executive departments, decides upon the eligibility of a product for the Oval Label, only the highest quality products being admitted to this class.)

Armour Laboratories had also grown significantly from the fledgling department of the early 1890’s.  An advertisement published in the 1919 edition of the “Modern Hospital Year Book,” included the laboratory’s pitch to the medical community.

We are headquarters for the organotherapeutic agents. Our abattoirs supply enormous quantities of glands and membranes from which digestive ferments and endocrine gland preparations are made. Raw material is selected with rigorous care. Nothing but healthy normal material is employed, and this is put into process before any deterioration has set in.

The laboratory is conveniently located. All desiccating is done in vacuum ovens at a low temperature, which prevents injury to active principles.

The advertisement went on to provide a descriptive list of their preparations.

The post World War I years brought pressures on the business that would ultimately, in the 1920’s, transition it from a company closely held by the Armour family to a publicly held company. A feature on J. Ogden Armour published at the time of his death in the August 17, 1927 edition of the Chicago Tribune described the influence of World War I on the corporation.

During the war American packers carried tremendous meat supplies, both for the American armies and for those of European allies. Prices of live stock and meat joined the wartime inflation.The business of Armour & Co. increased sales to around $1,000,000,000 a year…

With the abrupt ending of the war American packers and the allied governments alike had vast quantities of meat on hand. The wartime demand faded. Governments cancelled contracts and threw their surplus stocks on the market for whatever they would bring. Prices of live stock and meat dropped. With the post-war depression the currencies of Europe also plunged down in value.

The result of all this was that the large inventories of American meat packers lost tremendously in value. Their stocks in Europe were paid for in constantly depreciating currencies. It is estimated that Armour & Co. lost around $125,000,000 in two years.

Ultimately in 1923 a refinancing of the business was effected that ultimately resulted in J. Ogden Armour both relinquishing the presidency and selling the majority of his stock.

The Associated Press announced the organizational change on January 3, 1923.

Armour & Co. for the first time since it was organized in 1862, today operated without a member of the Armour family in the president’s chair.

Instead F. Edison White, a worker from the ranks, occupied the controlling station made vacant by the resignation of J. Ogden Armour yesterday, who became chairman of the board of directors.

However, members of the Armour family will retain important positions with the company. Phillip D. Armour III who has been a vice president of the company was designated first vice president, and Lester Armour was continued as a member of the board of directors.

A Chicago Tribune Story, dated February 14, 1925 revealed that the refinancing plan also included an option to purchase the bulk of Mr. Armour’s stock holdings within five years. The story went on to say that the purchase began at that time with a third of his holdings.

Armour & Co., largest of the packing concerns, will be owned by a large body of investors and will cease to be a family corporation with the working out of plans made known yesterday.

It is understood that about one third of the total stock holdings of J. Ogden Armour will be bought by the banking group, which conducted the financial reorganization of Armour & Co. two years ago, and then offered publicly to investors. Later on and as market conditions permit, further offerings of stock will be made.

J. Ogden Armour’s 1927 Chicago Tribune obituary mentioned that Armour’s stock holdings at the time of his death were not large, so it appears much of his remaining stock was sold over the next two years. Four years later in January, 1931 P. D. Armour, the grandson and namesake of the founder, resigned as first vice president. He would be the last member of the Armour family to hold an executive position in the corporation.

Overall the company had its ups and downs but continued to grow through the 1930’s and early 1940’s as evidenced by this financial snapshot included in the Chicago Tribune’s January 23, 1943 edition.

Stockholders were given a glimpse of company progress as indicated by a comparison of balance sheets of last year and of 1923, after a reorganization. Funded debt was reduced from 144 million to 62 million dollars during the 20 years, and sales increased from slightly more than 800 millions to 1 billion 300 millions.

Around this time they were contributing significantly to the World War II effort, so much so that an April 11, 1943 Chicago Tribune story announced that 90 to 95 per cent of Armour’s total production was devoted to war production. As a result, the army and navy awarded their E flag to company officials.

Notice that Armour & Co. had been elected to the award came in a letter from Robert P. Patterson, Undersecretary of War. The letter read in part; “You men and women of Armour & Co. are making an outstanding contribution to victory. You have every reason to be proud of the record you have set, and your practical patriotism stands as an example to all Americans.

Among the company’s specific accomplishments in aiding the war, (Armour)President Eastwood cited the following: “The development of wood veneer drums to replace metal drums, such as are used in the shipment of lard; a new method of smoking ham and bacon for army use which takes 96 hours instead of seven days; the telescoping of lambs to save shipping space.”

He also pointed to a new product “Tushonka,” a canned pork popular with Russians; to a new style of “stuffing horn” for packaging of ground beef; and, finally to the formula for “Pemmican,” an emergency ration carried by airplanes and ships.

The award also recognized the achievements of Armour Laboratories.

Brig. Gen. C. C. Hillman, acting Surgeon General, Washington D. C., said in his statement of the award to Armour Laboratories that they had “given a rich endowment, not only to the war effort but to the entire field of medicine. Listed on the chart of Armour’s achievements will be their production of ligatures, insulin, and other medical supplies for the military service. In addition to this, your conversion of facilities for the absorption of great production loads all shall be listed on the war chart victory.”

After the war the company continued to introduce new products and innovations. In 1948 the company introduced their famous brand, DIAL deodorant soap.

An August 11, 1948 Chicago Tribune advertisement bragged that the soap was so popular that after being introduced, it immediately sold out.

In the mid-1950’s Armour became the first company to vacuum package their bacon as well as other meats. A May 5, 1956 Chicago Tribune feature provided the details.

Armour was the very first to discover how to keep bacon slicer-fresh from packing house to your pan. Old style packages of bacon usually lost freshness after a week or 10 days, so Armour research set about developing a package that would maintain freshness for three weeks.

Since air was known to be the villain that made bacon lose flavor, the obvious solution was to remove the air and pack bacon in a vacuum.

Obvious? Well not exactly. While vacuum packed jars and cans have been used for years, the requirement that a bacon package be both flexible and transparent gave the problem new complexity.

Several hundred kinds of materials, and nearly as many different shapes and types of packages were tried and discarded.

Finally, a new plastic was tested and found to have just the right combination of strength and pliability for use in newly developed vacuum packaging machines.

Subsequent taste tests revealed that bacon packaged the new way keeps fresh much longer than was once thought possible. This fundamental research on bacon packaging was so successful that it soon led to vacuum packaging of many other products.

Armour Laboratories was also making significant advances during the late late 1940’s and 1950’s. Some were enumerated in a December 2, 1951 story.

Recently the science of animal utilization has reached its highest point at Armour & Co., which is now headed by Frederick Specht. The company views its laboratory accomplishments primarily from a humanitarian, rather than a money making angle.

The outstanding achievement was development of the pituitary hormone , ACTH, which was ordered into production in the early summer of 1949. It has been used in treating arthritis and 20 other diseases. A later development is trypsin, which has the ability to turn dead flesh into liquid without damaging live tissue. Trypsin, like the insulin used by diabetics, come from a meat animal’s pancreas.

Hormones are not the only medical products of meat packing. Liver extracts are used in treating anemia, many products are made from animal blood, and a stomach lining substance is used for ulcer.

As the 1960’s approached the overall corporate picture was apparently beginning to lose some shine. In 1959 Armour discontinued all slaughtering operations in Chicago. A story dated June 9, 1959 in the Chicago Tribune detailed the facts and reasoning behind the decision.

Armour & Co. announced Monday that it will discontinue all slaughtering operations at six plants, including the one at Chicago…

Approximately 5,000 employees will be affected at all plants, including 2,000 in Chicago. Armour employs nearly 3,000 persons in its Chicago unit, but not all of them work in slaughtering operations. Such Chicago operations as refining of fats and oils, wool pulling, soap manufacturer, and sales and distribution will be continued. In addition, Armour will continue to buy cattle on the Chicago market for its eastern plants…

The company said there were several basic causes for its inability to reverse substantial losses encountered at these plants. These include obsolescence of buildings, many of which were constructed more than 50 years ago; shifts in live stock numbers sectionally; declining receipts of live stock at some markets; and a general and widely recognized condition of excess production capacity in the meat packing industry.

Ultimately Armour was acquired by the Greyhound Corporation in 1970. This strange marriage is explained by company histories.com.

The country’s leader in the motor coach industry since 1930, Greyhound under chairperson and CEO Gerald H. Trautman had begun to diversify its operations in the 1960’s in response to declining bus ticket sales. As automobiles and airline tickets became less expensive and bus line profits dwindled, Greyhound acquired small companies in the fields of automobile leasing, money orders, insurance, and catering. Greyhound board members were approached by Armour in the late 1960’s when General Host threatened Armour with a hostile takeover, and Greyhound was persuaded to add Armour to its subsidiaries. The 1970 $400 million purchase was Greyhound’s first major acquisition. To reduce its investment, Greyhound immediately sold $225 million of Armour assets, retaining only the meatpacking and consumer products subsidiaries. The meatpacking operation was renamed Armour Foods, while the consumer products operation was renamed Armour-Dial.

Less than a year later, and after more than 100 years, the Arizona Republic announced that, now a subsidiary of Greyhound, the Armour headquarters was leaving Chicago for Phoenix Arizona.

Greyhound Corp. the nation’s 29th largest firm, and its big subsidiary, Armour and Co., are moving from Chicago to Phoenix.

Gerald H. Trautman of Paradise Valley, chairman and chief executive said the move will affect ” a few hundred”employees of the headquarters staffs of the Greyhound Corp. and of these subsidiaries:

Armour and Co., Greyhound Bus Lines, Greyhound Leasing and Financial Corp., and Greyhound Computer Corp., except its service center personnel.

The largest of Greyhound’s subsidiaries is Armour and Co., acquired in 1970. From its start in meat packing, that firm has diversified into a modern industrial complex.

 

Today Armour meat products continue to be sold by Smithfield Foods and are still marketed under an oval label.

Over the years I’ve found two Armour bottles, both small and mouth blown. One embossed “Armour Laboratories,” is colored brown and approximately one ounce in size. The Armour Laboratory Pharmaceutical List, published in the 1919 “Modern Hospital Yearbook” included a one ounce bottle size for both pepsin and pancreatin powders.

The second bottle is approximately two ounces in size and embossed “Armour and Company,” not “Armour Laboratories,” which leads me to believe its not a pharmaceutical bottle. Armour produced lemon, orange and vanilla flavoring extracts in several size bottles, including two ounces, so I’m leaning in that direction.

 

ED. Pinaud, Paris

Not far from Paris, on the Ourcq Canal, is the thriving town of Pantin, famous for the works of Ed. Pinaud, where is manufactured the delightful perfumery which has made its name so widely known.

That’s the opening paragraph of an October, 1893 Merck Report feature on Ed. Pinaud. A French perfume and cosmetics line originally founded by Edouard Pinard, their brand strength was and continues to be such that, although produced for almost two centuries and under several different company names, the brand name “Pinaud” has remained steadfast.

There are several different versions of Pinaud’s early history, but I’ll stick with the one presented on the web site of Washington D. C.’s Dumberton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

Ed. Pinaud (Ed. Pinaud’s Perfumery) is a Parisian perfume and cosmetics company founded by Edouard Pinaud (1810 to 1868) in 1830 at 37, boulevard de Strasbourg, Paris. He named the business A la Corbelle Fleurie. In the 1850’s, Emile Meyer (1817 to 1888) became a partner and opened a second shop called Parfumerie de la Noblesse. After Pinaud’s death, his son-in-law, Victor Klotz (1836 to 1906) took over the company, which was renamed Victor Klotz et Cie although its products were sold under the Ed. Pinaud name.

The 1893 Merck feature hinted at the size of the Paris operation just before the turn of the century.

To return to the factory at Pantin, which is an imposing building, we find that no less than 200 hands are employed, and, if that does not give an idea of the magnitude of the business transacted, the sight of several private freight cars bearing the firm’s name, most assuredly do so.

The presence of Pinaud’s products in the United States dates back as least as far as the mid-1840’s. The earliest Pinaud reference I can find was in a newspaper advertisement for the business of G. Saunders & Son, located at 177 Broadway in New York City. Printed in several October and November, 1845 editions of the Hartford (Conn.) Courant, the advertisements touted cosmetic and shaving products under a wide range of categories one of which was “perfumery,” where it stated:

PERFUMERY – The most choice of Guerlain’s, Lubin’s, Prevost’s, Ede’s, Patey’s, Roussel’s and Pinaud’s Extracts, with a full assortment of Perfumery, in boxes suitable for presents.

This October 13, 1855 Brooklyn Evening Star advertisement for a company called the McNary Brothers mentioned Pinaud products “Cosmetique” and “Almond Soap” by name.

Back then Pinaud’s business in the U. S. was with firms like G. Saunders & Son and McNary Brothers who apparently imported the company’s products directly from Paris. That being said, there was no orchestrated plan for growth in this country. According to Merck’s 1893 feature that all began to change in the late 1870’s.

Long ago demand for the Ed. Pinaud’s goods necessitated the establishment of branch offices in London, Brussels, St. Petersburg, Melbourne, and other leading cities of the world; but, strange to say, only within the last seventeen years has the house been represented in this country. Their first New York office was at 10 Cortlandt Street, subsequently moved to 496 Broadway; but very little business was done, and our visitors to Europe continued to bring back dainty bottles of Ed. Pinaud’s perfumery, sachets, and sweetly odorous soaps as Parisian souvenirs, in ignorance that they could have purchased them here.

In May 1890, the agency was transformed into a branch house with Emile Utard in charge, and soon after “Parfumerie Ed. Pinaud” was a sign which became naturalized and the goods, once being known, leaped into popular favor.

The 10 Cortlandt Street address was actually the address of Henry Dreyfus & Co., who was listed there (sometimes 6 Cortlandt St.) as a perfumer (sometimes importer) from 1880 up through 1887. In a series of 1886 advertisements that ran in several U. S. cities they referred to themselves as Ed. Pinaud’s “sole agent for the United States.”

 

During the same time Dreyfus also listed another another office in Manhattan at 13 (and later 25) Maiden Lane. That office listing included the occupational heading of “diamonds,” so Pinaud’s lack of growth mentioned in the above story could certainly have been, at least partially due to Dreyfus’s other interests.

In any event, by 1890, Utard, not Dreyfus, was listed as a “perfumer,” now at the 496 Broadway address. A year later the company was listed at 42 East 14th street where they would remain until the  early 1900’s.

The feature goes on to name a wide variety of perfumes, essences, toilet preparations and perfumed toilet soaps being produced by Pinaud in the late 1890’s. Here’s an advertisement touting their “latest creations,” in the Spring, 1898.

Around the same time, a December 1897 item found in the Druggist Circular and Chemical Gazette advertised a line of extracts that included 37 scents with names like Lilly of the Valley, New Mown Hay and Spring Flowers.

Men were also in luck with a number of hair and shaving products. This December 1891 advertisement included products like “Brillantine” (for hair and moustache brilliancy and softness), “Eau De Quinine” (the king of all hair tonics), “Cosmetique” (whose reputation for excellence is universal), and “Lavender Water” (for use after shaving has no equal).

They even advertised dental products as evidenced by this December, 1897 advertisement.

Product’s Pinaud called their “leading specialties” were included in this price list published in the October, 1897 edition of the “Practical Druggist and Pharmaceutical Review of Reviews.”

The company’s growth through the turn of the century lead to their construction of a new United States headquarters in 1903. Located in Manhattan at 84 – 90  Fifth Avenue, Pinaud advertisements in the following years would mention its address as simply “the Pinaud Building.” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle described its opening in a March 6, 1903 story, referring to the new building as a “skyscraper.” (By my count it’s 11 stories.)

NEW ED. PINAUD BUILDING

On the site formerly occupied by the Old Guard Armory, the proprietor of the Ed.Pinaud perfumery has erected a skyscraper that contains all the latest devices in construction and equipment. To celebrate the opening yesterday Victor Klotz, the proprietor, tendered a reception during the afternoon to his friends and customers. The building is at Fifth Avenue and Fourteenth Street, Manhattan.

Mr. Klotz came from Paris to attend the opening. The offices, all newly fitted up and finely decorated, were adorned with French and American colors and floral pieces. A collation was served, during which corks popped merrily.

The story goes on to credit advertising for fueling much of their expansion.

The growth in popularity of Pinaud’s perfumes in the United States is due alike to their fine quality and business ability of the American manager, Emil Utard. During his incumbency of thirteen years it has necessitated a constant increase of room and facilities. Mr. Utard attributes his success to the wide and unique advertising used in popularizing Pinaud’s perfumes.

In an interview with Emile Utard, published in the February 12, 1902 edition of Printers Ink, he stated that the company began investing in advertising at the time they established their American branch in 1890. Since then, in the following twelve years, according to Utard:

The volume of our trade in America has grown six-fold since we began advertising.

The interview goes on to say that at the time they didn’t have much experience with the daily newspapers but did advertise heavily in a wide variety of magazines.

If we like the character of the publication, and have a fair estimate of its circulation, the price being right, we adopt it.

The interview also mentioned mass transit advertising.

We are, however, liberal patrons of street cars and of the elevated system. This year we are in all the surface cars of the city and on the stations of the elevated.

Another of their advertising avenues that caught my attention involved what they called “schemes.”

But really our greatest efforts, those on which we expend the most thought and have our greatest outlay, are our schemes. Among these, those that have to do with theaters engage our attention most, and yield the best results…

Concerning theaters, we own between twenty and twenty-five drop-curtains in good theaters in leading cities throughout the country. The better the theater the more benefit it is to us. Each of these curtains is a specimen of the scene painter’s art. All representing some view of the Riviera, along the Mediterranean Sea, where our flowers are grown…

Among the drop curtains of this kind that we now own are those of the Casino in this City (New York); the Alvin of Pittsburg; the Park in Boston; the Century in St. Louis; the Academy of Music in Montreal, Canada; the Chestnut Street Theater in Philadelphia; the Dallas Opera House of Dallas, Tex.; the Boyd Theater of Omaha, Neb; the Grand Opera House of New Orleans.

We perfume a great many theaters in addition. For instance, we have no less than six in this city, which we serve every night. One of our young employees makes the round and sprays the lobby before the performance and the house during the performance. We have consequent mention made of this nightly in the respective programs.

By the mid to late 1890’s, Pinaud products were  pretty much included in drug and department store advertisements nation wide. This item appeared in a May 13, 1899 department store advertisement in the Salt Lake (City, Utah) Herald.

You could even pick up a bottle of Eau de Quinine while in Helena, Montana as evidenced by this November 19, 1896 advertisement in the Anaconda (Montana) Standard.

Victor Klotz continued to run the business under the name Victor Klotz & Co. until his death in 1906. At that point his sons, Henry and George took control of the company and while the product line continued to be called Pinaud, the name of the company was changed to H & G Klotz & Co.

It was around this time that the company apparently added the daily newspapers to their advertising strategy. Between 1905 and 1908 you could see a number of celebrities including Lilian Russel touting Eau de Quinine and Lilac Vegetal in the local newspapers.

While other products were mentioned, it was these two in particular, Eau de Quinine and Lilac Vegetal that were the focal point of their advertising from the early 1900’s up through the 1920’s. In a series of advertisements in 1911 they were even offering sample bottles for five cents.

Sometime around 1927 the name of the U. S. business was changed to Pinaud, Inc., and the business moved to a new location in Manhattan at 220 East 21st Street. It appears that in addition to distribution, by this time they were also using this new facility to manufacture products as well.

By the mid 1930’s the Klotz brothers were no longer running the company, or at least the New York operation. The 1931 NYC directory named George Klotz as president of Pinaud, Inc. but by 1938 the listing of Industrial Research Laboratories of the United States named Jacques Heilbronn as President.

During the late 1930’s and early 1940’s the business was still profitable but apparently headed in the wrong direction. Court records (Perfumers Manufacturing Corporation, Transferee Petitioner, v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Respondent) pick up the story from there.

The business of Pinaud, Inc. had been a profitable one prior to World War II, but it suffered several reversals after the war because of its obligations , usual in the perfume and toiletry trade, to accept sizable returns of unsold merchandise from customers who had purchased and paid for its products but had failed to sell them. The volume of returns was large and Pinaud, Inc., found itself required to issue substantial merchandise credits to its customers representing a liability to deliver merchandise for which it will not be paid. To add to its difficulties, Pinaud, Inc., found itself unable to meet its cash liabilities.

The court records went on to say that Pinaud, Inc. eventually sold the business.

Pusuant to an agreement entered into on June 24, 1947, Pinaud, Inc., transferred its entire business to Ed. Pinaud, Inc. (then known as Barbara Alice, Inc.),  which was, and is, owned by persons unrelated to the owners of Pinaud, Inc…

…Ed. Pinaud, Inc. was granted the exclusive general agency to manufacture, sell and distribute “Pinaud” products for 15 years with the option to renew for additional terms of 15 years.

At this point Ed. Pinaud, Inc.,was operating under the umbrella of the Joubert group that, two years later, in 1949, merged with the Nestle-LeMur Company. The merger was announced in the July 17, 1949 edition of the Hartford (Connecticut) Courant.

Nestle-LeMur Company announces shareholders have voted to merge the company with the Joubert group of companies in New York and New Jersey. The Joubert group includes Joubert Cie Incorporated and Irresistible Incorporated which controls Blue Waltz Incorporated, Irresistible Blue Waltz Exporters Incorporated and Ed. Pinaud Incorporated…

The new firm would keep the Nestle-Le Mur name.

It appears Ed. Pinaud, Inc. continued to operate under that name as a subsidiary of Nestle-Le Mur up through the early 1980’s and, based on this September 12, 1980 advertisement in the Belleville (N. J.) Times, they continued to operate out of the 22o East 21st Street location.

Nestle-LeMur was merged into a subsidiary of Kleer Vu Industries in December, 1983.

Currently the the Pinaud  brand is owned by American International Industries and today they sell a line of men’s toiletries under the name “Pinaud Clubman.” Their web site states:

Grooming Generations for Over 200 Years

The Pinaud Building, built by Victor Klotz in 1903, still exists to this day on the northwest corner of Fifth Avenue and Fourteenth Street.

 

The building at 220 East 21st Street is currently occupied by the School of Visual Arts.

The bottle I found is mouth blown and resembles the smaller Eau de Quinine bottle pictured on this turn of the century poster.

       

According to this 1906/1907 price list published by the Des Moines Drug Company, Eau de Quinine was sold in 4oz, 8oz, 1/2 liter and liter bottles. It’s certainly the 4 oz size.

On a final note, Eau de Quinine is still available today, albeit in plastic bottles.

 

 

Wm. Jay Barker, New York, Hirsutus

Wm Jay Barker was listed in the New York City directories for over 100 years from 1847 until sometime in the mid-1950’s. During this time the business was listed with a wide range of classifications including hairdresser, barber, wigs, wigs and human hair, human hair merchant, patent meds and toilet goods. Many of the listings also included the name of the hair tonic that the business manufactured called “Hirsutus.” My daughter, who has a minor in Latin, tells me “Hirsutus” is a Latin adjective and can mean “hairy” or “shaggy”

Barker was first listed in the 1847 NYC Directory at 349 1/2 Broadway. The business remained on or near Broadway for almost 50 years utilizing many different addresses. In 1851 they were located at 459 Broadway and by 1857-58 they had moved to 565 Broadway. In the 1859-60 directory their address was listed as 622 Broadway where they remained through 1871. The 1867-68 NYC Directory included an expanded listing for the business.

In 1870 they opened a second location at 1275 Broadway. The opening of this location was announced in the June 22, 1870 edition of the New York Herald.

They maintained both addresses for just a year or so, dropping 622 Broadway in the 1871-72 Directory. In 1876-77 they moved again, this time to a location four doors off Broadway at 36 West 29th Street.

After leaving Broadway they were located at 112 Fulton Street (1895 to 1903); 106 6th Avenue (1903 to approx. 1930) and 1826 Park Avenue (approx. 1930 to the mid-1940’s). By 1948 they had moved to 160 East 127th Street where they remained listed through 1953. They were no longer listed in 1957.

The business was run by William Jay Barker until his death sometime prior to 1894 after which it appears that the business remained in the family. NYC Copartnership and Corporation Directories between 1901 and 1919 listed  the business as “William Jay Barker (Mary Barker Fareira, only)” and a February 7, 1918 New York Times article,  named his son, also William Jay Barker, as president of the company until his tragic death, at the time of the article, in a Connecticut house fire.

Management of the company after Mary Fareira’s death sometime in the 1920’s is not clear.

Company advertisements stated that their hair tonic “Hirsutus” dated back to the start of the business in 1847, however the first mention of it that I can find was in an April 12, 1869 advertisement in the New York Herald.

This advertisement from 1902 claims that dandruff, thin failing hair, baldness, scrub, scalp humors and itching scalp were all relieved with one application of “Barker’s Hirsutus.”

Another 1902 advertisement went further, stating:

Thousands of persons are today scratching their heads and saying they would give anything in the world if they could only get some kind of a remedy that would relieve or cure them of dandruff and other scalp diseases, a large number not knowing of a wonderful remedy which has been in existence over half a century, called Barker’s Hirsutus, which is a positive and well known cure used by the most fashionable people of the world, and if they would use it would never be troubled by these diseases.

Hirsutus is a vegetable preparation, free from grease and poisonous chemicals. Positively cures dandruff, failing hair and all scalp diseases. Grows hair on any bald head if directions are faithfully carried out.

Hisutus is indispensable to ladies and children. By its use they can keep the scalp free from scruff and dandruff, thereby creating a healthy condition of the scalp , and promoting a soft, pliant and luxurious growth of hair. This preparation costs more than most other remedies of this nature, but IT DOES MORE. Anyone troubled with scalp diseases, takes no chances in using HIRSUTUS. It positively does all that is claimed for it.

It’s not clear how long the Hirsutus hair tonic was actually on the market. NYC phone books included the word “Hirsutus” with company listings right up through the 1950’s but I don’t see it advertised or included in drug store listings after 1936.

As far as I can tell, none of the buildings occupied by the business still exist today.

The bottle I found is mouth blown (maybe 8 to 10 oz) with a tooled finish. It’s sun-purpled indicating the presence of manganese dioxide which was predominantly used as a decolorizing agent prior to 1920. It’s shape and embossing are similar to a labeled example recently advertised on e-bay that exhibits the 6th Avenue address utilized by the company between 1903 and 1930.

  

AR Winarick, New York

 

The AR stands for Arthur Winarick, the first of three generations of Winaricks associated with the cosmetics industry. A feature on his grandson, Tom Winarick, in the July 16, 2016 issue of Beauty Store Business Magazine tells Arthur’s story.

Arthur Winarick was a Russian immigrant who settled on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and became a barber who would go on to create one of the most iconic beauty products in America – Jeris Hair Tonic. Known for its neon green-formula, Jeris was formulated in the bathtub of Arthur Winarick’s apartment. He began selling it to local barbers within the Russian and Jewish communities, and eventually produced hair tonic and shaving lotions when he founded A R Winarick, Inc. Jeris is still produced today under Clubman. After World War II, (Arthur’s son) Jules Winarick became heavily involved in A R Winarick, Inc. and began expanding and acquiring several beauty brands.

Census records and NYC directories both support and add to the above story. According to 1930 census records, Arthur Winarick was born in Poland to Russian parents in 1890 and immigrated to the United States in 1911. The first listing I can find for him was in the 1917 NYC Directory as a perfumer located at 1 Willett Street. Then in the early to mid-1920’s he was listed at 19 Cannon Street with the occupation “barber supplies.” Both Willet Street and Cannon Street were located south of Delancey Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

It looks like he established AR Winarick, Inc., sometime around 1930. The 1933 NYC Directory listed them as a New York Corporation with capital of $1,000,000. Arthur Winarick was named both president and treasurer, Joseph A. Gallagher, vice president and Nathan Winarick secretary. Nathan was most likely Arthur’s brother. Four years younger, he was also born to Russian parents and immigrated to the United States in 1914. The corporate address was listed as 797 E 140th Street in the Port Morris section of the Bronx.

After World War II it appears that Arthur’s son Jules was named president and Arthur became chairman of the board. According to Arthur Winarick’s obituary, printed in the November 22, 1964 issue of the New York Times, he was still chairman at the time of his death. By then the New York office had moved to Park Avenue South and the company had opened another office in Los Angeles. They also had plants in Brunswick and Newark, New Jersey and Long Island City, Queens. Sometime in the mid 1970’s, the New York office relocated to New Jersey.

The trademark for Jeris, their signature product, was registered May 29, 1923 (Registration 0168573, Serial No 71167153). Registration information stated that it was first used on September 15, 1921.

I didn’t find many Jeris advertisements from the 1920’s and those that I did find were store related items like signs and mirrors. Interestingly, of the few early advertisements I’ve seen, several, including the one below, were focused on women.

At some point it looks like Jeris became exclusively a men’s product. An early 1950’s advertisement spells out the merits of the green colored hair tonic and leaves no doubt that their target audience was now male.

Especially formulated for men who dislike greasy, oil dressings. Jeris is recommended by 9 out of 10 barbers; is America’s largest selling, greaseless, antiseptic hair tonic.

Jeris never leaves hair with a plastered-down look: never stains hat bands, linen or furniture. Jeris and massage stimulate the scalp, help improve circulation, kill dandruff germs on contact.

Women admire its clean crisp, masculine fragrance.

Another advertisement I found appealed directly to the G.I. returning from World War II.

During the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, Jeris was seriously committed to magazine advertising. One of their advertising approaches had a number of Hollywood stars endorsing Jeris while also mentioning their latest movie project. The 1951 advertisement below, found in Life Magazine, combined Ronald Regan’s praise for Jeris with a mention of his latest movie “Bedtime for Bonzo”

Other stars participating in this campaign included Kirk Douglas (Ace in the Hole), Fred McMurray (Come Share My Love), John Garfield (Force of Evil) and Ray Milland (Circle of Danger).

Today Jeris can still be purchased from Pinaud Clubman. It’s still has its green color and the marketing message remains the same.

It refreshes and stimulates the scalp

The bottle I found is machine made. The sides are not embossed but embossing on the base states “Loaned By AR Winarick.” The spout on the bottle was still attached. Printed on the spout is AR Winarick, N.Y. It most likely dates to the earlier period of the business, probably the mid to late 1920’s, before they incorporated.

On a final note, Arthur and Jules Winarick were also intimately connected with the Concord Hotel in New York’s Catskill Mountains. According to Arthur Winnarick’s New York Times obituary he founded the Concord Hotel.

In the early nineteen thirties Mr Winarick visited the Catskills. He decided to become a host there and he acquired the Kiamesha Ideal Hotel, changed its name to the Concord and guided its growth and development.

The hotel, of which his son-in-law, Raymond Parker, is managing director, has a coliseum size nightclub, and a swimming pool, rink and other facilities on a mammoth scale. Mr. Winarick enjoyed mingling with his guests. His remarkable memory permitted him to greet a surprising number by name.

According to Jules Winarick’s obituary, he was also involved with the Concord.

He also dedicated part of his life to the development and growth of the Concord Resort Hotel in the Catskills. Under his guidance, the hotel went from being a summer getaway destination to a year round resort, which featured one of the largest nightclubs at the time and drew the most famous entertainers of the day.

 

Parfumerie Monte Christo, Beaume Mamma Dura

It appears Parfumerie Monte Christo is actually a line of toilet articles associated with L Shaw’s Hair Emporium and later with the Monte Christo Cosmetic Co., both located in New York City.

In an 1899 interview, published in the October 25 Issue of Printers Ink, the L Shaw business manager, Albert Edelstein, stated that the business had been started 37 years prior by Madame Shaw. This would put the start of the business around 1862, but the first listing I can find was in the 1871/72 NYC Directory: “Louise (sometimes Louisa in later directories) Shaw, real and imitation hair, 352 Bowery.”

Around 1873, the business address moved to Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village and then in about 1876, they relocated to 54 West 14th Street which served as their retail location through the early 1900’s.

The business was the predecessor of what we would call today the beauty parlor or spa. In his 1899 interview, Edelstein described the range of services provided at this location.

These four stories and the basement are devoted to all the details pertaining to the hair, hairdressing, dyeing, shampooing, scalp treatment, manicuring, facial steaming and care of the complexion. As advertised it is the largest hair store in the world.

In the interview he stated that they were also the leading wholesaler.

…while in another part of town we occupy another entire building for our wholesale trade, being also the leading wholesaler. We import our hair direct, and in fact are the only house doing so, and probably supply more hair goods to retailers than all other wholesalers together.

The firm’s clientele and primary target of their advertising was the wealthy woman. Edelstein stated that they began to advertise about 15 years prior (1884) and primarily used daily papers and the theatre programs. At the time there were eight New York newspapers and he preferred the morning papers to the afternoon ones. His reasoning leaves no doubt about who his target audience was.

We believe that people have more time to read them, and read them more closely. And especially is this the case with ladies, whom we catch at just the right time, we think for good results. It is seldom that a lady reads an evening paper closely, even on those evenings where she may stay at home. But in the morning, after breakfast, she generally has an hour or two of lounging, even before going out shopping – a time when seeing our ad makes a substantial impression on her.”

In fact, the second floor of the West 14th Street parlor was restricted to women only – “No man is permitted entry.”

The business marketed a wide range of hair and cosmetics items including several under the name Parfumerie Monte Christo. Sounding French it was probably named this way for appeal to the wealthy woman and her preference at the time for French toiletries and perfumes.

It’s not clear when they started using the Monte Christo name but items with this tag were being mentioned in advertisements as early as the mid-1880’s when the business started advertising. One from 1886, advertised “a complete assortment of beautifying cosmetics by the Perfumerie Monte Christo.

Another in the July 1891 issue of Harper’s New Monthly Magazine mentioned “all toilet preparations of the celebrated Parfumerie Monte Christo.”

The business changed hands around the turn of the century. The 1901 Copartnership and Corporation Directory lists the business for the first time as the Firm of L Shaw, with Gerson Hyman and Manuel Oppemheim listed as the principals. Around 1905 the business moved from their longtime 14th Street location to 506 Fifth Avenue. Hyman and Oppenheim remained listed as principals through 1909. The directories also listed Albert Edelstein, the business manager, at the L Shaw business location through 1909.

In 1910, ownership changed again and it appears that the Parfumerie Monte Christo piece of the business was split off. In the 1910 Copartnership and Corporation Directory the principals in the firm of L Shaw are listed as  Leo B. and Felix A. Simonson. In the same directory, listed for the first time is a firm called the Monte Christo Cosmetic Co., located at 13 East 30th Street with Albert Edelstein as the only listed principal.

The Monte Christo Cosmetic Company continued to be listed through at least the 1925 NYC Directory. After that, I lose track, but Edelstein still lists himself as a proprietor in the cosmetics industry in the 1930 census records. The firm of L Shaw vanished from the directories around 1920.

In 1912, the Monte Christo Cosmetic Co. was convicted of violating the food and drug act with a product called Monte Christo Rum and Quinin for the Hair. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association:

The Monte Christo Cosmetic Company of New York City, which is a trade style used by one Albert Edelstein, shipped in interstate commerce a product labeled “Monte Christo Rum and Quinin for the Hair.” The claims for the product were: “Cools and Invigorates the Scalp. Prevents the hair from falling out. Removes and prevents dandruff, imparting to the hair a delightful perfume.”

A sample of the product was analyzed by the Bureau of Chemistry and the chemists reported the following results: ethyl alcohol 18.5%; wood alcohol 42.0% and quinin 38 grams per 100cc.

The preparation was declared adulterated in that its purity and strength were inferior to the professional standard under which it was sold, in that wood alcohol had been substituted for part of the rum. It was declared misbranded because the label was false and misleading and likely to deceive the purchaser into the belief that the product was composed of rum and quinin, when as a matter of fact it was composed of rum, quinin and wood alcohol.

Interestingly, there was no mention of the product’s false and unsubstantiated claims but only its mis-labeled contents. Containing mostly alcohol, were you supposed to drink it or massage it on your scalp?

The current building at 54 West 14th Street does not date back to the late 1800’s and therefore is not the building that housed the Shaw retail operation. It’s not clear where the wholesale operation mentioned in the 1899 interview was located.

The bottle I found is six sided, mouth blown and about four ounces. Embossed on two adjacent sides at on one end is “Parfumerie Monte Christo” and on the other end is “Beaume Mamma Dura.” Mamma Dura was mentioned in a written advertisement I found in an 1888 issue of Lippenott’s:

It may be understood at once that so far as hair, switches, curls, bangs, or wigs go, any aids to the skin and hair, hands and eyes, in washes or unguents, America offers none of such value as those prepared by L. Shaw, the world-renowned alchemist and coiffeur, at 54 west Fourteenth Street, New York. Nor in fact, is there in Europe just such as house as this from which all our beautiful women procure toilet articles. Lovely actresses, as well as rulers in the social world, preserve their charms with cocoa-milk, mama dura, and the superfine Monte Christo rouge.

Maybe it was some sort of facial lotion?

I’ve seen bottles embossed “Monte Christo Parfumerie” on the internet with L Shaw printed on a paper label that’s wrapped around the neck. The bottle I found includes the slightly elongated neck required for this label.

 

 

Hay’s Hair Health

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Hay’s Hair Health was a hair product sold from the late  1880’s through the early 1940’s. Advertisements during this period indicated that it was manufactured in the late 1800’s by the London Supply Company of New York and later by the Philo Hay Specialty Company of Newark, New Jersey.

The London Supply Company apparently started business in either 1888 or 1889. Newspaper advertisements for the London Supply Company and Hays Hair Health began to appear in January of 1889. The first one I could find was in the January 5, 1889 edition of the New York Sun.

Between 1890 and 1900 the London Supply Company was listed in the NYC Copartnership and Corporation Directories at 853 Broadway. The proprietor was Freeman Hiscox.  The company was no longer listed in the 1901 edition of the directory.

Around this time they apparently transitioned the operation to New Jersey. On July 3, 1900, the Philo-Hay Specialty Co. of Newark New Jersey incorporated with a capital of $210,000. Lawrence Hardham was their first president. Freeman Hiscox, the former proprietor of the London Supply Co., was Secretary and Alice L Ward was Treasurer. Philo-Hay Specialties Co. first appeared in the Newark City Directories in 1902 located at 229 Lafayette with Freeman Hiscox as manager.

The transition from the London Supply Company to the Philo-Hay Specialty Company apparently took several years. Although they were no longer listed in New York after 1900, some Hay’s Hair Health advertisements continued to reference the London Supply Co. at the 853 Broadway address up through 1904. Newspaper advertisements referencing the New Jersey company began to appear as early as November 1900.

The Philo-Hay Specialty Company remained at 229 Lafayette Street until 1906 when they were listed at 29 Congress. In 1908 their address was 30 Clinton and by 1913 their listed address was Verona Ave, corner of Clifton Ave. The business disappeared from the Newark Directories after 1922.

In addition to Hay’s Hair Health, the company manufactured a number of other similar products as well including Skinhealth Treatment, Creme Peau Sante (Violette) and Harfina Soap. Harfina Soap was almost always advertised in conjunction with Hay’s Hair Health.

The business was apparently fully committed to advertising as a way to grow the business. This advertisement in the “Interstate Druggist” was apparently aimed at drug store owners:

If you will stock and push Hays Hair Health, you will never be troubled with complaints from dissatisfied customers. The demand is always on the increase as our advertising runs continuously year after year in our ever increasing list of the best newspapers throughout the country.

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One early advertisement for Hay’s Hair Health printed in the January 5, 1901 edition of “The Literary Digest” delivered a message that is not very different from the one delivered today by the advertisers of both men’s and women’s hair products, though certainly not in the same words.

Gray hairs often stand in the way of advancement for both men and women, socially and in business. Many fail to secure good positions because they look “too old” and many women are disappointed in life because they fail to preserve that attractiveness which so largely depends on the hair.

The advertisement goes on to promote the purported benefits of the product:

Hay’s Hair Health will positively restore gray or faded hair to its former color and beauty. It is not a dye, nor a stain, but a natural restorer and tonic to beautiful hair growth. Equally good for men and women.

Another advertisement from the same era goes even further stating:

This hair food acts on the roots, giving them the required nourishment and positively produces luxuriant hair on bald heads.

An advertisement published in various forms between 1902 and 1915 used the slogan: “Hay’s Hair Health turns back time in its flight,” and actually included before and after illustrations.

The product’s trademark which included the words “Hays Hair Health” with a picture of a woman with flowing hair and a bearded man all within a circle (no. 43022) was published by the U S Patent Office on August 9, 1910 but they were using it well before that. The phrase “Hay’s Hair Health” dates back to their earliest advertisements in 1889 and the picture described in the trademark is shown in the 1901 advertisement above.

Their bold advertising claims were not backed up by the scientific community. The 1916 Report of the Connecticut Experiment Station described Hay’s Hair Health as a colorless liquid containing a yellow percipitate and with the following odor of oil of bay. The product contained glycerine, free sulphur, lead acetate and organic matter, possibly sage. They stated that:

This is simply one of the glycerine water solutions of lead acetate with considerable free sulphur. The use of any preparation, even externally, containing such a dangerous poison as lead acetate is unsafe.

Also, the Indiana State Board of Health Chemical Division’s 1917 Report of the Chemical Division of the Laboratory of Hygiene had this to say about Hay’s Hair Health:

This combination is also sold under the false claim that it is a hair restorer. It is…a mixture of sugar, lead (1.5%), sulphur (1.5%), alcohol and water. The contents of a fifty cent bottle are worth but five.

After 1922, when the Philo Hay Specialty Company was no longer listed in the Newark directories, its not clear who manufactured Hay’s Hair Health but it continued to be named in drug store advertisements as late as 1942. This advertisement printed in the May 1, 1940 edition of the Buffalo (NY) Courier still advertised it in conjunction with Harifina Soap.

Today, 853 Broadway in NYC is a 21 story building built in 1929 and therefore could not have been used by the business. In Newark the southeast corner of Verona and Clifton is occupied by a 2 story building that appears to have been converted from manufacturing to residential. It could have been used by the business.

I found two identical mouth blown brown medicine bottles embossed Hay’s on one side and Hair Health on the other side. They match a labeled bottle included in a 1913 advertisement that included an offer for a free bottle.

        

Empire Hair Regenerator Co., New York

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Piecing together information from the NYC General Directories, the Trow Copartnership and Corporation Directories and the ERA Druggist Directories, this business was active from 1905 well into the 1930’s. Prior to 1911, I’ve seen the business referred to as both the Empire Hair Regenerator Co (as embossed on the bottle) and simply the Empire Regenerator Co. In 1911 and later, the company was referred to exclusively as the Empire Regenerator Co. The Directories typically associated the business with hair dyes and hair goods. The ERA Directories listed them as manufacturers of toilet preparations.

George Gyllstrom was the company president through 1911 and William Munson was the president from 1912 to at least 1920. During this period, Klas Gyllstrom was listed as a Director so it appears the Gyllstrom family remained active in the business. After 1920, the company leadership is unknown.

The company’s long time address from 1905 through 1928 was 242 6th Avenue. Located near the intersection of Houston Street and 6th Avenue, I assume they had to move in the early 1930’s when their building was acquired and demolished to accommodate the widening of Houston Street. By 1932 they were listed at 566 6th Avenue and in 1935 they  moved again to 605 6th Avenue.

This “Empire Hair Regenerator” advertisement was included in a much larger advertisement for a  department store called the “14th Street Store” printed in the May 15, 1907 edition of the “Evening World.” It included the same “eagle” trademark that is embossed on the bottle I found.

One application and your hair is immediately a natural shade. Clean, odorless and gives to the hair the healthy, natural appearance of youth.

A 1935 advertisement in the August 22 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle exhibited the shortened company name and the 605 6th Avenue address.

It appears that the company went out of business in the mid-1930’s after the Federal Trade Commission charged them with false and misleading advertising.. According to a news article in the November 9, 1936 edition of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle:

The Federal Trade Commission announced yesterday a New York City concern and a Buffalo firm have agreed to discontinue alleged “false and misleading” advertising in connection with sale of their products.

The Commission said the Empire Regenerator Company, Inc., New York City, agreed to cease representing a hair dye designated “the Empire Hair Regenerator” would remove gray hair, restore the original color to hair or prevent hair from turning gray…

The bottle I found is a small mouth-blown rectangular medicine bottle with their trade mark eagle embossed on the front panel. “The Empire Hair Regenerator” is embossed on one side and “New York” on the other side. The fact that it’s mouth blown and includes the word “Hair” in the company name leads me to believe it’s probably pre-1912.

Imperial Chemical Mfg. Co., New York

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The Imperial Chemical Manufacturing Company was in business from the mid-1880’s until the early 1930’s. Located in New York City, they manufactured hair products that were advertised and sold across the country. An advertisement from 1915 provided a menu of several products sold  under the “Imperial” brand name.

Imperial Hair Regenerator – Recognized as the standard hair coloring for gray or bleached hair.

Imperial Vigorosis – Is a marvelous hair grower and tonic. Arrests the falling of and stimulates the hair follicles.

Imperial Shampoo – Unexcelled hair and scalp cleanser, recommended for children’s hair.

Imperial Hair Remover – A marvelous remedy for removing superfluous hair without injury to skin.

The company was first listed in the 1889 NYC Directory but was advertising as early as September of 1887.  They continued to be listed through the early 1930’s. Their first address was 54 W 23rd Street where they were listed between 1887 and 1893. Subsequently, based on directory information and newspaper advertisements over the years, their primary addresses were:

292 Fifth Avenue             Early 1894 to 1899

22 W 23rd Street               1900 to 1901

135 W 23rd Street            1902 to 1918

246 W 14th Street            1920’s

19 W 44th Street             Early 1930’s (1932)

In New York City, along with their manufacturing facility, the company sometimes listed additional addresses. I assume these addresses were associated with what the company called their “application parlors” and “sales rooms.”

They were incorporated in NewYork in 1901 and possibly earlier. W Gordon Kellogg was consistently associated with the company through the early 1930’s, usually as president. By 1933, the Imperial Chemical Mfg Co was no longer listed.

Their signature product was the “Imperial Hair Regenerator,”which they were apparently making right from the start of the business. The earliest newspaper advertisement for it that I can find was in the September 22, 1887 edition of the “Buffalo (NY) Commercial.” It addressed both a male and female audience.

Instantly restores Gray Hair, Bleached Hair, or Gray Beard to natural color: leaves it clean, soft and glossy, and no one dreams that you color it. Absolutely harmless, odorless and lasting.

The advertisement goes on to list seven standard colors: No. 1 – Black; No. 2 – Dark Brown; No. 3 –  Medium Brown; No. 4 – Chestnut; No. 5 – Light Chestnut; No. 6 – Gold Blonde; and No. 7 – Ash Blonde.

An 1895 advertisement from Metropolitan Magazine included the additional claim that:

It positively makes hair grow.

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One of their advertisements appeared in an 1899 Issue of the “Pariasian Illustrated Review” a publication that touted itself as “keeping it’s readers current with the works of the great French writers.” This leads me to believe that Imperial’s following included the entire spectrum of the population from those interested in French literature to clammers and fisherman making a living on the bay.

The “Imperial” trademark dated back to the company’s earliest advertisements and consisted of a what looks like a shield topped with a crown. The shield contained the phrase “Sans Dissimulation.”

As best I can tell, “Sans Dissimulation” is French and can be translated as “without concealment.”

The bottle I found is a large mouth blown medicine that dates to the late 1800’s to early 1900’s.