Let's head out for the weekend, rescued from our bed of suffering and with a bloom of health to our cheeks and delight in our hearts.
This trade card for Parker's Ginger Tonic is undated, but was created by the New York City firm of Hiscox & Co., which was doing business in the city by 1877 and continued to operate for at least a decade after founders David Hiscox and Frederick Rawolle dissolved their partnership in 1900, at which point the business was maintained by Hiscox, his wife, and their sons.
The reverse of the card boasted of the company's hair balsam (which cured itching, humors, hair loss, and restored beauty and color to gray hair), Hindercorns (a balm for removing corns, bunions, warts, and calluses), and, of course, the ginger tonic.
The tonic promised to "exert a curative power over disease unknown to any other medicine ... it soothes the nerves, promotes sleep, brings increased vigor and strength to the whole system, and cures Female Complaints, Cholera Infantum, Colic and Diarrhea". As the "best and surest cough cure ever made" the tonic was also recommended to those who suffered from "Consumption, Asthma, Rheumatism, Malaria, Dyspepsia or Wakefulness".
This item is part of Hagley Library's Fingerman ephemera collection (Accession 2009.213). Assembled by collectors Arlene and Gerald Fingerman, the collection consists of mixed-format ephemera from various endeavors within American culture, primarily the manufacturing and selling of products or services.
This collection has not been digitized in its entirety, but you can view a selection of materials from the collection now in our Digital Archive - just click here!