I was doing a bit of cleaning up in the closet when I came across some odd and interesting packages nestled deep in the back. It turned out to be some old family belongings that my mother had kept. Quite a bit of it was old recopies that our ancestors had clipped from old newspapers. I was a bit taken aback at the date of some of these, some going as far back as the late 18 hundreds.
Anyhow, there was quite a bit of old memorabilia from Alexandria Ontario…where part of my mother’s family has resided for ages. Quite a few local quasi farmer almanacs published from a local Pharmacist was in evidence dating to just before the First World War. However, one publication picked my interest as it was an older Toronto publication on some of the local “Patent” medicines that existed in the late 1800s. I was always fascinated by these old style “cure all medicines” sold by snake oil charmers.
I did a bit of digging and could not find anything on the pharmacist in Alexandria…no surprise as it is a small town and those old local publications probably don’t have much of a historical following other than if you are from there. However, I did manage to pull up some interesting information on the medicine publication…
Taken from “History of Toronto and Country of York, Ontario”, by Charles Pelham Mulvany, Graeme Mercer Adam. 1885.
Northrop & Lyman Co. (Limited), general agents and dealers in patent medicines, 21 Front Street West. The business was established in 1854, and was located in Newcastle, Ontario, for twenty years, being then removed to Toronto, where they at first occupied premises on Scott Street, and in 1879 removed to their present building. The warehouse has a frontage of 30 x 160 feet, with four flats. The firm employs four travelers and about thirty employees in the house, and do a very extensive business. Their trade extends from British Columbia to Halifax.
Well I took the liberty of photographing certain pages in this old book that pertains to their stock in trade. I just enjoy reading these old medicine advertisings. I hope I do not bore the majority of you, but figured that some of you might appreciate a little walk down a historical lane.
(The front cover.)