Rare 1870s Victorian im Deutsch German language advertising trade card for Perry Davis' Pain Killer, one of the earliest of the Victorian era's patent medicine. The image is that of a man who has collapsed while cutting wood - injury, heart attack, it's not clear - being treated by his family with this 19th Century wonder drug. This rare card is printed im Deutsch language for German-speaking immigrant consumers - a rare early example of marketing targeted at specific ethnic groups.
"PAIN KILLER" was patented by Perry Davis in 1845. In its heyday, Perry Davis' "Pain Killer" was widely regarded as a wonder drug. It is believed to be the first nationally advertised remedy specifically for pain, and was extremely popular in households of the day. This elixir was used for a wide range of illnesses (e.g., colds, coughs and intestinal problems), and also used externally on sprains, cuts and frostbite. During the Civil War, it was used to treat not only the soldier's injuries but the army's horses as well! Its ingredients, mainly opiates and ethyl alcohol, were entirely natural. Since it was a registered trade brand name, there was no legal requirement to make its ingredients public on the bottle.
Born in Dartmouth, Massachusetts in 1791, Perry Davis (1791-1862) grew up poor and unhealthy. In 1845, fed up with doctors, he concocted his own recipe for pain relief that worked. In 1850 Perry's son Edmund joined him in the business and the company became Davis & Son, located in Providence Rhode Island. By the time Perry Davis died in 1862, his fame was worldwide, and his image was on the wrapper of every bottle of his product. After his death, Edmund continued the company his father had started. Perry Davis & Son left Providence in 1895 and moved it's operation to New York City.
This rectangular 5-3/8" x 3-1/4" trade card is printed with brilliant three-color lithography on standard card stock. The back has ruled lines and a small amount of text in German at the bottom, which appears un-related to the product, and most of which is unreadable.
PHOTO NOTE: The scanning process distorts the clarity of the image and the intensity of the colors. The muted "grainy" look is exaggerated. The colors are actually more vivid and the clarity much greater when viewed in person. Minor soiling, small blemishes and slight defects are exaggerated by the scanning process, and are usually much less noticeable when viewed in person.
CONDITION NOTE: Condition is excellent. The images are in excellent condition, with some light soiling, but no creases or tears. Edges appear either unevenly cut by the lithographer, or later trimmed. Back has large spots of paste residue which obliterates most of the German text at the bottom.
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