Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dr. Pierces Golden Medical Discovery

My newest listing in the shop, a vintage medicine bottle labeled Dr. Pierce's Medical Discovery. This bottle once contained a tonic that was used to "stimulate the appetite and the flow of gastric jucies"

I don't know about you but to me that would'nt be a very appealing sales pitch, however back in the day it was.

Born in 1840 Mr. Pierce opened his own own practice in his early 20s. Aside from not having any formal education in medicine, even though he happened to obtain a degree which proved later to be purchased. It did not stop him from coming up with his most lucrative invention (which was in the above bottle at one point) a liquorice-flavored tonic he dubbed “Dr. Pierce’s Golden Medical Discovery.” Designed to cure multiple chronic diseases from thin blood to stomach upset to TB, the contents and nature of the discovery were proprietary, but it was advertised as giving “men an appetite like a cow-boy’s and the digestion of an ostrich.”

The man was definitely a hustler of his time and pioneered certain aspects of advertising. For example in the art of testimonial. He layered his advertisements with glowing reviews from supposedly real folk, often accompanied by sketches to prove their veracity: “‘I must say that Dr. Pierce’s Golden Medical Discovery is the most wonderful medicine I ever used,’ writes Geo S. Henderson, Esq. of Denaud, Florida. ‘I had a bad bruise on my right ear and my blood was badly out of order … From the first bottle I began to feel better"

Also, Dr. Pierce's probably most brilliant hustle came not in telling people which illness to fear, but in selling them a way to discover entirely new fears on their own. He did it by writing a self-treatment manual for the general public, similar to what you find on the internet today.

Dr. Pierce wrote other books in his time, as well as holding a seat on the New York Legislature and later being elected to Congress as a Republican. He resigned a year later due to health issues. He passed away in in 1914 but his medicines and tonics continued to sell into the 1970s.

 He may have been a swindler and hustler of his day, but at one point or another just about every successful business man or woman is. Whether they admit that or not is a different story. Well that wraps up another brief history lesson on my newest item in the shop. Thanks for reading, see you around the corner ;)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Gooooood Morning Vietnam!!!!

Just getting on to promote one of my military items listed in my shop. I understand the Vietnam conflict was definitely not one of our greatest moments in history, but that doesn't mean we can't find a silver lining in a dark cloud.

Case in point, reusing and upcycling old field gear from the era. I'm just fascinated by the gear soldiers wear on the battlefiled and that includes even todays modern soldier. The gear from the soldiers of yesterday paved the way for what our boys in the armed forces wear and use today. A pack like this would be ideal for someone that wants to just carry a few items and has proven being durable. I can't say whether or not it has seen actual duty but it's still in good shape given the year, which was around 1956.

The M1956 butt pack (shown above and more pictures can be found at the link above) was made from OD7 cotton duck and featured a small carrying handle, a plastic cardholder and side webbing for attaching standard slide-keeper fixture equipment. The pack also had a row of eyelets on the compartment flap that could be used for attaching hook fixture gear, such as a machete sheath or a bayonet scabbard.

The pack was typically worn on the back of the pistol belt (hence the name butt pack). However, it could be worn higher up the back with the use of adaptor straps. When worn in the standard position the rear suspender straps were clipped directly onto the pack, rather than to the upper row of eyelets on the belt

Well thats my history lesson for the day, stay tuned for another featured item. See you around the corner ;)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My latest find as of the weekend of 8-27-11

Found this hot little item when I was out vintage hunting last weekend with my wife. I found cool items here and there but overall it wasn't going well. We walked into the second to last shop we visited for the day and there were some cool items, then I happened to look up and right in front of my face I cound this bad boy.

A Clayton & Lambert brass blow torch from around the 1930's or 1940's. What's really cool about this torch is that it has a flat/narrow tank, most torches in its day were round. These narrow tank torches were ideal for workers who had to get in tight spaces with heat and for an easier fit in someones toolbox.

A little history note about the Clayton & Lamber Co.:

In Ypsilanti, Michigan, in the year 1882, three young and aggressive brothers named Lambert started a pioneering venture - the manufacture and sale of gasoline burning blow torches. Mechanics found the intense portable heat of these torches useful and time saving in the soldering of pipe, etc. Also In 1888, a patented firepot for melting lead was added to the torch line. It's inventor, a Mr. Clayton, was included in the partnership, beginning the long namesake history of Clayton & Lambert. The Clayton & Lambert company also served a big purpose during the first and second world wars by providing items such as pressed steel cabs for trucks, powder time fuses as well as many torches. In WWII they were contracted by the Navy to make steel bullet casings due to the shortage of brass and were very successful in doing so.