Phelps Drug Store Labels, Martinsville, Indiana

SKU: VLC1011 $2.95 USD

Historic Overview

This collection of five drug labels measure 2.25” x 1.3” each and feature a great logo and design for this Rexall drugstore. We think the labels date to the 1920s, just look at the phone number, 825. The drugstore was originally owned by their father, but operated from 1915 to 1993 under the direction of brothers Robert and Emmett Phelps. During the 1950s and early 1960s, Phelps’s soda fountain and counter was a favorite local gathering place for students after school, as well as early morning basketball fans.

Included in the collection is Epsom Salt which softens the skin, soothes aches, draws toxins from the body, sedates the nervous system, relaxes the muscles, and provides relief from soreness and arthritic pain. Camphorated Oil which was used for centuries by herbalists and folk medicine practitioners to treat pain and inflammations. Copperas used in the manufacture of inks, wool dyeing, photographic developer, and lawn conditioner. Castor Oil most known for its use as a laxative, but also used to lubricate aircraft and wagon wheels, in lipsticks and shampoos, in making soaps and plastics, and for food additives and flavorings. And finally, Sol. of Formaldehyde, a poison used in tanning, preserving, embalming and as an insecticide for plants. Its largest application today, however, is in the production of polymeric materials, like plastic Bakelite.

The drugstore was located in Martinsville, Indiana, which was has an interesting history. In 1899 Eugene Shireman converted his swamp land into fisheries and started Grassyfork Fisheries which led the town to be dubbed the “Goldfish Capital of the World.” Martinsville also contained some famous mineral water spas which attracted so many visitors that the town still retains two nicknames from those days, “City of Mineral Water” and “The Artesian City.” Quite a story for a town of less than 12,000 people.


Customers Also Viewed

Witchal Witch Hazel Label - Large
This is a fascinating Witch Hazel label from 1910 that we carry in two sizes. This is the larger label measuring 5” Wide x 3.25” High. It is from the E.E. Dickinson & Co., Essex, Connecticut and is “A valuable household remedy indicated in all inflammatory conditions.” Witch Hazel, unlike some snake oil remedies, actually works. The practice of steeping the twigs and leaves of the witch hazel plant originated with Connecticut's Native American population and produced a mild astringent which was used as a family remedy for a variety of minor ills. Commercially, however, little profit was made due to the product's short shelf life. The first person to harness the commercial potential was Dr. Alvin F. Whittemore, in the early 1860s. The secret to the doctor's success was that by adding alcohol, he preserved the witch hazel, vastly increased the product's shelf life. For the remainder of the decade, witch hazel continued to be produced by an ever changing consortium of partners, settling with the Reverend Thomas N. Dickinson. Founded in 1875 by Edward E. Dickinson, Sr., the company refined the development of witch hazel begun by the Reverend. A family controlled company until its sale, E. E. Dickinson survived the Depression and both World Wars intact and profitable. By 1983, and no longer thriving, the family sold the company to a group of investors. It is now owned by the German pharmaceutical concern, Merz Inc. WE GUARANTEE OUR LABELS TO BE AUTHENTIC AND AS DESCRIBED!

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