Schmidt's Castor Oil Label
This label is from Schmidt’s Drug Store in Springfield, Ohio, and measures 2.5” Wide x 1.6” High. Adam Schmidt immigrated to the United States form Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany in 1842 as a young boy of 19. He moved west and at 29 joined the business of C. A. Smith & Company in Springfield, Ohio. In 1885 Adam bought out the interests of his partners and continued the business under the name of Schmidt’s Drug Store. His son Albert came into the business around 1920. I don’t know when they closed, but traced the store being opened in the late 1940s. The store remained throughout the years in the same location it started, 63 West Main Street, Springfield, Ohio. I have found a great photo of Adam Schmidt behind the counter.
You will notice the Schmidt Drug Store logo is very ornate with the clouds behind the name, eagle with wings spread, and the address in a banner. You don’t see many labels with this amount of detail.
Castor oil is a vegetable oil that comes from the castor bean and is a clear to pale yellow liquid with almost no odor or taste. It is documented that castor oil was used in Egypt as far back as 1500 B.C. in facial oils and in oil lamps.
Castor oil has been used medically in the U.S. from the 1800s for many disorders. Traveling medicine men would mix it with as much as 40% alcohol and sell it as a cure-all. The most common and frequent use of castor oil today is in the treatment of constipation since it acts as a laxative. It is also used in ointments and creams, as well as, a lubricant in industry.
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