original and intact privy dug c. 1880's blue green glass medicine bottle manufactured for c.i. hood & co. in lowell, mass.


UR #:: UR-23544-15

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Product Description

single antique late ninteenth century original privy dug large patent medicine bottle in a vibrant blue green glass fabricated for massachusetts druggist charles ira hood. the slim, rectangular body has recessed panels and beveled corners, and is finished with a heavily whittled, narrow neck and crude single bead finish. the side panels are embossed with the company name and location, and the front panel reads, "hood's / sarsa / parilla" while the reverse is embossed vertically, "apothecaries". at the smooth base is a slightly recessed circular marking and diagonal seam, indicating use of keyed hinged mold. crudities are typical of its age and date of manufacture, including whittling, bubbles and irridization or discoloration from having been dug. founded by charles ira hood in 1875, c.i. hood & co. of lowell, massachusetts, was among the largest patent medicine companies in the united states, offering a number of personal health products in addition to its well known "hood’s sarsaparilla". charles ira hood was born in 1845 in vermont, and began learning the apothecary business with dr. samuel kidder of lowell, massachusetts in 1859. after working for five years in boston, serving theodeore metcalf & co., he began the preparation of his own medicines. c.i. hood and company was a leader in the development of color lithography as an advertising tool, and produced all of its advertising in-house; they owned twenty presses that issued a plethora of colorful trade cards, posters, calendars, cookbooks, pamphlets, and other ephemera, all promoting the medicinal benefits of company products. in 1876, chalres followed the lead of j.c. ayer & company and began to compound his own sarsaparilla medicine. in addition to sarsaparilla root, he mixed in dandelion, gentian, juniper berries and 18% alcohol. he claimed great success in curing a variety of disorders including “purifying the blood”, heart diseases, dropsy, rheumatism and scrofula. within two years of launching his product he was on his way to great success. charles hood added to his success with products like hood’s tooth powder, vegetable pills, oil ointment, medicated soap, dyspeplets (for dyspepsia), tussamo (for cough) and hood’s lotion. business was so brisk that charles hood needed a larger space. in 1882, he built the four-story hood’s laboratories on thorndike street, close to the boston & lowell railroad depot. he enlarged the laboratories in 1892 and 1897, giving him 175,000 square feet devoted to the manufacture and sale of patent medicines. the first floor was used for storage and freight shipments. the railroad station was easily reached through the back door. the second floor had the advertising and printing offices. all advertising was done on the premises. here hood’s printed its calendars, lithographic trade cards and cookbooks. in 1879, seventy million pieces were printed and delivered from these offices. c.i. hood was the largest single user of the u.s. mail in lowell. in addition, c.i. hood advertisements regularly appeared in newspapers coast to coast. the third floor had the counting room, boiling area and the automatic bottle filler, capable in 1884, of filling 10, 000 bottles a day, and more in later years. the fourth floor held the giant tanks, capable of filling 240,000 bottles.” following his death in 1922, the c.i. hood & co. business was sold by his widow. measures 9 inches in height.