Posted 5 years ago
The actual product name on these bottles is Dr. E. Cooper's Universal Magnetic Balm. Some folks feel this is a Western medicine as early as 1858 it was being advertised and sold by W.R. Strong (proprietor)of Sacramento California and after 1868 sold by Redington & Co. of San Francisco California. These bottles were possibly made by the Baker and Cutting Pacific Glass Works.
This Balm more than likely originated in Rochester New York. E.Stewart Cooper M.D. was listed in Rochester business directory in the 1850's. Here ads as early as 1857 advertised the Balm. Pierpont & Co (Peter Miller) was a proprietor of the Balm early on and Ransom & Hamlin were proprietors from the late 19th century into the mid 20th century. Not only were the earlier ads from New York, but also far more variations of the bottle can be found from here. These bottles might have been made in Lockport or the Lancaster Glass Works. The two bottles shown with paper labels have the signature L.J.W. Vary. He was an agent of Patent Medicines in Rochester New York listed in the Rochester business directory from 1866 to 1873. I found an 1867 listing showing Luther J.W. Vary as the manufacturer and proprietor of Dr. E. Cooper's Universal Magnetic Balm. This balm is a sovereign remedy for diphtheria and no other compound in the world can equal it for curing diarrhea, cholera, fever and ague, rheumatism and pains of all kinds. This balm was taken internally and externally as it was applied to bruises, burns and toothaches. After 1905 this balm no longer had "Magnetic" in it's name. It was not an accurate claim and it sold under it's new name into the 1940's. The second picture shows the name change. The top bottle is from 1880 or so and the bottom bottle is from 1920. Embossing also changed going from Dr. E. C's Balm to Cooper's Balm.
The sapphire blue bottle in the first picture shown is very rare. This one as all in that picture are open pontilled and date to the mid 1850's. The Balm bottles range in size from 4 1/2" to 5 1/2" tall.
The bottle laying on it's side is a E.C. Balm from California. These are embossed with a different style font. There is a rare variant of this bottle that is also embossed W.R. Strong Sacramento, Cal on the sides of the bottle. I'm still looking for that one.
The ingredients in this balm were 59% alchohol as a solvent for the ginger, benzoin, camphor, eucalyptus, cajaput, sassafras, pennyroyal, wormwood, anise a purely vegetable preparation. Back in the mid 19th century it would be called a Tincture.
Further research revealed that W.R. Strong was living in Rochester N.Y until 1849. Perhaps at this time he made business dealings involving this medicine.