What a catch! These old botanical medicine containers caught our eye because of the interesting advertising print. But exploring the history of the S. B. Penick & Company is a story worth reading.
Founded in 1914, S.B. Penick & Co. entered the ‘crude drug business’ by gathering and processing wild plants and botanicals. Leaves, herbs, roots, and barks were used to make pharmaceuticals for years in Southern Appalachia. Penick advertised for picker/gatherers throughout Western North Carolina, paying high prices for roots and herbs for his natural healing products. His business grew tenfold as a result of WWI and the immense need for medicines.
Times changed and synthetics altered the way pharmaceuticals were made. And that is what makes this six piece grouping even more fascinating and collectible.
These antique containers held licorice root, cardamom fruit, pickle spice, cubeb berries, compound senna powder and senna leaves. Nearly all containers have at least a little leftover dried substance in them, though the lids have not been removed for a very long time. (Just shake a can you you’ll hear it.)
Not actually cans or tins, the containers all have a sturdy cardboard body with a tin bottom and top with round lid.
Needless to say, the leftover substances should NOT be ingested or used for any medicinal purpose. The value of this set is related to the size (6 containers!) plus the history of the botanicals used for healing. They’d make a fabulous display. Quite a conversation starter!
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- SIX antique containers of old medical botanical substances; some contain old residue (as shown)
Good condition with wear consistent with age and use. These containers vary in size and substance. All have wear & discoloration on the tin and fading/marks on the cardboard advertising. Soil, residue, areas of rust and old water marks presents. Some tins have minor dents. Dated to the 1920s - 1930s.
These are for display only - not for ingestion.
>> Please view pictures carefully as they are part of the description. This is truly a one of a kind, found item. Embracing its vintage beauty, this piece may contain imperfections from years of wear. These imperfections are not considered defective.
- Materials: tin, cardboard
- Color: brown, gold, yellow, black
- Dimensions: varies
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