Ring's Vegetable Ambrosia

Philander Ring (!) was an enterprising merchandiser who promoted Hall's Vegetable Sicilian Hair Renewer in the early 1860's, until he had it chemically analyzed and asked uncomfortable questions of Reuben Hall. The analyst, Dr. Elisha Munroe Tubbs, developed his own formula for restoring gray hair which he felt was safer and more effective. He, Mr, Ring and J.W. Fish formed E.M. Tubbs & Company to produce and market RIng's Vegetable Ambrosia in 1864. Fish sold his share to Person Colby Cheney a few months later.

Ring left the business after several years, and went bankrupt in 1873. Dr. Tubbs died in 1878 and his interest was bought out by Cheney, who by then was a United States Senator and too busy to manage the company. Ring then became manager of the company with Cheney as a silent partner. By 1882 Ring had a controlling interest in the business.

General issue stamps must have been used until private die proprietaries bearing the portrait of Dr. Tubbs were issued on April 24, 1867. These were last delivered on October 8, 1881. 714,375 were printed on old paper, 241,775 on silk paper and 29,700 on watermarked paper. Most were die cut in the shape of a many-pointed star, but others were left imperforate or perforated in a square shape. Each of these perforation varieties has its own catalog number. The die cut copy above is printed on silk paper.

In 1873 Tubb's Universal Pain Eradicator was introduced, and a two-cent stamp similar to the company's four-cent one was issued in May of that year. It was last delivered in February of 1875. 19,350 were printed on silk paper. Most were die cut, but some were left in imperforate squares.

Facsimiles of the stamps were used after June 30, 1883. The first ones were die cut, but later ones were left square. These bore the portraits of Ira Cross on the first and Philander Ring on the second.